Mold VS Mildew: What Is the Difference?

Mold VS Mildew

What Is the Difference between Mold and Mildew?

There are subtle differences between mold VS mildew from the appearance (texture, color), stages of growth, and health risks. First off, mold is fuzzy, slimy multiple nuclei (Multinucleate) that grow in black or green patches with a hint of brown, white and yellow colors. Mildew is a multicellular, fuzzy, powdery look in black, white, grey, blue, green, or yellow patches. Mold can penetrate beneath porous materials while mildew has a flat growth and will remain on the surface of the material. Mold will literally grow on anything both indoor and outdoor. Common places include food (bread, meat, cheese), wall, ceiling, bathroom, garage, kitchen, basement, crawl space or boat. Mildew will also grow in places mold resides, but it will likely grow on objects that are exposed to wetness such as fabric, paper, and leather goods. Both mold and mildew have a distinct musty smell but thankfully mildew has a milder, less invasive odor.

The Differences Between Humidifier and Dehumidifier

Mold

Mildew

Appearance
Fuzzy, slimy in black and green patches.Fuzzy, powdery in black, blue, green, white, grey, yellow patches.
Common places
Food, wall, ceiling, bathroom, garage, basement.Cloth, paper, leather good.
Smells
Strong musty odor.Mild musty odor.
Harmfulness
Dangerous.Less dangerous.
Adaptation
Hard to remove.Easy to remove.

What Are The Effects Of Mildew VS Mold?

You can get sick from mildew or mold. In general, mildew is less harmful than mold other than impacting plants, crops, and minor allergic reactions. You will experience allergic reactions like runny nose, cough, red eyes, sore throat, dry skin, or headache. Once mildew has been removed from the surface, all your health symptoms will be gone with the wind. Mold is much more dangerous as it can cause irreversible damage to our health, food, and building structure. Other than the same eyes, ears, nose, and throat symptoms as mildew, mold is not particularly kind to an asthmatic person. It can aggravate asthma conditions with children and elderly the higher risk group. If you are unfortunate to encounter the toxigenic black mold, you are at risk of the following diseases: hallucinations, respiratory tract damage, heart inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, infertility, impotence, lung cancer, or liver failure. Removing mold can be tricky as they may have penetrated been within the wall, ceiling or floor. Symptoms may recur from time to time until the room is completely mold-free. Seek medical advice or treatment immediately if one is experiencing mildew or mold poisoning.

How Hard Is It To Remove Mildew VS Mold

You can easily remove mildew with some soap, vinegar, baking soda, essential oil and give it a good scrub. On the other hand, mold requires additional efforts and stronger mold remover tools to eradicate the fungus for good. If there are too many deposits hidden inside porous materials like dry wall, you may need to seek mold removal expert.

In short, mildew easy, mold hard. If you see tell-tale signs that the fungus is expanding on your ceiling or wall, it’s time to take some actions. The helpful tips below will work on mold and mildew.

  • Mix water with either detergent, bleach, ammonia, or talcum powder and apply it on the affected area. Scrub thoroughly and wash it away with water.
  • A better alternative is to mix water with non-toxic solutions such as vinegar, baking soda, essential oil, or tea tree oil. Apply on the infested patches and start scrubbing until the fungus has been removed.
  • If mold has eaten into your wall, building structure, hire a licensed professional to perform full mold remediation. The mold removal expert will evaluate your home condition, perform testing, and begin the removal process. It is expensive, time consuming, and may involve some hacking and renovating, but that is the only way to go.

Other preventative measures to consider:

  • Get a dehumidifier and ensure the home relative humidity level does not go beyond 50%.
  • Get a HEPA air purifier to capture airborne mold and mildew before they settled on your home.
  • Apply insulation and protective coating on the wall that inhibit mold and mildew growth.
  • Remove any mildew-affected plants or mold-infested items to stop it from spreading further damage.
  • Change or wash air filters regularly to prevent clogging.
  • Inspect and maintain your HVAC system regularly to ensure no mold or mildew is growing and circulating in the air ducts.
  • Buy mold and mildew protection sprays. Apply accordingly.

13 Types of Mold in Homes that You Probably Unaware Of

Types of Mold in Homes that You Probably Unaware Of
Alternaria
Image by Wikipedia

1. Alternaria

  • Rarity  (Very common)
  • Typically found – Shower, bathtub, sink, leaky pipes, plant soil, wet object
  • Health risks – Allergic reaction, hay fever, respiratory infection
  • Harmful level  (Low – Hazard Class B)

Arguably the most common bathroom mold types. Alternaria is often seen underneath a sink, wall, shower curtain, or bathtub. It can also grow on damp objects like carpet, boots, ventilation or windows frame. You can identify the mold with its gray-green and black color patch.

Not all species of Alternaria are harmful, some would only cause mild irritation. When we inhaled Alternaria mold, the fungus will deposit inside our nose, mouth or upper respiratory tract. This can trigger allergic reactions like cough, sinus to the more severe asthma, hay fever. People with immunocompromised (impaired immune system) like AIDS patients are more prone to the mold attack.

Now you know: Alternaria has an ovoid tapering, club-shaped that is only viewable under a microscope.

Aspergillus
Image by Aspergillus Web

2. Aspergillus

  • Rarity (Very common)
  • Typically found – House dust, air conditioning, heating ducts, insulation, bathroom, basement, food
  • Health risks – Respiratory infection, aspergillosis, allergic reaction
  • Harmful level  (Medium – Hazard Class A)

Aspergillus is a tough allergenic mold. It can survive on outdoor (decaying leaves, compost piles, house dust) and indoor (air condition, heating ducts, insulation). There are around 200 species of Aspergillus and only 40 of them are harmful to human. Depending on the species, Aspergillus shape varies from spore, flask, to dome structure. Colors can be yellow-green, purple-olive or even grayish-blue.

Aspergillus is not particularly harmful and rarely cause any infections to those with a strong immune system. For those with a weakened immune system like an asthmatic person, it can trigger an asthma attack. On a bad run, it can lead to respiratory problems plus infamous cancer-linked Aspergillosis. Aspergillosis is a potentially fatal fungal infection that grows inside the lungs. The fungal spread across the brain, heart or kidneys via the bloodstream.

Now you know: Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus flavus is the more common species of the genus Aspergillus.

3. Cladosporium

  • Rarity (Very common)
  • Typically found – Fabric, upholstery, carpet, cupboard, cabinet, floorboard, bathroom
  • Health risks – Skin allergies, eczema, respiratory infection
  • Harmful level  (Low – Hazard Class B)

Cladosporium is also a common outdoor mold found in fall leaves or dead herbaceous. The fungus can travel and grows inside your home through HVAC system or open windows. The allergenic mold has a pigmented color from pale olive-green yellow to light brown. Another characteristic of Cladosporium is it can thrive in warm and cold conditions. This makes it perfect for sofa upholstery and wood furniture with heat retention.

Most species of Cladosporium mold has little health risks to human. Exposing and breathing to Cladosporium may cause skin allergies like rashness or dermatitis. In rare cases or people with a weakened immune system, it can aggravate respiratory diseases. Regularly clean HVAC system, aircon is the best way of reducing the allergenic mold in your home.

Now you know: One of the larger genus of fungi, most Cladosporium species has an ellipsoidal to cylindrical shield-like shape.

