Keep the inside air moving!

Finally, it’s cool and dry in Florida. This fabulous weather lures me outside and makes me want to twirl around a meadow like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music! Cool weather also means the air conditioner doesn’t run as much, which is a relief when the FPL bill arrives. But, have you noticed that the house sometimes feels and smells stuffy? Not quite musty, but just not right. It makes me want to open the windows and let in the fresh air. But George always reminds me that the “fresh air” also brings in mold and dirt and bugs.

Not that he’s a germophobe or anything, but George just met a couple from New Jersey who spend the winter in West Palm Beach. After a few weeks here, they noticed a light dusting of mold on clothing and furniture all over their condo. It turned out that they open the windows by plants that give off a lot of mold. The mold settled on the fabric and clung there. Because it’s cool outside this time of year and the a/c doesn’t run very much, the humidity inside built up enough for the mold to grow. Thankfully, they caught it early and we were able to save their furniture and clothing.

So, what’s a body to do? First, see if your thermostat has an air circulation feature (this is NOT the same as the fan setting). If it does, activate it. This will cycle the air through the a/c system hourly, moving and filtering the air without cooling it. When the air temperature rises above the thermostat setting, the a/c will cycle and cool as usual. Don’t have the circulation feature? Then use good old-fashioned ceiling fans. Set them to the low speed and let them run. Yes, that’s right: you don’thave to urge Uncle Fred to retell his tale of glory on the golf course just to keep the air moving. Just use your a/c and ceiling fans to keep the air in motion. Enjoy the holidays and breathe well!

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