For all of you that have recently relocated to Florida from other states, especially those were humidity is not a factor, listen up!
Moisture may help you reduce the chances of skin problems, help your skin stay young and fight wrinkles, but it won’t help keep your house from mold, mildew or bugs.
Let’s talk about this.
Florida is known for its heat and damp environment. I’m sure you’ve heard women complaining about the frizz in their hair. That’s the humidity. Also a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
In the summer, a closed house with the air-conditioning turned off will have higher humidity levels than an air-conditioned home. A vacant house also receives little or no sunlight through closed shades and no air movement with the fan off and the doors locked.
If you had simply left the air conditioning running, it would have cooled the home and removed moisture from the air and circulated and filtered the air.
Truth about mold
Molds thrive when the humidity levels exceed 70 percent and can grow within 48 hours. Because humidity levels vary from day to day, the thermostat should be left at or below 74 degrees, and the fan should have been set to “On.” Personally, we leave ours at 77 degrees while away.
Indoor relative humidity (RH) should be kept below 60 percent — ideally between 30 percent and 50 percent, if possible. It’s why we own a dehumidifier. If your home has a way of holding in moisture due to high ceilings or areas just not getting enough ventilation, you may want to consider purchasing one.
Once you have mold, and just a side note, most houses have some type of mold present (definitely some worse than others), it can cause serious health issues, allergies, coughs…etc.
If you find mold present from active moisture which came from flooding or a leak in the walls or in any other part of the home, you really should get a mold inspection followed by mold remediation to remove the mold in the home and the cause of the moisture source so it doesn’t return.
Normally, mold cleaning and remediation processes disturb the spores, which become airborne and can settle on unclean or untreated surfaces, where they continue to thrive in the humid, warm, dark conditions so it’s important to hire a reputable company that knows how to properly dispose of mold.
Pests live in warmth
We’ve covered why it’s important to keep the air conditioner on in your home to avoid mold or moisture settling in, but there are other benefits as well.
Low humidity may also discourage pests (such as cockroaches) and dust mites from taking residence in your home.
If you’re not a fan of pests and insects, you better get used to keeping your home air conditioned. Roach, palmetto bug,” who cares, they’re both disgusting and no one wants them in their house.
“Roaches prefer warmer temperatures where there are sources of moisture. If your air conditioner creates a temperature below 77 degrees, the are likely to seek a warmer spot somewhere else.”
So keep your house air conditioned so you don’t find these nasty critters in your home.
By keeping your house air conditioned you are also reducing allergens that help your respiratory system function at its best. Not only that, but your health is affected in other ways, too. A history professor at the University of South Florida stated that, “Florida as we know it would not exist without air conditioning. We’d probably still be a state of 4 or 5 million instead of 19 million.”
Why keep it cool?
So why should you keep your AC on in Florida, even when you’re away from your house? Avoid moisture and mold build-up, reduce or avoid allergies and respiratory ailments, and keep nasty roaches and insects out of your house and back outside in the warmth.
Rule of thumb
Keep your indoor relative humidity level at 60% and when it’s hot and humid outside, don’t raise your AC above 77 degrees.
For more questions on the market information in Orlando, Oviedo or surrounding areas, contact us at 407.801.9914.