4. Penicillium

  • Rarity (Very common)
  • Typically found – High dampness area including food, wallpaper, insulation
  • Health risks – Respiratory infection, allergic reaction
  • Harmful level  (Low to high Hazard Class B)

Penicillium is one of the easier molds to spot due to its association with a damp environment. Often grows with other types of mold, it can be found in wallpaper, adhesive, duct insulation, or upholstery. Penicillium has a spore shape with brush-like top. Most species carrying a greenish, bluish or somewhat yellowish color.

Not all Penicillin is dangerous to our health. Only a handful of toxigenic mold species carrying mycotoxins substances. The chances of breathing to the toxigenic type are much higher as the spores can easily become airborne. Asthmatic person, infant or elderly are on a higher risk group of receiving the infection. A HEPA air purifier can capture the airborne toxic before anyone else.

Now you know: Penicillium Chrysogenum fungus extract is used to made antibiotic penicillin. Penicillium is also used to create blue cheese.

Stachybotrys Chartarum (Black Mold)
Image by Kristopha Hohn

5. Stachybotrys Chartarum (Black Mold)

  • Rarity (Common)
  • Typically found – High dampness area including wall, ceiling, wood, basement
  • Health risks – Respiratory infection, allergic reaction, skin allergies, vision impair, physical and mental problems, reproductive system troubles, circulatory and neurological problems
  • Harmful level  (High – Hazard Class A)

Stachybotrys Chartarum is the scientific name but most people will refer to it as BLACK MOLD. It is the most notorious types of mold found in home that should be dealt with immediately. This slimy, greenish-black mold is hard to miss as it grows in patches. You can often spot the black mold in the basement, drywall, ceiling, shower or underneath a sink.

Black mold produce mycotoxins chemical that is harmful to our body. On short exposure, you might experience symptoms like stuffy nose, cough, watery eyes, skin rash or headache. Temporary health effects include memory loss, fatigue, mood swing or depression. Prolong exposure will lead to lung inflammation, liver damage, infertility (women), and death. Other black mold health effects include abdominal pain, eye damage, or hearing loss.

Now you know: The most common species from its genus is Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra, Stachybotrys alternans, and Stilbospora chartarum.

Acremonium

6. Acremonium

  • Rarity (Common)
  • Typically found – Drywall, insulation, draining pipes, HVAC system
  • Health risks – Respiratory infection, allergic reaction, skin allergies, vision impair, physical and mental problems, reproductive system troubles, circulatory and neurological problems
  • Harmful level  (High)

Acremonium is a pungent smelling, toxigenic mold that evolves from small moist to a powdery texture. It is either colorless or light in gray, pink or whitish color. Often found in hard to locate places like drywall, insulation, air conditioning pipes or HVAC system. Is not easy to identify Acremonium due to its small size and can grow alongside other types of mold.

What makes Acremonium harmful is the release of mycotoxins toxic. A carcinogen substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue. The toxic will also cause many other side effects mirror to black mold. Worst case scenario: autoimmune disease, pulmonary edema, abnormal liver, or neurological damage.

Now you know: Despite close to 100 different species, Acremonium mold is even more uncommon than Stachybotrys.

7. Aureobasidium (Pink Mold)

  • Rarity (Common)
  • Typically found – Behind wallpaper, wall paint, wooden surface, windows frame
  • Health risks – Skin allergies, allergic reaction, eyes infection
  • Harmful level  (Low – Hazard Class B)

Aureobasidium is a ubiquitous, slimy indoor mold that can be found everywhere. It started as a creamy, pink color before turning into darkish, dark brown similar to black mold. Thrive on damp places, you will find Aureobasidium behind wallpaper, wall paint or underneath wooden furniture.

Aureobasidium is less hazardous and poses little threat to humans other than allergic reactions mainly to skin or eyes. Still, never have direct contact with the mold without wearing a mask or gloves. Hire cleaning professionals if you are too afraid to deal with it.

Now you know: Aureobasidium pullulans are the most known type within its approximately 14 genus species.

Chaetomium
Image by Wikipedia

8. Chaetomium

  • Rarity (Common)
  • Typically found – High dampness area including wall, wood items, cupboard, basement, food
  • Health risks – Skin allergies, allergic reaction
  • Harmful level  (Low – Hazard Class C)

A notorious and common indoor mold that is known for its ability to destroy items. Chaetomium is actually more damaging to household materials than causing infection to humans. The strong musky odor will definitely alert you of its presence. Typically found in water-damaged materials from flood or leaky pipe. It can also grow rapidly in drywall, plywood, concrete, or basement. Fortunately for us, Chaetomium needs chronic moisture condition to grow. If you see patches of mold that smells and overtime change its color from whitish gray to brown-black, it’s Chaetomium.

Chaetomium pose little health risk if is in low concentration level and airborne form. In some cases, it may cause a skin rash, watery eyes or itchiness that will eventually go away once you solve the indoor moisture issue. Start checking the HVAC system or piping on any leakage as those places are popular breeding ground.

Now you know: Chaetomium has a perithecia (flask-shaped) body that is only viewable through a microscope.

Fusarium
Image by AgriLife

9. Fusarium

  • Rarity (Common)
  • Typically found – Soil, plant, wallpaper, drywall, carpet, upholstery, wood flooring
  • Health risks – Skin allergies, allergic reaction, nail infection
  • Harmful level  (Low to high – Hazard Class A)

Fusarium is a ubiquitous species that can be allergenic or toxigenic mold. You can differentiate it from other molds by its unique pinkish/ red, and white patchy colors. Like Cladosporium, Fusarium can survive and even grow at cold temperature. Children, asthmatic or recovering person are advised to stay far away from the mold.

The allergenic Fusarium species post little health effect other than allergic reactions. Expect rashness on the skin, running nose, cough to bloodshot eyes. The few toxigenic species that are harmful to human can bring lung diseases like Pulmonary edema or Pneumonitis. Discard food, objects that are infested with mold is the quickest and the best course of action.

Good to know: In the agriculture world, Fusarium is becoming a nuisance that often grows in soil or plants and damages the crops.

Mucor
Image by WiseGEEK

10. Mucor

  • Rarity (Common)
  • Typically found – Soil, plant, HVAC systems, air conditioning, carpet, decaying food
  • Health risks – Allergic reaction, mucormycosis
  • Harmful level  (Low to high – Hazard Class A)

Mucor can be seen settling down on soil, plant, decaying leaves. Through the power of wind, the mold will flow into our home and landed on high condensation places like air vent. It’s hard to separate Mucor from other types of mold even though it has a unique white, grayish color and apical shape with soft fluffy texture.

Mucor is known for its fast-growing pace which can be nasty if you have unattended leakage. With around 50 types of species, most are harmless other than triggering mild allergies. In rare cases, it can lead to serious infection call Mucormycosis. A fungal disease that can spread across the whole body via inhaling or skin cuts. Depending on the types of disease you have been infected, Disseminated Mucormycosis is the most critical of them all. It can resulted in fever, mental disorder and life-threatening situation.

Good to know: Cutaneous Mucormycosis is the scientific name for skin inflammation. Rhinocerebral for eyes, nose or brain damage. Renal for kidney failure, Gastrointestinal Mucormycosis for abdominal pain, and Pulmonary for lung infection.

Trichoderma
Image by Reddit

11. Trichoderma

  • Rarity (Common)
  • Typically found – High dampness area including wall, gypsum board, wood products, carpet
  • Health risks – Allergic reaction, respiratory infection
  • Harmful level  (Low to high)

A very common outdoor mold and equally common in-home mold. Trichoderma is a non-pathogenic mold that can be seen in green color patches with other types of mold. You will often find Trichoderma in damp area e.g. wall, gypsum board, wood cabinet, or carpet. Trichoderma is also known for its anti-fungal ability where the residues would protect plants from other fungal diseases.

