Preventing House Mildew Growth through Humidity Control

What You'll Need
Electric fan
Ceiling fan
Window fan
Portable air conditioner
Window air conditioner

If house mildew has been a prevalent problem in your home, you may be wondering how to go about preventing it. If so, it may interest you to learn that controlling the humidity in your home's mildew-prone areas is a great way to prevent the growth of house mildew.

Step 1 - Open Doors and Windows

One of the easiest ways to prevent house mildew from forming is to regularly open the doors and windows of any areas of your home that are prone to mildew infestation. Mildew thrives in enclosed, poorly ventilated environments, hence its propensity for appearing in bathrooms, attics and basements. Keeping the doors and windows in these areas at least partially open can go a surprisingly long way in combating mildew and help provide the consistent ventilation these areas require. For bathrooms, in particular, it is recommended that you keep the door open when the shower is in use, thus allowing the moisture-heavy steam produced by hot showers to make a prompt exit. In addition, if mildew growth has been known to occur in any of your home's cabinets or cupboards, make a point of regularly keeping them open, too.

Step 2 - Use Fans

Fans can be a very useful tool in preventing the growth of house mildew. A constantly running ceiling fan can do a great job of controlling the humidity levels of basements and attics, as most basements and attics do not feature windows. However, many attics are not up-to-code for ceiling fan installation, so be sure to check with a contractor before attempting to put a ceiling fan in your attic. Additionally, electric fans can be very effective in these areas. In many homes, basements and attics can become unbearably humid during the summer months, making them prime locations for mildew formation, so make sure to run any fans placed in these areas on a consistent basis.

Window fans can be very effective in controlling your bathroom's humidity levels, especially when it comes to the moisture-laden steam produced by hot showers. Whenever your shower is in use, simply set the fan to "exhaust." This will ensure that the steam makes an immediate exit from your bathroom and doesn't stick around to produce moisture. The downside to a bathroom-based window fan is that it stands to let in cold air during the winter months. Window fans can also be used to control the humidity levels in basements and attics that feature windows.

Step 3 - Use Air Conditioners

Air conditioners are arguably the best, albeit most expensive, method of controlling your home's humidity. While both window-based and portable air conditioning units can be used in bathrooms, it is still recommended that you keep the door at least partially open when the shower is in use. As many basements and attics don't feature windows, portable AC units tend to work best in these areas. Given the high price of most portable units, it is sometimes more cost effective to have windows installed in basements or attics, enabling you to use window-based units in these areas.