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Signs mould is affecting your health

A great article here about the dangers of mould in the home & how to remedy it by 9Honey featuring some very insightful words by none other than friend of Ausclimate & industry-expert, Nicole Bijlsma!

Have a read & for all of your Dehumidifier & Air Purifier needs, take a look at our website at http://www.ausclimate.com.au or give us a call. Always here to help!

Full credit for the article to 9Honey & 9Honey News

Cheers!

Russell Bryan
Ausclimate Co-founder
visit the website:
http://www.ausclimate.com.au/

Woman with tissue blowing nose

Signs mould is affecting your health

by 9Honey

Most people realise they’re battling mould when a musty smell takes over a room, or when a pair of leather heels comes out of the back of the wardrobe with telltale fuzzy white spots. Me? I got seriously ill long before I realised exactly what it was we were battling.

It started with night-time wheezing which quickly turned into recurring chest infections which rendered me useless week after week. Unexplained headaches, constant lethargy and sleep disturbances followed, as did irregularities with my menstrual cycle, an inability to concentrate and daily bouts of crying. As mould remediators tore my bedroom apart trying to find the source of the musty smell I’d noticed in our bedroom (they found it all along the undersides of my drawers, wardrobe and bed), I became hospitalised with pneumonia.

The cause? Mould, mould, mould.

Mould is a common household hazard, and one that can affect your health. Image: Getty

Most people don’t react so strongly to mould, in fact some mould isn’t a problem at all. A naturally occurring species of fungi that is known to live in almost any environment, on their own in small amounts, mould is usually perfectly safe. But introduce its spores (microscopic particles the mould uses to reproduce) to a source of humidity such as a few wet towels left on the back of a door, or a damp wall and the mould will use everything in its path as fuel (particularly natural fibres and MDF-base furniture) until it grows into what could be a major health hazard.

It might sound far-fetched, but mould issues are far more common than we realise, says building biologist, Nicole Bijlsma of Building Biology. “In Australia, one in three homes are affected by water damage and damp which lays down the perfect conditions for mould to grow,” she says, explaining that parts of Sydney and the Central Coast are some of the most badly affected areas since the region experiences high humidity, but cool enough temperatures that air conditioners aren’t run 365 days a year.

“If left unchecked, a mould clean-up operation can cost tens of thousands so the most important thing you can do is to stay vigilant about keeping living areas dry and clean so that the mould doesn’t have an opportunity to take hold.”

Keeping your home mould-free

Damp might be a problem nation-wide, but mould requires humidity levels that sit over 70 per cent before it starts to act out so to that end, homes that are more likely to be affected include those that are located waterside or in flood zones, or those who have roofing, plumbing or ventilation issues. It’s not just location that’s the problem, but poor lifestyle habits, says Mould Rescue mould remediator, Penny Tralau. “Often we see problems in homes where the residents insist on having long, hot showers without using adequate ventilation, and also those who habitually dry clothes on racks indoors,” she says.

Changing said habits is essential, and Tralau recommends ensuring rooms are properly ventilated every day and that clothes and shoes are bone-dry before storing them in drawers and wardrobes. “The last thing you want is damp running shoes sitting at the bottom of your dark, warm cupboard,” she warns.  Dry wet towels (and any other clothing) outside rather than leaving them to hang on the back of the door or on a rail (unless the rail is heated), ensure steam is exhausted from the bathroom while showering or bathing, and vacuum rather than sweep. “Dust is like fast food to mould and sweeping just kicks up dust and makes it airborne,” Tralau says.

To help prevent mould, you should vacuum instead of sweeping.

Investing in a dehumidifier is essential, adds Bijlsma, who says that mould spores begin to germinate once humidity in the home passes the 70% mark. “To ensure the humidity never reaches the ‘danger zone’, set your dehumidifier on a thermostat so that it turns on automatically as soon as humidity in your home hits 65%,” she says.

Removing mould

If you’ve noticed a musty smell or mouldy spots on various items, or if you’ve begun to experience new and unexplained allergies or illness (people with immune system disorders are often affected physically long before they see or smell any mould), it’s time to investigate. To begin with, Tralau recommends pulling furniture away from their resting spots and inspecting the backs and undersides thoroughly with a torch (it’s recommended those with respiratory sensitivities delegate the cleaning to someone else).

If you find mould, isolate the items that have been affected so that disturbed spores can’t travel and settle on other items nearby, and clean them with soapy water before placing them in direct sunlight, recommends Tralau who explains vinegar solutions and bleach can work on non-porous but aren’t much chop on porous surfaces. If mould has infiltrated items and begun to compromise the makeup of the item, it will have to be thrown out, but items with surface mould only can often be saved, says Bijlsma.

 If the mould problem is larger than you initially thought, continues after your initial  clean-up, or you suspect it is making you ill, you may be better off calling in an accredited mould remediator.

Mould needs to be killed and removed.

“The key to understanding mould in the home is to understand the causation and it’s vital to have your home assessed by somebody that is trained to a standard,” says Tralau.

Are you being physically affected by mould?

For the majority of the population, living with mould will not cause any serious adverse affects, however for some – particularly those with compromised immune systems – it’s been known to cause the following:

  • Cold and flu  symptoms
  • Wheezing/asthma
  • Unexplained skin conditions
  • Unexplained headaches
  • Irritation of the eyes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Loss of concentration
  • Irregularities with menstrual cycle
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of libido
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Frequent thirst/excessive urination
  • Brain fog

Original article available at http://honey.nine.com.au/2017/05/16/09/41/signs-mould-is-affecting-your-health#PBucX2y4Y10clmw6.99

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Ausclimate on Healthy Homes Australia

We were delighted to be featured in last week’s episode of Channel TEN’s Healthy Homes Australia. Healthy Homes are lifting the lid on the dangers of mould and household toxins with us in this episode.