Most Trichoderma are on the mild side other than causing mold allergic reactions. The one you have to fret is the Trichoderma aggressivum/ harzianum species. It is toxigenic thus it will produce the poisonous mycotoxins chemicals. Health hazard includes heart inflammation, pulmonary edema to abnormal liver.

Good to know: There are 5 types of Trichoderma genus (Pachybasium, Longibrachiatum, Trichoderma Saturnisporum, Hypocreanum) and approximately 89 recognized species.


Image by assuredbio

12. Ulocladium

  • Rarity (Common)
  • Typically found – Water-damaged items including gypsum board, wallpaper, wood material, tapestries, other upholstery
  • Health risks – Allergic reaction, skin allergies, hay fever
  • Harmful level  (Low – Hazard Class C)

Ulocladium is ubiquitous, in house mold that often grows together with other molds. It characteristics include dark grayish, black color and medium to fast growth rate. Ulocladium has a very high water requirement than other strains of molds. It will thrive after a flood where many household items would receive a sustainable amount of water damage. You will typically find the fungus in gypsum board, wall, basement, or upholstery.

Ulocladium might not have the devastation power of black mold, it can still trigger symptoms from cough, running nose to the more severe hay fever. People with impaired immune system stand a higher risk of subcutaneous tissue infections.

Good to know: The genus Ulocladium has two active species; Ulocladium chartarum and Ulocladium botrytis. There are approximately 20 species of reported.

Serpula lacrymans
Image by constantinedd

13. Serpula lacrymans

  • Rarity (Uncommon)
  • Typically found – Water-damaged items including gypsum board, floorboard, wallpaper, wood material, tapestries, upholstery
  • Health risks – Allergic reaction
  • Harmful level  (Low)

Serpula lacrymans aka building cancer is the usual in-home mold you would encounter. It is infamous for its building destructiveness than its toxicity to human. It can damage wood items known as dry rot (wood decay) to the extent of masonry materials. When you spotted the distinguish red, brown, gray or black patches of mold, very likely the damage is done and is irreversible.

As we mentioned earlier, one should not be too alarmed when spotted Serpula lacrymans. Only children, elderly and sick person stand a higher risk of mold-related illness. Mold contaminated items that are beyond repair should be clear out before the fungal start spreading. Hire a renovator or carpenter to remove and replace the damaged part.

Good to know: Serpula lacrymans is a basidiomycete in the order Boletales.

20 Ways on How To Get Rid of Mold In House Effectively or Naturally

1

Dispose mold contaminated items

  • Effectiveness  (Simple but very effective)
  • Cost  (Free)
  • Best used in – Non sentimental value, non-redeemable items e.g. paper box, wooden floorboard, gypsum board

A no-brainer solution in getting rid of mold. It doesn’t take long before mold start spreading his colony where the whole conquering process could take up to 12 days. Most species of mold grow within 24 to 48 hours and usually it’s already too late when you spotted the moldy patch. Disposing or throwing away a mold damaged item like paper container, plastic chair, soft toy is a quick and easy way to stop mold from spreading. There is also no cleaning process or the reliance on chemical detergent that could leave toxic residues or harmful gases. If is an unwanted item that is beyond redeemable, it will also not cost you much other than the sentimental value of the item. The downside of this solution is obviously when the item is still cleanable/ repairable, there is no point of tossing the item away where you could actually spend some time in clearing the mold out with any of the solutions below.

  • The quickest and simplest way to get rid of mold and stop the microorganism from spreading.
  • Does not cost you a dime other than the value of the item.
  • No toxic residue or dangerous fumes created in the entire process.
  • Certain items like floorboard is time consuming to remove and requires some handyman skill.
  • Instead of disposing, there are items that is easily redeemable or cleanable with vinegar, baking soda or hydrogen peroxide.
2

Vacuum with HEPA vacuum cleaner

  • Effectiveness  (Partially effective)
  • Cost  (+- $60 – 400 for vacuum cleaner and +- $6 for vacuum bag)
  • Best used in – Floorboard, floor carpet, porcelain tiles, wall

Not just any vacuum, HEPA vacuum cleaner that comes with HEPA filter bag to trap mold and other small particles contaminants. As human eyes cannot see anything smaller than 40 microns size, mold size can vary between 1 to 100 microns compare with human hair that has average of 50 microns size. A HEPA vacuum cleaner can quickly trap 99.97% of tiny particles as small as 0.3 micron size that in theory would cover all indoor mold species. With less microorganisms being stirred up into the air, there are less likelihood of mold spreading and growing to other places through airborne. Vacuuming with HEPA vacuum cleaner also significantly reduce allergy reactions like asthma from being triggered by mold and other microscopic particles.

Solely relying on HEPA vacuum cleaner is not enough has it cannot remove strong, resilient mold that has penetrated beneath porous materials. Whether is in handheld form or canister form, HEPA vacuum is more expensive than standard vacuum cleaner and the HEPA vacuum bag is also costlier to maintain. Only consider HEPA vacuum cleaner as a preventive measure or pre-cleaning compliment/ addon to your other cleaning solutions.

  • Takes little time to clear out large chunk of moldy spot on hard surfaces.
  • Eco-friendly method and can be reuse over and over again.
  • Also get rid of other allergies triggering microorganisms at one go.
  • Can only target surface mold that is not absorbed beneath porous materials e.g. insulation wall, wood furniture.
  • Costly as HEPA vacuum cleaner and its replacement HEPA bag will cost more than non-HEPA vacuum cleaner.
3

Killing mold with Detergent and Water

  • Effectiveness  (Partially effective)
  • Cost  (+- $10)
  • Best used in – Non-porous materials e.g. wall tiles, basin, windows metal frame, plastic

A quick, simple solution that only requires laundry detergent and warm water. How laundry detergent or washing powder works is the surfactants compound attract impurities i.e. dirt, grease and combines them into more soluble, washable form. Most modern detergent is also an oxidizer that can oxidize substances like black mold and other microorganisms so it could be easily scrub away with the above mixture. Regardless of the brand, choose from either powder or liquid detergent but preferable not pacs/ tablets as you only need a low concentration level.

As with most non-homemade household cleaners, detergent will leave little chemical residues here and there even though it does not share the same toxicity level as bleach. It is also not a particularly effective mold eliminator as the chemicals would only wash away mold on hard surfaces.

  • Easily clear away mold and other microorganism that grows on non-porous surface.
  • Specific detergent that is oxygen based (oxidizing agent) can help destain and brighten mold spot.
  • Available in most household thereby extra purchasing is not necessarily.
  • While detergent with warm water can penetrate porous items to remove dirt, it can only target mold patches at surface level.
  • While not as toxic as chlorine bleach, leftover detergent residues are harmful to our body especially if you have children hanging around.
4

Killing Mold with Chlorine Bleach

  • Effectiveness  (Partially effective)
  • Cost  (+- $10)
  • Best used in – Non-porous materials e.g. tiles, bathtubs, glass, countertops

An effective mold eliminator but not without its controversy. Chlorine bleach can kill off virtually any species of mold particularly the notorious Stachybotrys AKA black mold plus other fungi that grows with it. The sodium hypochlorite ingredient in chlorine bleach would denatures the protein in mold thereby destroying the microorganism. Chlorine bleach can also act as an antimicrobial pesticide that prevent mold and other fungi from growth. Let’s not forget that Chlorine bleach is still a household product that it is cheap and available everywhere.

