Ponessa, who spent 25 years as a housing, indoor
environment and health specialist at Rutgers Cooperative
Extension, responded to a recent column about mold
testing. He said much of what he knows about mold
remediation comes from associating with some of the top
mold people in the country.
testing, he said the sentiment is generally against it:
"If you can see and/or smell mold, itís
provides little practical information, although there
are some occasions when it is justified: lawsuit
evidence, doctorís request, validation of the
effectiveness of a large, expensive cleanup, etc.
most meaningful testing, air sampling, is expensive.
itís better to spend the money on finding and fixing
the source of the moisture problem," Ponessa said.
the other hand, if there is a big problem, "a
testing company that is not involved in cleanup may be
able to write up detailed specifications for cleanup, to
be used as a bidding document when interviewing
remediation contractors." The world of cleanup
firms ranges from highly qualified to not very, Ponessa
another sort of test that is definitely advisable:
energy audit. Bobby DiFulgentiz, energy expert for
Lennox Industries, offers four quick ways to make your
house more efficient:
outside-facing walls, windows and doors to identify
cracks or holes where air escapes. Seal leaks with caulk
a heating and cooling systemís air filter becomes
clogged by dirt and other particles, the unit canít
produce enough airflow to function properly. Check and
clean filters monthly to reduce operating costs and save
to see whether your home has at least five inches of
insulation where needed. Add more, if necessary.
your homeís lighting needs and determine any areas in
which natural light is sufficient. Also, replace
short-lived, incandescent lightbulbs with compact
fluorescent bulbs. These bulbs use less energy, last up
to 10 times longer, and can save you $65 each year.
says this energy audit can take an hour of your time.
The potential savings are worth it.