Six Easy Ways to Control Your Mold Allergy
Molds can flourish almost anywhere, on almost any surface, in air conditioners, humidifiers and in plant soil. Visible as spots or streaks, the mold spores contain the allergen, and once they become airborne, your symptoms begin. Unfortunately, mold can sometimes be difficult to find and identify.
The difficulty in finding and identifying mold makes minimizing your exposure to mold spores tricky. But it is important: by minimizing your exposure, you can significantly diminish your symptoms. In fact, many people find that they can reduce or even eliminate their reliance on medication by taking the following steps to remove the mold from their home. The steps are listed below in approximate order of importance. The first two are the easiest and cheapest and are worth trying first.
- Use a mold remover to kill visible mold. While mold can occasionally be hard to find, it is often visible to the naked eye. If you can see it, you can get rid of it. A mold removing spray cleaner will easily eliminate the mold.
- Follow up with a mold preventer to assure mold does not grow back. Anywhere that mold grew once is probably a place that is conducive to mold growth. After using a mold remover, immediately follow up with a mold preventer to make sure the area stays mold free. Check it periodically, and reapply the mold preventer every once in a while.
- Run a HEPA air purifier to capture mold spores that have become airborne. Sometimes it is just not possible to find and eliminate all of the mold in a house with a mold remover. If you have removed all visible mold and your allergies remain bothersome, a HEPA air purifier can be an effective solution. Place the air purifier in the room or rooms where you believe the mold is growing. It will capture 99.9% of all the airborne mold which passes through its filters, both improving the air quality in that room and preventing the mold spores from circulating throughout the rest of the home.
- Use a dehumidifier to keep the relative indoor humidity below 50%. Dehumidifiers make an environment inhospitable for mold growth. Mold thrives in moist, humid areas. Eliminating excess moisture can solve a mold problem. If you think you know which room is the source of the mold problem, place the dehumidifier in that room. If you are not sure where the mold is coming from, you can use a whole house humidifier which will link to your central air system.
- Install a quality disposable filter in your central air system. A good disposable filter is an effective back-up to an air purifier. It is also the best line of defense against mold spores which enter the home from the outside. Airborne mold spores will eventually circulate through the central air system and can be captured using a highly efficient disposable filter. Because all central air systems require a disposable filter, it makes sense to choose one that is effective at capturing mold spores and other allergens.
- Use a filter on your window screens and window air conditioner. Mold can enter the home through open windows. If you cannot identify any likely source of indoor mold, you may be having a reaction to outdoor mold which has entered your home through open windows. To combat the entry of outdoor mold, you can use a filter that captures mold spores so they will not enter through an open window. Also, people who use a window air conditioner can use a filter specially designed to prevent the air conditioner from sucking the mold spores into the home.