The controversy part: It cannot eliminate mold that has penetrated inside porous materials like wood and drywall. The hidden mold would continue to grow underneath the surface on matter how many layer of bleach you applied on. While chlorine bleach can help destain any moldy area or non-porous materials, overusing it would have a reverse effect that could cause permanent discolorization on the tiles. There is also the “small matter” of dangerous fumes released from chlorine bleach that can cause many respiratory side effects in long-run.

  • Not just mold, bleach is strong enough to eliminate any species of fungi on the surface including mildew and spores.
  • Creates a layer resistant of surface that inhibit mold from further growth.
  • Destain any blacken spot or stain caused by mold.
  • Common and affordable household product.
  • Can only eliminate surface mold. Any mold or fungi that has absorbed into porous materials like wood, drywall will remain untouched.
  • Overuse of bleach would have a reverse effect where it discolor your tiles or countertops.
  • Emit little but toxic fumes that could aggravate asthma and other respiratory problems.
5

Killing Mold with Hydrogen Peroxide

  • Effectiveness  (Effective)
  • Cost  (+- $5)
  • Best used in – Porous and non-porous materials e.g. tiles, bathtubs, clothes, carpet, wall

Perhaps the better alternative to bleach, Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) is a chemical compound that appears in pale blue liquid with slightly more viscosity than water. Known for its powerful oxidizing ability, Hydrogen peroxide is effective in decomposing surface and hidden mold through the rapid release of oxygen. Applying a thin layer of Hydrogen peroxide will also help create an anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial protection that inhibit mold and other microorganism from multiplying. Another advantage Hydrogen Peroxide has over bleach is the usability in porous and non-porous materials like tiles, carpet or fabric and as an added bonus point, Hydrogen Peroxide can also work as a bleaching agent where any blacken spot will be clear off and brighten.

The downside? Hydrogen Peroxide does not possess the same removal strength as chlorine bleach. Over spraying of Hydrogen Peroxide might causes discolorization on upholstery and fabric. Other than that, there is very little reason not to go with Hydrogen peroxide. Available as a concentrated bottle or antispectic spray, a 3% Hydrogen peroxide cost only few dollars at most and is available at most drug stores.

  • Comprehensive removal that covers both surface and hidden mold that has penetrated inside porous materials.
  • Also works as an anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent.
  • Safe for user and environment as Hydrogen Peroxide does not leave any toxic residue.
  • Gentle bleaching effect that can brighten or lighten the applied area.
  • Very cheap and easily purchasable online and most drug store.
  • Not as strong as bleach in removing highly corroded mold patches.
  • Excessive concentration level of Hydrogen Peroxide can cause damage to your fabric, carpet.
6

Killing Mold with Ammonia

  • Effectiveness  (Partially effective)
  • Cost  (+- $6 – 15)
  • Best used in – Non-porous materials e.g. tiles, bathtubs, windows metal frame, glass, countertops

Like chlorine beach, Ammonia is an inorganic cleaning product used to remove blacken spot, dirt, grime, stains and of course mold. Essentially a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula NH3, Ammonia is not as common as it used to be due to the toxicity and pungent smell it carries when in gas form. Still, a good mold remover that can clear away almost all types of microorganism on non-porous materials, we do not endorse the use of ammonia as there is much better and safer natural alternatives.

Ammonia is used in the making of plastics, dyes, pesticides and explosives. An indicationof how strong its chemical compound is yet frustratingly, it can only remove mold and other fungi that grows on the surface. Ammonia is ineffective against non-porous items like drywall or wood that can be penetrated by mold, resulted a never ending growing cycle if is not dealt with. Again we have to emphasis, ammonia and bleach does not goes well together. Mixing the 2 up can lead to high dangerous, toxic vapors that can be deadly when inhaled.

  • The combination strength of nitrogen and hydrogen can wipe off any species of fungi including mold at surface level.
  • Break down strong resistant grime and stains at the same time.
  • Like chlorine bleach, ammonia can only break down mold that grows on the surface making it ineffective on porous materials like drywall.
  • Highly toxic that can cause irritation and damage to skin, eyes, respiratory system. NEVER mix ammonia with chlorine bleach!
7

Killing Mold with Talcum powder

  • Effectiveness  (Partially effective)
  • Cost  (+- $5 – 11)
  • Best used in – Shoes, clothes, hat, leather goods, coats

If you are not familiar with talcum powder, it is the equivalent of baby powder used to absorb excess moisture and help cut down on friction. Mold needs high humidity environment for growth and the lack of moisture will effectively cut off their main source of survival. Most talcum powder can provide mild deodorization whether is through its own scent overlapping or odor dispersion. Pricing wise is also on the low side with plenty of varieties to choose from. In spite all of that, we would not recommend talcum powder as your main mold removal option as it is not very effective against surface area mold let alone mold that has penetrated inside porous materials like wood. Because talcum powder is made from talc, a natural mineral that may contain deposits of asbestos, and we all know asbestos is a known carcinogen (cancer linked substance in living tissue). A very bad substitute against mold.

  • Drain all moisture needed for mold while deodorize at the same time.
  • Works nicely with other mold remover like baking soda, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Inexpensive and can use straight out of box.
  • One of the least effective method in removing mold patches. Long-exposure to talc is known to cause cancer.
  • Poor against porous items like drywall where mold and other fungi can reproduce inside.
8

Killing Mold with Borax

  • Effectiveness  (Highly effective)
  • Cost  (+- $12)
  • Best used in – Porous and non-porous materials e.g. tiles, wood, vinyl, drywall

Often considered a borderline between natural and chemical pesticides. Borax is a white, odorless naturally occurring mineral that is available for purchase in crystalline powder or liquid spray form. Not to be confused with boric acid (hydrogen borate), Borax is sodium tetraborate or sodium borate boron compounds with alkaline of about pH 9.3. Well known as an alternative, natural homemade detergent, the very high alkaline of Borax creates an unsustainable environment for mold that usually thrive between the range of pH 3 to 7, thus effectively killing them off with zero chances of further growth. Ideal for porous and non-porous materials that will not cause any discoloration, the biggest advantage of Borax over the other mold eliminator like Chlorine Bleach is it will not emit any toxic fumes that could trigger asthma or other respiratory issues. Other highlights of Borax include the disinfectant, deodorization attribute and easily accessible price tag. As a safety reminder, keep Borax out of children reach especially when you leave the powder leftover exposed.

  • High in alkaline which makes it very effective on porous and non-porous materials e.g. tiles, wood, wall.
  • Does not cause any stain or discolorization on the applied material.
  • Leftover Borax on the surface will work as a disinfectant and deodorization.
  • Both Powder and Spray based Borax that does not release any dangerous fumes or chemicals when in use.
  • Cheap household product that cost no more than $13.
  • Not safe with toddler as the risk of ingestion is higher.
9

Killing Mold with Vinegar

  • Effectiveness  (Effective)
  • Cost  (+- $4 – 10)
  • Best used in – Porous and non-porous materials (sparingly)

Vinegar is a natural, good alternative to your typical mold removal detergent that can be found in most household kitchen. There are many different types of vinegar from the popular apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar to the less common beer vinegar, coconut vinegar and raisin vinegar. The one we are looking for is distilled white vinegar that is made of acetic acid (5 – 10 %) and water (90 – 95%). The purest, low acidic pH of 2.5 form that would effectively denatures protein in mold resulting the entire structure deform. Other benefits of using vinegar over chemicals detergent is the non-toxic, asthma and child-friendly liquid would not leave any stains so you could apply it on any type of surfaces without wearing gloves and mask.

