Dehumidifiers, bathroom exhaust fans, and kitchen range hoods can vastly improve the air you breathe indoors, but they also have a downside: if not maintained properly, they can become little mold-producing factories.
The September 2012 issue of Consumer Reports says that neglecting to thoroughly clean a bathroom fan or dehumidifier, for example, allows dirt to accumulate and this, plus a little moisture, creates the perfect environment in which mold can grow. Another place you are likely to find mold growth is in a front load washing machines.
Cleaning dehumidifiers once a month is recommended. Yet, according to the article, 60% of the dehumidifiers found in today’s households are not cleaned frequently enough and may be fostering mold growth. Bathroom exhaust fans are another source of mold but only 16% are cleaned every few months as recommended.
Failure to clean these appliances rigorously can also result in the growth of fungi and bacteria that cause lung inflammation.
Here are the recommended cleaning schedules for household appliances:
- Once every few months: bathroom exhaust fans and kitchen range hoods
- Once a month or more: humidifier, dehumidifier, portable air filter/purifier, and wood-burning stove/fireplaces.
- Once at least every six months for a heavy duty cleaning of a washing machine, and once a month or more for regular washing machine maintenance.
So, if you’re the culprit and neglected to clean household appliances regularly, check them carefully for mold. Mold can spread from these devices to other parts of your home, and that can be detrimental to your health – let alone your wallet.