Mold is always a big issue in any house because of the musty smell that it gives off. You might be facing a mold problem in your home, and you might be considering getting a dehumidifier to get rid of the mold.
Will A Humidifier Kill Mold? Using a dehumidifier will not kill mold but will reduce the rate at which mold grows. Dehumidifiers reduce a room’s humidity and are only a temporary solution to the growth of mold.
In a paper by the University of Minnesota, even though a dehumidifier can reduce humidity and odor levels, it is not the best solution to the presence of mold, and it can even make matters worse in some cases.
Can A Humidifier Make Mold Worse?
Yes, a humidifier can make mold worse. Mold thrives in moist environments, and the operation of a humidifier increases the amount of moisture in a room, making it easy for mold to grow.
Humidifiers are devices that produce water vapor or steam to increase the moisture content of the air (humidity). Many households use humidifiers today to freshen up their home, but they have a disadvantage in that they promote mold growth.
Mold can be dangerous to people who have allergies, immune suppression, or underlying lung disease because they are more susceptible to fungal infections. Due to just how much a humidifier can raise the humidity of your room, they are among the key factors that can boost the presence of mold.
Apart from humidifiers, other factors can cause mold in your home. For instance, mold can grow in your home if the weather has been exceptionally humid or if there has been rainfall for several days in a row. Mold may grow on benches, walls, and other surfaces due to the wetness of the atmosphere.
However, if you use your humidifier properly and stick to the recommended humidity levels, you should not have issues with mold. The possibility of mold in your home arises when you have a humidifier in your home that produces higher humidity levels than the recommended levels.
Humidifiers will result in excessive moisture or wetness in this situation, allowing mold to grow on porous surfaces such as walls, windowsills, pipes, and wooden furniture.
What’s Best for Mold, Air Purifier or Dehumidifier?
A dehumidifier is a better choice than an air purifier when it comes to handling mold in a house. Mold grows in moist areas and dehumidifiers reduce the moisture content in a room, making it harder for mold to bloom.
The functions of air purifiers and dehumidifiers are quite different, making their effectiveness against mold differ.
Air purifiers operate by drawing in air, collecting particles like pollen and pet dander in filters, and then releasing clean air for you to breathe. The function of air purifiers makes them great for removing solid particles from the air. Air purifiers have been demonstrated to lower the frequency of asthmatic symptoms when used in conjunction with regular cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces.
On the other hand, dehumidifiers act by removing moisture from the air, and this function makes them great at preventing mold and mildew and making the environment more comfortable.
Warm air is drawn in by dehumidifiers, which cools and contracts as it comes into touch with refrigerated coils. Vapor from the air is condensed and collected in a tank at the bottom of the dehumidifier, and drier, cooler air is sent out into your room.
As a result, a dehumidifier is an ideal solution for mold, as it can absorb moisture and lower humidity levels in the air. Mold and bacteria that flourish in humid environments are killed in the process. In contrast, an air purifier pushes air through a filter, trapping allergens.
Here is a table that represents the top brands of dehumidifiers that were mentioned on online forums related to households:
|Top Brands of Dehumidifiers (forum data)|
|Frigidaire Dehumidifier (click here for pricing on Amazon)|
|Honeywell (click here to see the current pricing on Amazon)|
Though an air purifier can assist with mold spores in the air overall, the best way to get rid of mold is to physically clean it up and use a dehumidifier to lower the moisture that allows mold to form.
What Level of Humidity Kills Mold?
A humidity level that is 50% or below kills mold. The ideal humidity level for mold is 55%, and if you can lower your humidity to 35%, then you will get rid of mold effectively.
Many mold species grow and thrive solely on humidity if the moisture level remains high for an extended period. Mold typically requires a humidity level that is 55 percent or higher before it can grow. Thus, molds will be killed if humidity falls below 50%.
High levels of humidity or dampness (water vapor) in the air encourage the development of mold. For best health conditions and to avoid mold, the indoor relative humidity (RH) should ideally be maintained between 30% and 50% if possible. Pests and dust mites might also be deterred by humidity levels in this range.
If the mold issue is not in your room but your basement, you can contact a contractor to set up vapor barriers around the exterior of your house’s foundation. This protective measure is usually the best solution for long-term effectiveness.
The presence of mold in your home can be controlled by using a dehumidifier and ensuring that there is proper ventilation. One way to know if the humidity level in your home is high is if there is moisture on your windows.
Why Is There Mold in My Humidifier?
There is mold in your humidifier because you are not cleaning and maintaining it properly. Humidifiers produce moisture, which is ideal for the growth of mold, so extra care is needed to prevent the presence of mold.
Using a humidifier has a lot of benefits such as smoother skin, healthier hair, and reduction of cough. However, we don’t always remember to clean them.
Mold and germs can grow on humidifier parts that come into touch with water if they are not cleaned regularly. When mold forms on the filter of invisible moisture humidifiers, it causes an odor and prevents the filter from operating correctly.
Having mold and other forms of dirt in your humidifier can be quite dangerous. There are health risks that can arise from using a dirty humidifier, and these are often classified as symptoms of humidifier sickness.