A perfect all-rounder yet not without its flaw. Vinegar is less effective than a concentrated detergent like Bleach as it can only target 82% of species mold in home due to specific molds have very low pH. Vinegar will also leave a unique smell on the applied area that will take some time to go away.

  • Effective on porous and somewhat effective on non-porous materials with its low acidic pH 2.5.
  • Does not cause any stain or discolorization on the surface.
  • Easy to apply, does not require wash off and can prevent mold and other bacteria growth.
  • Non-toxic, all-natural and safe around children.
  • A very generic, cheap product and usually is already available in every household.
  • Slightly effective on specific species of mold compare with Borax or concentrated detergent.
  • Distinctive vinegar odor smell that will take some time to dissipate especially if is soaked into porous materials like wood, carpet.
10

Killing Mold with Baking Soda

  • Effectiveness  (Effective)
  • Cost  (+- $3 – 10)
  • Best used in – Porous and non-porous materials (sparingly)

The perfect partner to vinegar, baking soda is the all-natural, green-getter favorite home remedy/ cleaning solution that has high alkaline similar to Borax. Comprised of only one ingredient: sodium bicarbonate, baking soda high pH 8.1 create an inhabitable environment for microorganisms including mildew, spore and the infamous black mold. Like most natural made products, baking soda is very cheap (less than few dollars) and harmless therefore it is safe for all including children and pets (it is used in food after all). Compliment well with vinegar, you can mix up both to form the ultimate mold remover that cover virtually all types of mold in home species. Baking soda can also deodorize, suck up moisture on porous items e.g. carpet and act as an antimicrobial agent that stop mold from growing. The one and only reason not to use baking soda to remove mold is you ran out of baking soda.

  • High alkaline based that is effective on porous (wood, plaster) but less effective on non-porous materials (tiles, vinyl).
  • Works best with vinegar for more comprehensive mold elimination.
  • Does not cause any stain regardless of the amount applied.
  • Deodorize, drain moisture on the applicable item and also work as an antimicrobial agent.
  • Non-toxic cleaner that does not release any dangerous fumes or chemicals.
  • Available storewide and cost no more than few dollars (small pack).
  • Less effective compare with commercial mold cleaner products or concentrated detergents.
11

Killing Mold with Grapefruit Seed Extract

  • Effectiveness  (Effective)
  • Cost  (+- $10 – 18)
  • Best used in – Porous and sparingly on non-porous materials e.g. tiles, glass, wood, carpet, metal grill, plastics

Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) or citrus seed extract is a liquid extract derived from the seeds, pulp, and membranes of grapefruit. A natural medicinal that gains a lot of traction particularly in South America and Europe, Grapefruit seed extract is rich in nutrients and phytochemicals (vitamin C, hesperidin, tocopherols, sterols, citrus acid, limonoids). As a result, there are many healing benefits gain from Grapefruit seed extract (look it up) but the one we will be focusing on its citrus acid: the mold killer. Mixing a few drops of this grapefruit seed extract not only get rid of surface and hidden mold plus other harmful microorganisms, it’s odorless, has an antibacterial effect and gentle deodorization as oppose to Tea Tree Oil pungent smell. It’s little bit on the pricey side, but given the little amount needed and its good shelf life record, we highly recommend this miracle baby!

  • Very effective against mold yet without any of the harmful substances like bleach or ammonia.
  • No rinsing needed as the remainder grapefruit seed extract will also work as an antibacterial (disinfect germs) and deodorization.
  • Good shelf-life that opened bottle can last 1- 2 years with unchanged potent.
  • Like grapefruit seed extract, it is slightly pricey for a small 5 oz bottle.
12

Killing Mold with Tea Tree Oil

  • Effectiveness  (Effective)
  • Cost  (+- $11 – 24)
  • Best used in – Porous and sparingly on non-porous materials e.g. tiles, glass, wood, carpet, metal grill, plastics

Probably the most effective amount other natural fungicides, tea tree oil or melaleuca oil is a harmless, toxic-free essential oil derived from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia plant in Australia. Known for its wound healing ability on wounds and the part we will be looking into: its antibacterial properties. Just a few drops or 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil can kill off surface area mold and to a certain extent, other fungi that has penetrated to porous materials e.g. wood, carpet, wall. Like grapefruit seed extract, tea tree oil also comes with antifungal and antibacterial ability that disinfect germs from growing.

There few things you need to know before opting for tea tree oil. Number one is the cost (higher but still within acceptable range), second is the variant (Melaleuca Alternifolia is a must in the bottle ingredient) and third its fresh camphoraceous odor that can nauseating to some but give it an hour or two and the smell will dissipate.

  • A natural fungicide that kills all types of mold without producing any of the toxic residues or fumes.
  • No clean up require as the surplus tea tree oil will work as anti-fungal and antibacterial (inhibit microorganism growth).
  • Reusable with losing its potency on condition that the bottle is kept in cool, dry place.
  • Slightly expensive for a small concentrated bottle compare with other natural cleaners.
  • Distinctive “Tea Tree Oil” smell that might not be everyone cup of tea.
13

Killing Mold with Cinnamon essential oil

  • Effectiveness  (Effective)
  • Cost  (+- $7 – 20)
  • Best used in – Porous and sparingly on non-porous materials
  • Clear out most species of mold while providing an uplifting with hint of spiciness scent.
  • No clean up needed on the residues as it is harmless and has a mild antibacterial effect.
  • Reusable, store well with no sign of lost potency.
  • Costly but overly so for a small 4 oz bottle.
14

Killing Mold with Oregano essential oil

  • Effectiveness  (Effective)
  • Cost  (+- $9 – 22)
  • Best used in – Porous and sparingly on non-porous materials
  • Eliminate mold, mildew other fungi while clovey, spicey, smokey.
  • Additional antimicrobial protection (inhibit microorganism growth) on the applied area.
  • Can be reuse repeatedly without having to worry in lost potency over a period of time.
  • For a small concentrated bottle, oregano essential oil it is comparatively expensive than other kitchen ingredients.
15

Killing Mold with Thyme essential oil

  • Effectiveness  (Effective)
  • Cost  (+- $8 – 22)
  • Best used in – Porous and sparingly on non-porous materials
  • Remove surface’s mold while providing a natural herbaceous with slight balsamic scent.
  • The remainder residues will act as an antiseptic that protects the surface from microorganism’s growth.
  • Good shelf-life and only requires little amount of thyme essential oil.
  • Cost as much as other essential oils listed here.
16

Killing Mold with Clove essential oil

  • Effectiveness  (Effective)
  • Cost  (+- $7 – 20)
  • Best used in – Porous and sparingly on non-porous materials
  • Eradicate mold and other fungi while providing a distinctive sweet and spicy clove aroma.
  • Mild antiseptic effect (prevent the growth of microorganisms) on sprayed area.
  • Opened bottle can be reuse multiple times without have to worry any loss of potency.
  • As with most essential oils, a small concentrated bottle is costly depending on the popularity of the brand.
17

Killing Mold with Lemon Juice

  • Effectiveness  (Partially effective)
  • Cost  (+- $4 – 11)
  • Best used in – Clothes and porous materials e.g. tiles, glass, basin, countertop

A natural all-purpose kitchen cleaner, lemon juice we use in our food and drinks can also be turned into a mold destroyer. Reason for that is the 5% to 6% citric acid juice that contributes to lemon acidic characteristic (around pH 2.2), forcing an inhabitable environment for mold to growth. Lemon juice is also non-intrusive with no strong odor or toxicity fume, you can safety leave the applied area as a natural antimicrobial without rinsing. Diluted or concentrated lemon juice can clear off light mold stains but work best when mixed with other natural cleaner like baking soda without have to worry about chemical reactions. The multi-purpose lemon juice does have its flaws, mainly it can only remove mold on hard surfaces while mold tucked inside porous items is left untouched. Lemon juice is also less effective compare with other natural mold solutions like natural tea tree oil or grapefruit seed extract.

