As a snowbird, if you’ve only ever been here during the winter season, you may not have experienced the kind of hot and wet weather we get during the summer months. Hot and wet equals the perfect place to grow mold! Your air conditioner is the best defense against mold growing in your home, so you must prepare your AC unit before you leave it for the summer months, or you will come back next season to a mold problem. Here’s a list of important things to handle in terms of your air conditioner before you close up your house to go back up North:
- Have your A/C filter changed. If it is washable, then wash it. An accumulation of dirt plus the summer heat and humidity can lead to mildew and mold growth, which can spread through the house.
- Florida Power and Light’s research found that setting a manual thermostat to 80 degrees for homes and 77 for condos typically provides enough dehumidification to prevent mold. Since you also have a humidistat to control humidity, you have the flexibility to set the temperature higher at 88 degrees, while setting your humidistat’s relative humidity, or RH, to 58 percent. This will help you save even more energy while still keeping the indoor humidity in a safe range.
- Set the controls of your humidistats and/or dehumidifiers to 58 percent RH to maintain acceptable humidity, since some humidistat sensors are inaccurate by as many as 10 percentage points.
- Always set the A/C fan switch to the “auto” mode.
- As an additional precaution, before you leave have your A/C ductwork checked for leaks by requesting. Check for air leaks around doors and windows, too. Both are good ways to minimize the amount of moisture getting into your home.
- Ceiling fans are not necessary since your A/C already circulates the air.
- Open your closet and cabinet doors, just to keep fresh air moving in and out of those areas.
Most importantly, be sure to have all of your air conditioning concerns handled before you go back up North by calling At Your Service Air Conditioning and Heating at 239-565-9433.