In case you didn’t get a chance to catch it, here it is!

For all of your Dehumidifier & Air Purifier needs, take a look at the website & if you have any questions, please give us a call.

Thanks Healthy Homes!

Russell Bryan
Ausclimate Co-founder
visit the website:
http://www.ausclimate.com.au/

 


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Compressor vs Desiccant Dehumidifier Comparison Guide

With the recent introduction of our new Cool-Seasons Desiccant Dehumidifier range, some of us might be a little confused whether a Cool-Seasons Desiccant or a classic NWT Compressor Dehumidifier is the right choice. So we put together this little guide to help you work out which might be right for you.

Compressor vs Desiccant:
an unbiased view (we sell both!)

 

Compressor dehumidifiers (also called refrigerant) have been used to dry out our homes for more than 40 years. Over this period, they have performed very well, building a reputation as a reliable energy efficient method of removing large volumes of excess moisture.

However, Desiccant-type dehumidifiers are also becoming quite popular in Australia.

So, how do you choose – ‘Compressor’ or ‘Desiccant’ dehumidifier?

In general terms, the Compressor dehumidifier still retains the position as top performer, particularly when the indoor temperature is around 20°C or above.

But if your indoor temperature is consistently below 20°c, then consider the Desiccant dehumidifier as a great option. They may be rated as having a lower overall moisture removal capacity, but they really do perform well at their rated capacity in those lower winter temperatures.

Compressor Desiccant Comparison Chart 5

Selecting the right model will depend on why you want to use it, when you use it, how you use it and where you live in Australia.

Why

Most of our customers purchase dehumidifiers to stop moisture related problems such as mould, dust-mites, condensation and musty odours etc.

Some of the issues are property related: protection of our valued and treasured possessions such as furnishing, clothing, footwear, camera equipment, electronics, etc.

Other issues are health related – a strong need to stop allergens such as mould and dust-mites before they grow, breed and then become airborne and affect our family’s health.

When

“When is the best time to dry the home – wait for winter”?

No, don’t wait for winter. Most homes get a build-up of indoor moisture through the summer and autumn months. So, we suggest you get started early; remove all that excess moisture in the warmer months and then do follow-up drying through your wetter/colder months of winter.

Having said that, some parts of Australia have wet summer months and dry winter months – keep reading for more help.

How

“How do you use a dehumidifier”?

You might be surprised that you do not have to run the dehumidifier every day to combat these common problems. Turning your dehumidifier on just once a week or so is generally enough to manage it. BUT, make sure to do the deep-down ‘structural’ drying first.

Where

So, now that we’ve discussed the WHY, the WHEN, the HOW, we can now help you decide the right type of dehumidifier for your area in Australia:

*Sydney, Northern NSW, WA, NT & QLD

An Ausclimate NWT Compressor type dehumidifier may be the preferred option for these areas because of high rainfall season of summer and autumn.

*As example: even though Sydney has its fair share of rain in winter, it’s often during the warmer wet months that moisture builds up in the home. Then, why do you notice the excess moisture in winter and not the previous months?

Why?… because, as it becomes colder we tend to close our doors and windows: therefore, trapping the excess built up of moisture inside the home. Once we turn the heater on, mould starts appearing, windows have condensation and that musty odour is back.

If you keep your home dry during the previous wetter months, it’s quite likely you won’t see such a problem the following winter.

Melbourne, VIC, Southern NSW, Tasmania & SA

An Ausclimate Cool-Seasons Desiccant type of dehumidifier may be the preferred option because these are typically cooler climates where the moisture problems are more confined to the winter months.

Generally, in the southern States, indoor room temperatures are consistently cooler than our northern neighbours: therefore, an Ausclimate Cool-Seasons Desiccant type dehumidifier may be the better option.

Others areas around Australia

The above regions all have areas that don’t fit nicely with the above options. There will be many areas where either Compressor or Desiccant or both may operate very effectively. Consider issue other issues such as local geography, elevation, bushland, shade, air movement, winds/breezes and of distance from the coast. These are all factors that influence your choice, including the architecture of your own home.

Also, it is important to note that it is the indoor room temperature and not the outside temperature that has a large bearing on selecting the right type of dehumidifier. Do you generally use a heater when operating a dehumidifier? Or would you consider using a Compressor dehumidifier with a heater option, such as the Ausclimate All-Seasons 35L Compressor Dehumidifier.

A fair bit to think about!

If you’re still not quite sure, make it easy for yourself & talk to an Ausclimate industry-expert.

1800 122 100 (free call)

Ausclimate: Best service, best quality, best prices.

Thanks for reading, if you have any questions, please give us a yell.

Cheers,

Allan Bryan
Ausclimate Co-founder

visit the website:
http://www.ausclimate.com.au


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Thank you Healthy Homes!

Ausclimate on Healthy Homes 2

A big thank you to the team at Healthy Homes Australia for featuring us in this past week’s episode! Thanks to the great hosts, Walt Collins & Dani Wales pictured here with our very own Pete Higgens on set. Another big thank you goes out to Nicole Bijlsma for her very informative interview during the show on the topic of everyday allergens & toxins in the home.

Cheers to everybody that tuned in, in case you missed it, you can catch it once more this coming Sunday on ONE at 10AM.

Ausclimate’s all over the place at the moment! Thanks guys!

Russell Bryan
Ausclimate Co-founder
visit the website:
http://www.ausclimate.com.au/