  • Remove mold and other fungi on the surface base through its acidic characteristic.
  • Mix well with other chemical or natural mold cleaner without causing any chemical reactions.
  • Does not require after rinsing and will work as a natural antimicrobial protection.
  • It’s cheap, easily obtainable and you have the option of using fresh or concentrated bottle.
  • Requires more time and effort compare with other natural tea tree oil, vinegar or grapefruit seed extract method.
  • Does not remove mold and other fungi that is hidden inside porous materials like wood.
18

Killing Mold with Vodka

  • Effectiveness  (Partially effective)
  • Cost  (+- $13 – 25)
  • Best used in – Hard surface, non-porous materials

Little do you know that vodka or “Little Water” when directly translated to Russian, can actually eliminate mold, mildew, spore and other fungi. This Russian origin, distilled alcoholic spirit is mainly composed of water and ethanol, the combination used to clean and sterilize items. While like most natural mold removal, vodka will have mild antibacterial effect on applied surfaces, relying solely on vodka is rather impractical given its expensive price tag and the ineffectiveness against porous items. The strong alcohol smell might also lead to minor headache, nausea, nose or throat irritation that can be completely avoided if you use any of the above natural ways. Still, if vodka is your only available option, choose a colorless, straight vodka that has no impurities or flavoring so you have the highest alcohol content.

  • Sterilize mold and provide mild antibacterial effect.
  • Can use straight out of box without any mixture. No clean up afterwards.
  • Ineffective other than against mold on hard surfaces like tiles.
  • Expensive and less accessible compare other everyday home ingredients.
  • The fumes might lead to minor throat and nose irritation or headache, nausea feel.
19

Hire Mold Remediation Specialist or Certified Mold Contractor

  • Effectiveness  (Very effective)
  • Cost  (+- $500 – 8000)
  • Best used when – Mold growth is more than 10 square feet or unmanageable, significant property damage

When mold is starting to eat up your house and you can spot mold patches at every corner, you know this is beyond the realm of your reach. All hope is not lost as you have your final trump card, hiring a certified mold remediation specialist. There are big differences in job scoop between your diy method and hire professional. A licensed mold remediation is a all-in-one contractor that would perform a full inspection on the cause of the mold contamination, inspect the damage and assess time needed to complete the task. With your full consent, only then would they perform the mold cleanup, repair, restoration work and final checkup before passing back the keys to you. This is a long step-by-step process that involves exposing to safety and health risk, requires a lot of effort, patience and experience. There is a lot of peeling, prying and crawling up to tight spaces that cannot be done without the proper training and toolsets.

There are a lot of things to consider when hiring a mold remediation expert, first and utmost is the cost where even a small room would be in the region of $500 or higher. Understandable given it’s a long and tedious job. It is also very inconvenience from a homeowner perspective as a typical mold remediation job would take 1 – 5 days excluding home that is heavily damaged by flood. The best scenario is you only need to shut off part of the HVAC system and leave the contaminated room isolated. Worst scenario is you and your family would have to leave your house until the mold remediation process is completed. Even if your home has been assessed to be mold-free and all mold cause has been rectified, there is no guarantee that the mold problem would not come back again. Still, at the end of the day when you or your family health is at risk and you know this is the only option left, killing off mold once and for all could be your smartest decision ever made.

  • The ultimate answer in removing mold inside and out that is not possible through standard scrubbing method.
  • Guaranteed result will official certification plus pre and post mold damage inspection.
  • All-in-one solution that save you the hassle from dealing with different contractors, carpenter or technician.
  • Save time and money on safety equipment, cleaning supplies, training and research.
  • Free yourself from the health and safety risk during the long process of cleanup and repair.
  • Restore mold contaminated items to the original state that otherwise would have been disposed.
  • The costliest solution where even minor remediation could cost $500 or more.
  • Typical mold remediation job takes 1 – 5 days depending on the level of mold infestation.
  • Walls, carpet and even tiles might need to be take apart and tear down during the remediation process.
  • If there is significantly damage to the home, homeowner is required to isolate the room or temporary move out of the house.
20

Separately hire HVAC technician, carpenter, plumber or painter for specific task

  • Effectiveness  (Very effective)
  • Cost  
  • Best used when – Mold growth is more than 10 square feet or out of your skill set

Like mold remediation, there are mold problems that is not within your expertise and instead of going through a set of frustration figuring out what to do, hiring a specialist (may or may not have the mold certification) would save you significantly in cost, time and even your sanity. A dedicated specialist/ repairman will fully committed on their particular repair works without any concern of derailing. For example, a carpenter would focus on cleaning and removing carpet that has been infested with mold, a plumber would fix any leaky pipes to cut off the mold growth source. The hiring cost is drastically cut down compare with full mold remediation and you will also save up on safety equipment like safety glasses, utility knife, N-95 respirator, window fan, rubber gloves and plastic sheeting. Perhaps most critically, letting other people to do the job means there is no mold exposure health risk involved that could lead to many respiratory problems. There is also practically zero safety risk where you could injure yourself accidentally from falling parts or slipping if everything is self-handled.

There are pros and cons in everything and no exception with this separately hiring method. First there is no final cost planned out so don’t be surprise when the bills start piling up if your mold issue still does not get rectified. Second is the lack of communication or understanding between you and contractors so often there is overlapping or missed work during the mold removing process. Lastly, most of these repairmen does not hold the credibility or certification in mold removal therefore the risk of mold returning is drastically higher. Still, if you are very certain what is the cause of the mold infestation and knew where to tackle them, this method might be worth a shot.

  • Dedicated job that specializes in sorting out issue (including mold) from their respected field.
  • Save time and money from the pre-inspection check and straight to the source of the problem.
  • No additional purchase of safety tools and cleaning equipment for the job.
  • Free from injury or allergic reactions that could happen during the mold cleanup process.
  • Cheaper than mold remediation but cost could stack up even higher when too many parties is involved.
  • Temporary disable of piping and ventilation system, e.g. HVAC, main water tap until the specific task is completed.
  • Inconsistent work quality and there is little to no synchronization between the contractors.
  • Lack in-depth inspection thus there is a higher possibility that the mold problems would return again.

Can A Dehumidifier Cause A Cough?

Can A Dehumidifier Cause A Cough?

Is a Dehumidifier Good For a Cough?

A dehumidifier will not cause a cough if is running in a damp environment. When used correctly, a clean dehumidifier can help a cough by reducing mold, bacteria, and viruses in the air. Without the excessive moisture, the cough-induced microorganisms will not thrive and trigger bronchitis that coughs up thickened, discolored mucus. A dehumidifier can also help you breathe better and alleviate symptoms like nasal congestion, postnasal drip, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness, hoarseness, sore throat, headache, cold, flu. There is less chance of a cough spreading to another person.

Can a Dehumidifier Make a Cough Worse?

A dehumidifier will not worsen a cough but it may cause dry air when used incorrectly. Dry air can cause irritation to your throat and lengthen a cough. A dehumidifier will remove excess moisture in the air while adjusting the room’s temperature and humidity. Dry air is not good for cough and so does over-humid air. To avoid running a dehumidifier in a dry environment, get a hygrometer to find out what is the room humidity level. The ideal humidity level for a cough is between 30% to 50%. If the room dampness level falls below 30%, consider using a humidifier instead.

