It is very common to experience issues with damp and mould in a property at some point. Even in warm and well insulated properties, mould can occur, especially in the colder months.
Most mould growth people will experience is most likely to be the result of condensation, however some instances of mould may be the result of damp. It is now, during the coldest months of the year, that it’s important to address any causes of mould in your home.
How to get rid of mould in the winter
A great option for ventilating a home which is suffering from damp and mould, is using a dehumidifier. Automatic ones are best, as once your home reaches 60% humidity they will automatically switch on and prevent mould developing.
With increased energy costs, many people are concerned about the cost of running more electrical equipment - such as a dehumidifier. The cost of running a dehumidifier depends on the wattage of the device, and whether it is an energy efficient model.
How much does it cost to run a dehumidifier?
A dehumidifier that can extract up to 20 litres a day, with a wattage of 480w would use 0.48 kWh, meaning that an hour's usage would cost just under 16p. In comparison, an example dehumidifier that can extract up to 12 litres a day, with a wattage of 157w (0.157 kWh) would cost just over 5p an hour.
Health effects of mould
Living in a home with mould present can be very detrimental to your health, as touching or inhaling mould spores can cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes and skin rash. Mould can also cause asthma attacks, and can be particularly dangerous for children or elderly adults with existing respiratory conditions.
Prevention is key
To prevent mould, the ideal temperature for living rooms is 20°C, 23°C for the bathroom and children’s rooms, and 16C for the bedroom and kitchen. It's also recommended that you never let the temperature of your home fall below 14°.
Don't dry clothes on radiators as the increased moisture in the air can create pockets of damp which can lead to mould. Dry clothes outside if possible, but if you need to dry them inside, ensure it’s in a well ventilated room, which is shut off from the rest of the house.
Keep bathrooms well ventilated by opening windows, particularly after showers or baths. Shut the bathroom door to prevent heat loss while the window is open, and close the window again half an hour to an hour later, when most of the increased moisture will have gone. If you have an extractor fan in your bathroom, ensure you always turn this on when using the bath or shower.