Know the dangers of whole house humidifiers before you turn on this winter to avoid widespread mold contamination. Is the air too dry inside your house? Are you planning to get a whole house humidifier installed to combat the dryness? Then you should read on to find out the dangers of getting such a system installed.
- The humidifier adds moisture to the air through the furnace ductwork. The moisture gets distributed throughout the house and condenses on the walls and windows. Wherever there is excessive moisture content, mold growth is bound to take place. Mold growth is very dangerous because it causes a lot of health problems. The chances of developing respiratory ailments is very high because mold infects the air that we breathe. It can lead to several allergic reactions including coughing, sneezing and itching eyes.
The duct which is the source of humidity is the main place from where the growth of mold starts, and the mold spores get distributed all through the air in the house when the system is on. These mold spores infiltrate into the HVAC system and get further circulated in the air when that system is on. Mold starts growing on various surfaces and especially attacks the wooden furniture. Once the mold starts growing, it is very difficult to eradicate it because it is sometimes not even visible.
Excessive condensation especially in the basement and attics can destroy the floor and roof boards. The boards start delaminating and develop cracks. The wood becomes thicker because of absorbing moisture. This make the wood pulpy and soft and over a period of time the quality of the wood deteriorates. The moisture slowly seeps into the boards and this process can sometimes go undetected. That is why it is important to keep a check.
The moisture that gets distributed from the humidifier, condenses on the windows and leads to moisture stains. This problem occurs more in the winter when the temperature outside is very low. This can spoil the aesthetics of your house.
All these problems caused by excessive moisture can damage your house beyond repair. However, this does not mean that you should not get a whole house humidifier installed. You just need to take a few precautions so that the harmful effects are kept to a minimum and you can maintain the right level of humidity in the air.
Clean your HVAC system and humidifier
If your humidifier is installed on the HVAC system, you need to get the air duct cleaned on a regular basis to prevent the formation of mold and bacteria. Excessive humidity can cause mold formation inside the duct which gets dispersed into the air when heating or cooling operations are on. This mold needs to be cleaned carefully and completely so that the chances of regrowth are nil. Even the humidifier needs to be cleaned frequently because that is the place where the maximum condensation takes place and causes mold and mildew growth.
Go for a licensed air duct cleaning company
You should not try to clean the HVAC air duct yourself because contact with mold can be very dangerous for your health especially if it is toxic mold. There are chances that you may miss out a few spots while cleaning. If this happens, your whole effort goes waste because old starts regrowing immediately. This is reason you need to hire a licensed air duct cleaning company whose representatives are experienced enough to identify all the possible problem areas and clean them effectively.
- The problem with a whole house humidifier is that there is a humidity control button given beside the system which needs to be regulated manually. The trick is to decrease the humidity level when you feel that the temperature outside is going to fall in order to prevent excessive condensation. This needs to be done several hours prior to the actual drop in temperature.
However, most of the people do not know the exact levels of humidity that are required to deal with changes in the temperature. This leads to excessive moisture in the air which can cause damage to the house. If this is the case in your house, you should immediately disconnect the humidifier to prevent any further damage.
- Use portable units- If the whole house humidifier is causing the trapping of excessive moisture inside your house, you should opt for a portable humidifier for every room and use it whenever required. These portable units should be cleaned every two days to prevent moisture related problems. This method can help in controlling the moisture content in the air better.
- Use a hygrometer- You should use a hygrometer to keep track of the level of humidity in the air so that you can take immediate action to deal with excessive humidity and prevent any damage to your house or your health.
If you keep these things in mind, the dangers of using a whole house humidifier automatically come under control.