The function of a humidifier is to spread moist air around a room. If the humidifier has been stained with mold or other germs, it can spread these germs into the air along with the air that it is made to distribute. Mold is fungi and inhaling it alongside dust is bad for your health.
Some of the symptoms that come from using a dirty humidifier include lung infections, a running nose, fever, chills, and a headache.
Here are other important reasons why a humidifier should be cleaned often and thoroughly.
- Mineral deposits will develop in them, resulting in deficient performance. Hard mineral deposits (scale) are accumulated within the humidifier by the water you add to the tank. Scale can clog up your humidifier, blocking the filter and reducing its effectiveness.
- Mold and bacteria will be stuck in the humidifier, resulting in unsanitary dampness and odors. Mold and germs can build on humidifier parts that come into touch with water if they are not cleaned regularly.
For people with respiratory problems such as asthma, unclean humidifiers can cause problems. When steam is released into the air by non-clean humidifiers, it can trigger asthmatic attacks or allergies. Cool-mist humidifiers are more likely to discharge allergens than evaporators and steam vaporizers.
What To Put in Dehumidifier to Prevent Mold?
You can put vinegar in your dehumidifier to prevent mold. You can create an equal mixture of water and vinegar and use it to clean your dehumidifier, disinfecting it and halting the growth of mold.
Vinegar is a great cleaning agent that you can use on your dehumidifier to kill mold and mold spores. It is made from acetic acid with is powerful, so it’ll keep spores from developing in the tank for a long time.
The foam belt in your dehumidifier is an easy target for mold development, so you should remove it and thoroughly clean it with vinegar. The cleaning process should be done weekly.
Other chemicals such as bleach, tea tree oil, and hydrogen peroxide can also be used. Mold-killing pills are available, but they are more expensive than vinegar and other home remedies.
Though chlorine bleach can also effectively kill mold, it should be handled with caution. When the humidifier hose is exposed to bleach regularly, it might be destroyed.
Other methods of keeping mold away from a dehumidifier include:
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Every dehumidifier comes with a user manual composed by the manufacturer. You should follow the instructions given for optimal device maintenance. Also, for the best results and a long-lasting dehumidifier, use the provided tools when cleaning your device.
- Changing the filters on your dehumidifier regularly.
Though the dehumidifier’s filters function to separate contaminants from clean air, they might potentially contain bacteria themselves.
Filters should be changed at least once every three months. Better still, you might opt for filterless dehumidifiers that do not need to be replaced and do not harbor mold.
- Reduce its usage.
When the moisture level in the air falls to the desired level, you should reduce the usage of your dehumidifier or even turn it off completely. Apart from mold formation, your dehumidifier should get some rest because the machine wasn’t built to run all year.
- Make dehumidifiers ready for storage.
Before storing your dehumidifier, you should ensure that you prepare it properly for storage. Drain and clean the dehumidifier and leave it to dry. Then, place a baking soda pack in the tank when it is dry before sealing the top. The baking soda will absorb any remaining moisture and prevent mold growth, as mold thrives in damp environments.
When you pull the dehumidifier out of storage to utilize it, clean it again. All used cartridges, cassettes, and filters should be discarded.
- Replace old dehumidifiers if necessary.
Over time, dehumidifiers can accumulate deposits that are difficult or impossible to clean and allow germs to thrive. The best solution, in this case, is to replace the old dehumidifier with a new one.
Will A Dehumidifier Dry Out Damp Walls?
Yes, a dehumidifier will dry out damp walls but only temporarily. However, if you want to dry your wall quickly and effectively, you should contact a professional or make use of a commercial dehumidifier.
A dehumidifier’s function is sucking in air, removing excess moisture from it, and then blowing out dry, heated air that is free of moisture. Consequently, it helps to maintain a healthy level of humidity in your house. While a dehumidifier can aid in drying damp walls, it is important to address the underlying source of the dampness.
If your walls are damp, a dehumidifier will not provide a long-term solution. Rather, it will enhance air circulation in your house and even balance out moisture, but only briefly. Once you stop using the dehumidifier, the damp will return to your walls.
Here are some measures to take after experiencing dampness in walls:
- If a burst pipe causes moisture, cut off the water supply. Before any drying can begin, you should get a plumber to repair the damaged pipe.
- By opening windows and doors, you may speed up the drying process. You can also circulate air around the moist walls using fans. Improving the circulation of air in your building can reduce the humidity, making the walls dry more effectively.
- To prevent moisture from getting beneath molding and baseboards, you can remove them and store them in a dry, secure location. Also, remove any hanging items from the walls, such as paintings and pictures.
- If you have wallpaper, you should remove it too. The removal process might take time, but it is necessary because the wallpaper will keep moisture in the wall. You may buy wallpaper remover products to dissolve the glue at your local hardware shop.
- It is important to remember that drying out walls takes time, so you should not start working on your walls until they are completely dry. You can use a moisture meter to make sure that there is no moisture left.
After the space has dried thoroughly, you can go ahead to repaint the wall and replace removed items. However, you should inspect the removed objects for any moisture or mold development before reinstalling them on the wall.
It is crucial to ensure that wet walls dry quickly and correctly. If you cannot dry your walls right away, you should not wait for the situation to become worse. You should contact a water damage restoration specialist since they have superior skills, experience, and equipment.