Mould is an issue in many homes and buildings across Australia, and it can prove to be a serious health issue if left unattended. Mould will spread across a home through the release of tiny spores that will grow if settled on warm and moist surfaces. As the mould grows, it forms colonies which will release more spores into the air, continuing the cycle.
Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to get rid of mould and prevent it from coming back. Among the most effective strategies to stop the spread of mould is the use of dehumidifiers.
Dehumidifiers for mould control
The job of a dehumidifier is to extract excess moisture from the air, which in turn, eliminates moisture issues including mould, mildew, condensation, pest infestations and more in living spaces. With there being two main kinds of dehumidifiers, desiccant and compressor types, we will discuss how both types of units operate in effectively removing moisture from the ambient air.
Compressor dehumidifiers draw in humid air through the unit’s inlet. It later travels through a cold coil containing a refrigerant. This causes the air to cool, causing the moisture in the air to condense and collect on the coil. This water then drops from the coil into a collection tank or is drained out through a hose.
Once the moisture from the air is extracted, the dry processed air is reheated and released back into the room. This ensures comfortable humidity levels in the room.
Ionmax compressor dehumidifiers are equipped with air filters to help remove unwanted particles from entering the unit, which could damage the dehumidifier in the long run.
Ionmax employs zeolite technology in its desiccant dehumidifiers, which work differently than their compressor counterparts. Zeolite is a naturally occurring mineral that has the ability to absorb moisture.
Within the dehumidifier lies a zeolite desiccant rotating wheel which air passes through. The zeolite desiccant will then absorb moisture from this air and release dry air into the room. Collected moisture is then collected in a water tank, usually located at the base of the unit. Desiccant dehumidifiers can also increase the surrounding temperature of the room by up to 5 °C.
The best part about Ionmax desiccant dehumidifiers is that they are self-regenerating, which reduces the need for maintenance or parts replacement.
Different dehumidifier types are suitable for different types of climates and individual consumer needs. Both dehumidifier types, however, are effective at removing mould and solving moisture issues. Read ‘Desiccant or Compressor Dehumidifiers?’ to gain a deeper understanding of each dehumidifier type’s advantages and disadvantages.
By removing excess moisture from the air, relative humidity levels in the space remain under control which creates unfavourable conditions for the growth of mould and mildew. When humidity levels have been reduced, mould spores cannot spread around the area.
How humidity affects mould growth
Humidity refers to the concentration of moisture in the air. When humidity levels are high, it creates the perfect conditions for mould growth. Mould usually begins to grow when RH levels in a room reach 60% or higher.
These high levels of humidity make it more difficult for surfaces or materials to dry out, which in turn, allows mould to continue to grow and spread. Some factors that contribute to high levels of humidity are
- Drying clothes indoors
- Pipe leaks
- Water spills
- Heavy rain/recent flooding in the area
- Wet surfaces
Ionmax dehumidifiers are able to solve these issues and prevent mould growth. These units are also equipped with a built-in laundry mode to help dry clothes indoors more efficiently.
Other strategies to remove and prevent mould
As dehumidifiers are used to control the spread of mould and prevent it from growing, other steps and methods should be employed to effectively remove and prevent mould from growing. When encountering a mould issue, it’s ideal to first clean the affected surface with a cleaning solution.
Commercial mould cleaners are available in hardware stores, but if unavailable, use a solution of one part bleach with three parts water. Scrub the area to remove the mould, and rinse the surface with clean water before thoroughly drying it.
Always wear protective gear when attempting to do this. If mould growth is extensive, it would be best to seek professional help. Porous materials such as dry walls or carpeting that are heavily contaminated with mould may need to be replaced.
Once cleaned, you can employ a dehumidifier to prevent its growth and enjoy better indoor air quality.
Other methods to prevent mould growth include
- Fixing water leaks: promptly fix any water leaks in your home to prevent a rise in humidity levels. Dry out the affected area to prevent moisture and mould buildup.
- Improve ventilation: This is especially important in spaces that are more susceptible to mould growth, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Ensure these spaces are well-ventilated using exhaust fans or open windows.
- Use mould-resistant materials: When renovating or building, consider using mould-resistant drywalls, paint, shower curtains and others, as they are designed to resist moisture and prevent mould growth.
- Clean and dry wet or damp areas: If any spills, flooding, or moisture-related damage occurs, promptly clean up and dry the affected area ASAP to prevent mould growth.
By implementing these strategies paired with an effective dehumidifier, you will be able to prevent mould growth while maintaining a healthier indoor environment.
Browse through Ionmax’s wide range of Sensitive Choice Approved, and CHOICE recommended dehumidifiers to find your ideal unit today! Ionmax also has highly efficient air treatment appliances ranging from air purifiers to heaters in our collection to provide you with better indoor air all year long.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your needs.