How Long Should a Dehumidifier Run Per Day

How Long Should a Dehumidifier Run Per Day

How Long Should a Dehumidifier Stay On

We recommend running the dehumidifier for at least 12 hours a day. This is highly dependant on the room dampness condition, the unit’s capacity, and in-built features. If the room condition is extremely wet, you might need to leave the dehumidifier on the whole-day. To do that, make sure the dehumidifier has auto shut-off feature that will turn off when the reservoir is full or a specific humidity level is reached. Better yet, if the dehumidifier supports continuous pump, connect it to a floor drain and you will not have to worry about emptying the water tank. If the above two features are not available in the appliances, you will have to manually check on the unit. Incidentally, this would also surge up the energy bills as the dehumidifier will be running around the clock.

How To Reduce Dehumidifier Runtime?

Every dehumidifier has a lifespan and will usually last a couple of years. In an ideal situation, we do not let the dehumidifier run 24 hours a day as it will put an extra burden on the compressor. While there are no ground rules on how long a dehumidifier should run, it is advisable to find out the root cause of the excess humidity. Here are some great preventive measures you could do to improve the unit service life.

  • Improve on room ventilation – Lack of windows and doors will force the released vapor to be stuck in a room. On the other end of the spectrum, cracks on windows and doors will allow external moisture to leak in.
  • Fix leaky pipes, roofs or tiles – Water leakage can cause flooding, structural damage, and mold problems that are detrimental to our health. Restore the damaged part a.s.a.p or hire plumber or roof repair specialist.
  • Avoid using heating appliances – Unvented natural gas, kerosene models, heaters will contribute to moisture in a room. Avoid using it or replace it with alternate electrical appliances.
  • Install an exhaust fan in the bathroom and kitchen – This is especially true on bathrooms as more moisture is generated after a hot bath and shower. An exhaust fan will suck out most of the moisture in the air.
  • Make sure the reservoir is empty – If the water tank is full, the dehumidifier will not function properly and it could even damage the circuit board.
  • Keep the coils and air vents free from dust – Use a brush and gently stroke out the debris to avoid clogging and damaging the internal components. The lesser dust there is, the more efficient the dehumidifier would be operating.

Do Dehumidifiers Use a Lot of Electricity? What Is The Running Cost?

Do Dehumidifiers Use a Lot of Electricity?

Do Dehumidifiers Use A Lot Of Electricity?

A dehumidifier consumes less electricity than an air conditioner, washing machine, hairdryer, and vacuum cleaner. On average, a 30-pint dehumidifier only draws 280 watts of energy per hour or 0.28 kilowatts-hour. You will not get hit by exorbitant utility bills even if you use it on a daily basis. All manufacturers are required to comply with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) energy conservation standards for residential dehumidifiers since 2007. That said, the amount of electricity used is highly dependent on the type of dehumidifier, the size, version, and energy efficiency. For example, a larger 70-pint dehumidifier would use more electricity than a smaller 30-pint dehumidifier. Another example is a refrigeration type dehumidifier would use more electricity than a thermoelectric type. Lastly, a newer generation model tends to be more energy-efficient than the predecessor model it is replacing.

ENERGY STAR

Calculate A Dehumidifier Energy Efficiency (Energy Factor)

(EEV) Energy factor is a measurement of a dehumidifier energy consumption that encompasses both dehumidification and non-dehumidification mode. You can measure the energy factor performance by the liters of water removed per kilowatt-hour (L/kWh). The higher the energy factor value, the more energy-efficient is the dehumidifier therefore the lower the electricity cost. For example, A dehumidifier will an integrated Energy Factor of 1.8 uses less energy than a dehumidifier with an energy factor of 1.5. All ENERGY STAR label models are rated at temperatures as low as 42 degrees.

Cost To Run A Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers are not expensive to run. The average cost of running a dehumidifier is averaging between $0.08 to $0.16 hourly. Based on the figures, the cost to run a dehumidifier 24/7 is between $1.92 to $3.84 per day. The annual running cost of a dehumidifier would amount between $23.04 to $46.08.

How to Calculate An Dehumidifier Energy Cost?

Before you begin calculating the energy cost to run a dehumidifier. You will need these 3 figures in hand:

  • The total wattage of the dehumidifier or Watts Per Hour. You can find this printed on the box, specification sheet/ manual, or product’s website.
  • The number of hours you intend to run the dehumidifier.
  • The average electricity cost in your area. In the US, the power rate varies from state to state.
  • Your monthly power bill in KWH or kilowatt-hour.

Here’s the formula to get the dehumidifier estimated daily energy cost:

Watts x Running Hours / 1000 Kilowatts x Power Rates = Cost Per Day

For example, a 300W dehumidifier runs for 8 hours straight, the daily running cost calculation will be: 300 (watts) x 8 (hours)/ 1000 (kilowatts) x 0.15 (power rates) = $0.36 per day.

To get the dehumidifier monthly running cost, multiply the daily cost by 30: $0.36 x 30 = $10.80 per month.

For the dehumidifier annual running cost, multiply the monthly cost by 12: $10.80 x 12 = $129.60 per year.

Tosot 30 Pint Dehumidifier

Moisture removal rate is very important in assessing a dehumidifier’s energy efficiency. A 70-pint dehumidifier will consume more energy than a 30-pint dehumidifier due to the higher output. However, you would need to operate a 30-pint dehumidifier for a longer period as less moisture is removed at a go. The longer the running hours, the higher the total electricity cost.

In short, a larger capacity dehumidifier is more efficient than a smaller capacity model. However, a high-capacity dehumidifier can be overkill in a small room or basement. If you have moisture problems in a small enclosed area like a closet, a low running cost, rechargeable dehumidifier would make more sense.

Disadvantages Of a Dehumidifier + Pros & Cons

Disadvantages Of a Dehumidifier + Pros & Cons

A Surge in Electricity Bills

Dehumidifier is one of the biggest electric hoggers home appliances. On average, a full-sized 70-pint dehumidifier will cost you $10 a month or $120 a year. The cost could cut to half if you pick a smaller capacity unit like a 30-pint model, but could also double if the run time hour is twice as long. This is because there are condensation and heating processes involve to extract water from the air. The entire dehumidification uses a lot of watts of energy and will push your electric bill skyrocket on continuous operation. The only way you could save up on the operational cost is to pick an energy-efficient unit with Energy Star Rated.

Neverending Maintenance

Like an air purifier, dehumidifier requires schedule maintenance and cleaning or else it will not work. Depending on the drainage options you opt for, a person may have to routinely empty the water in the bucket every 1-3 days depending on the room dampness. Even if you rely on the convenience continuous pump or gravity drainage, you will still need to check on it every now and then in case of overflow. Then there is the permanent filter that requires cleaning every month or so. Without doing so, airborne contaminants will be redispersed back to the air instead of being trapped in the filter. All in all, the above tasks are repetitive, time-consuming, and annoying especially when you need to empty a reservoir filled with water.

Warm and Noisy

A running dehumidifier will generate a gentle humming noise at low speed. At high speed though, it can be very loud that will disrupt a person’s daily activity. No matter how silent the manufacturer advertises its unit, there is bound to be some background noise. You could position the dehumidifier further away to lessen the impact e.g. bedroom or living hall. Otherwise, operate it at the lowest speed and kept it on longer so the same amount of moisture can still be drawn.

