Product: Mold
Holiday Mould Bulb   (+7, -5)  [vote for, against]
Mould control when away

Mould grows in some areas of the world whenever a house is left locked up for a month or so. This is due to humidity, lower air circulation and less natural light.

Natural light helps to control mould both through UV wavelengths and by evaporating moisture and moving it into the air where moulds find it much harder to obtain.

This idea proposes selling high power UV bulbs to fit standard light fittings, expressly for the purpose of attaching to burglary avoidance timed circuits. When the owner returns from a few weeks of holiday, mould will be still under control.

This approach does not introduce chemicals to carpets and upholstery.
-- vincevincevince, Jan 13 2008

[+] for bizness idea.
-- erlehmann, Jan 13 2008

I'm holding a provisional bun. What I'm not sure of is (a) what intensity of UV would be needed. We have germicidal lamps in our hoods which are quite powerful and operate over distances of about a metre; on the other hand, they're only on for a few hours at a time. (b) would reflected UV penetrating into corners, behind furniture and other hidden areas be enough to control mould? (c) would the moisture-evaporating effects of a few hundred watts of light be significant? and (d) would the UV not tend to fade furnishings, paintings etc?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 13 2008

// the UV not tend to fade furnishings, paintings etc? //

"Curse, you, [MB], we were going to post that !"

UV of the correct frequency and intensity sufficent to kill moulds will have damaging effects on many standard domestic furnishings, causing bleaching of many pigments. The materials chosen for areas where high UV levels are present are specifically engineered to exhibit resistance to damage.

UV can cause serious skin burns and eye damage. If you forget to close your curtains or blinds, high intensity UV may leak from your windows (some glass does block UV) and cause injury to those outside the property.
-- 8th of 7, Jan 13 2008

Maybe a dehumidifier, and leaving the heating on for an hour a day, would be a less irradiative solution?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 13 2008

Or...(brain racing)....take advantage of the non-occupancy to fumigate the house with something fairly toxic. You could simultaneously erase many types of unwanted pest. Just purchase a MaxCo family-size LifeBeGone delayed- action canister, and place it in the hallway. Shortly before leaving, pull the handy tab and vacate the premises within 30 minutes. Viola! All remaining wildlife will be killed within the next few hours, and the residual LifeBeGone gas will dissipate almost harmlessly long before you return.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 13 2008

No, there are plenty of mould-killing fumigants available. I'm not sure if vinegar would be ideal - no idea if exposing furnishings to acetic acid vapour would damage them. But if it doesn't, then glacial acetic acid is cheap and powerful stuff.

Also, you'd be trading off the acetic acid versus the humidity, and my guess is that the humidity would do more harm than the acetic acid would do good.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 13 2008

There are systems on the market that use UV lights installed inside heat/air ducts to kill mould. As long as you kept the system circulating air, it would offer some benefit.

UV is only effective over a very short range, and unlikely to work in an open room of any size.

As an alternative, you could use an Ozone generator to flood the house with high-dose ozone for a few hours, if you're certain it will be vacant. Very effective on mould and bacteria.
-- jdlaugh, Jan 13 2008

There are many portable air purifying devices available that are equipped with UV lights and HEPA filters one could leave to run on the built-in timers while one is away. While certainly more expensive (~$400CDN) than a bulb, they would be far more practical and energy-efficient, and could be kept in use while one was at home as well.

If humidity is a threat one would simply add a dehumidifier to the environment.
-- Canuck, Jan 13 2008

Vinegar would work if you washed things with it. But would the small amount of acetic acid vapour from boiling vinegar be sufficient to kill mould? Or would the larger amounts of water vapour encourage mould? Not sure.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 14 2008

Holiday Bob Mould? Did he release a Christmas album?
-- globaltourniquet, Jan 14 2008

Nice choice of category, incidentally.
-- angel, Jan 14 2008

Regarding the furnishings, I'm photobleaching should be comparable to having the window open and letting the sun do the mould control.
-- vincevincevince, Jan 14 2008

That depends on the emission spectrum and the intensity of the UV source.
-- 8th of 7, Jan 14 2008

Alternatively, if your house has a chimney, just fit a MaxCo Industries Stellar Chimney Extender, to extend it up to about 200,000ft (additional hardware may be required). By connecting your fireplace directly to the vacuum of Outer Space, your house will be instantly rendered dust- and mould-free. Remember to remove the Stellar Chimney Extender before re-entering house. Batteries not included.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 14 2008

//Umm, the Stellar Chimney thing won't do much// Yes, the technical experts at MaxCo are aware of this. However, the marketing department couldn't fault it.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 14 2008

// How we prevented the atmosphere from leaving prior to its introduction, I couldn't tell you. //

A huge bag made of stretched pig's bladders.
-- 8th of 7, Jan 14 2008

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