A dehumidifier can get warm on long operation hours. It will generate excess heat that may affect the room temperature slightly. If you are on a hot day or summertime, the extra heat is not welcome even though the differences are neglectable.

Advantages Of a Dehumidifier

There are plenty of pros with a dehumidifier other than just reducing your home dampness level. The result will snowball from the ideal relative humidity to better breathing, lesser allergens, and cleaner air. Let’s explore the goodness of a dehumidifier.

  • Stop mold, mildew, and dust mite from breeding – Having a warm and humid environment encourages the spawning of microorganisms. Mold, mildew, and dust mites are the most common type that will appear in this situation. A dehumidifier will keep humidity below 50-55 percent so the microbes will not thrive in the condition. With fewer and fewer allergens in your breathing space, you will less likely experience any allergy symptoms.
  • Reduce allergic reactions and respiratory diseases – The notorious black mold and its mycotoxins chemical is nothing to be scoff at. On short exposure, it can lead to chronic cough, sneeze, red eyes, skin rashes, headache and so much more. On long exposure, black mold poisoning can cause upper respiratory infections, inflammation, lung and liver damage.
  • Breathe Safely and Comfortably – Asthmatic person rejoice! A dehumidifier can maintain a humidity level in a room between 30-50 percent. This is the ideal humidity to breathe into without feeling the air is overly dry or damp. The air is cleaner will no musty, foul-smelling odor. There are also fewer irritants in the air that would otherwise be a living threat of an asthma attack.
  • Protect Your Home from Rust And Decay – Everything including your home can be ruined by water damage. From your wall. ceiling, insulation board, windows, and door, perpetual exposure to the water vapor will lead to rot and decay. Your personal belongings are not safe from the moisture either. Clothes, documents, toys, and books are prone to mold growth. Lastly, electronic devices with exposed metal parts will rust and corrode and caused it to malfunction. So safeguard your home from excessive moisture with a dehumidifier.

Why Does Dehumidifier Freeze Up And How To Fix It

Why Does Dehumidifier Freeze Up And How To Fix It

Super Cold Temperature

Most dehumidifiers freeze up because the room is simply too cold. Even if the machine has a low-temperature operation, it is typically cap at 65°F degrees. Running the dehumidifier below the recommended temperature will cause ice to build-up and water freeze on the condenser coils. The only saving grace is the auto-frost mode that will shut down the compressor when the coils become too cold.

Defrost Sensor Failure

A faulty sensor or wiring issue may cause the dehumidifier fail to recognize an imminent freeze up. This can lead to all sorts of damage to the internal components. Most standalone dehumidifiers have auto-defrost/ auto-deicing mode. It is a sensor-based feature that will disable the compressor from working when there is ice build-up detected. After a cool off period, the compressor will resume back to work once the ice on the coil has melted.

Evaporator Coils or Condenser Coils is Dirty

Overtime there is bound to be some deposits on the dehumidifier’s coil. From dust, mold, to germs, these microscopic particles will accumulate and occupy the coil. Without sufficient air passing through, the dehumidifier coils will freeze up causing the entire operation to malfunction. That’s why the washable filter plays a key role in extending the dehumidifier’s life expectancy. Some manufacturers will recommend cleaning the coil fins from time to time to reduce particle obstruction.

Poor Airflow Delivery

Disruptive airflow means there is reduced airflow from pushing into the refrigeration system. This could be due to a few common reasons. First, the dirty filter clogged with dust prevents air from going through. A fairly easy fix with a quick wash but many would neglect it. Next, air inlet or outlet blockage that impede air circulation. This usually happens when we place the dehumidifier too close to the wall or there are foreign objects above it. Lastly, the motor fan is not functioning properly thus limits the amount of cold air from pulling in.

Faulty Parts in The Refrigeration System

A single faulty part in the dehumidifier’s refrigeration would disrupt the whole operation. A defective motor fan, refrigerant leakage, burn compressor, or sensor failure means there is an impending ice build-up. Even simple electrical errors on the humidistats or control panel would stop the dehumidifier from working as it should.

Does A Dehumidifier Heat A Room?

Does A Dehumidifier Heat A Room

What Is A Dehumidifier And How It Works

A dehumidifier is a home appliance that removes moisture from the air. By keeping moisture down, it can discourage the growth of mold, mildew, fungi, dust mites, and pest. A dehumidifier can also help you breathe better, relieve allergy symptoms, and prevent asthma from triggering. It can also protect your home from structural damage so you and your family member will live in a healthier environment.

Here is how a dehumidifier works. Similar to a refrigerator, air will be drawn into the dehumidifier to go through the process of condensation. The humid air will circulate through the condenser that transfers the heat to the air naturally till its dew point, resulting in moisture extraction while releasing the dried air out. Droplets will either drip down to a water tank/ bucket that requires emptying every now and then, or pump straight out via a drainage hose.

While there are a lot of benefits to a dehumidifier, it is different from an air conditioner that is designed specifically to cool or heat a room.

Does A Dehumidifier Add Heat To A Room

A dehumidifier will raise the room temperature by a few degrees F that you will not feel any warmer. This is because the dry air released back into the room will be warmer than the room-temperature humid air that enters the dehumidifier. There is also excess heat discharged by the dehumidifier when air is circulating through the condenser via the compressor. Still, the small amount of heat added is dependant on the room size and how long the dehumidifier is running. Most people will not feel any differences at all.

The other way heat is added to rooms is by the compressor running, which does add a small amount of heat to rooms. It’s similar to other household appliances that add warmth to the rooms they’re placed in. Most rooms don’t see a significant or noticeable change, but some sensitive customers may notice a slight increase in temperature.

That said, a dehumidifier will play a big role in managing the room temperature despite not having a cooling functionality. A person will feel hot and stuffy when the air is muggy. As sweat cannot evaporate quickly enough, the body will have to compensate by increasing blood circulation and respiration that leads to excessive sweating. A dehumidifier can remove the excessive moisture therefore bringing the room dampness down. You will feel colder and more comfortable to breathe in when the humidity level is between 30 to 50 percent.

So in conclusion, a dehumidifier will add an insignificant amount of heat into the room, but by keeping the humidity level down, a dehumidifier can also cool down the room temperature.

How Do I Prevent Dehumidifier From Making A Room Warmer?

Staying in a hot region and worry that the dehumidifier might add “heat” to your problems? Here are ways you can make it run more efficiently with less heat produced.

  • Room size – The bigger the room square footage, the cooler the room temperature will be. The heat generated by the dehumidifier will have little impact in a large room due to better airflow circulation.
  • Types of dehumidifier – There are many types and sizes of dehumidifiers catered for various room sizes. Placing the wrong size dehumidifier will lead to unnecessary heat dispersion. For example, a small dehumidifier that is incapable of covering in a large room will have to run constantly to achieve the ideal humidity level.
  • Run time – The less operational time a dehumidifier is needed, the less heat will be generated. Instead of leaving it running continuously, get a dehumidifier with a built-in humidistat and auto dehumidifying feature. The dehumidifier will stop running automatically once the desired humidity level is reached.
  • Humidity area – If you are staying in a high humidity area such as New Orleans or Florida, the dehumidifier will have to run frequently thus more heat will be generated from the compressor. Ensure you are picking the right size dehumidifier, switch on the fan or air conditioner to counter the extra heat.
  • Moisture removal – Perhaps the most important tip of all, ignore the little heat generated from the dehumidifier. You can actually feel colder and breathe more comfortably with dried air than humid air. So just continue with your daily activity and let the dehumidifier remove the excessive moisture.