If you have mold allergies, you know how miserable they can make you. With even a microscopic amount of mold, your immune system kicks into overdrive. Your eyes start to water and itch, your throat starts to feel ticklish, your coughing starts, and your might even break out in a dry, itchy rash. If you have a really bad attack, your airways could constrict leading to a full-blown asthma attack.
Mold allergies can be controlled, to some extent, with medication. But your best bet is to avoid exposure to mold. If you have severe mold allergies, it might be worth it to you to move somewhere just to get away from mold. And although it might not be as easy as, say, getting away from ragweed, it’s definitely possible.
Mold flourishes under certain conditions. High humidity is an important precondition and poor air circulation lets mold spores build up and linger in the air. So no matter where you live, there are steps you can take in your home to mitigate your exposure to mold.
Controlling Mold in the Home
First, reduce indoor humidity as much as possible. Start in your basement, where leaky pipes or groundwater seepage can introduce moisture into the air and jumpstart mold growth. If humidity there is above 50%, consider using a dehumidifier to draw moisture out of the air.
Use an air conditioner to cool your living spaces, and change the filter often. Keep your bathrooms dry and well-ventilated. Use circulation fans and open windows after you take showers, and try not to carpet these rooms, since carpet can retain moisture and become a breeding ground for mold.
Discard old books and newspapers, since if they become damp they can encourage mold growth.
But those are the factors you have control over. There are many other external factors that you can’t control, and if your mold allergies become too severe, you might want to consider relocating to a place that’s easier on your allergies.
Based on the factors we outlined above, as well as many others, we can start to figure out which cities are the worst for mold allergies (humid, low-elevation cities like Louisville, KY and Jackson, MS are reportedly very hard on mold allergy sufferers) and which cities might offer the most relief. Let’s look at our picks for the five best places to live if you have mold allergies.
Salt Lake City
Utah’s capital has an average elevation of nearly 4,300 feet above sea level and is in a dry, mountainous climate, so it’s going to have very low levels of mold and other allergens. It’s known as one of the best cities in the country for people with respiratory issues of any kind. Couple that with the fact that Salt Lake City sports one of the lowest smoking rates of any American city, and you have some of the cleanest air in the U.S.
The median home value in Salt Lake City is $397,600, and the market’s seen an 11.5% increase since 2018, according to Zillow. So while it might be good for your lungs, it’s a relatively expensive market to buy into.
Even though Miami is a very warm and humid city, it’s right on the Atlantic Ocean, so the air is fresh and constantly circulating. Air pollution is also low there. Thanks to Miami’s health-conscious culture, rates of cigarette smoking are also very low and there aren’t a lot of secondary pollutants that could exacerbate a mold allergy.
The median home value in Miami is $337,200, representing a 2.8% increase over the past year. While it’s more expensive than the national average, the hot seller’s market is forecast to fall off in the next year, making it possibly a good time to buy in.
This northern city is known for long, sub-Arctic winters, which is good for mold allergy sufferers. After all, mold can’t grow in freezing conditions, and Minneapolis winters are notoriously long, often running from October to April. That’s over half the year that the mold levels will effectively be zero, as long as you’re controlling your indoor environment. And while the summers can get steamy, they’re also much milder than much of the rest of the country.
The median home value in Minneapolis is $266,800, and the market’s increased by 4.1% over the past year. The Minneapolis market is slightly more expensive than the national average, but not too much more; just don’t forget to take a parka.
Boston is another city with long, cold winters, which means that molds will remain dormant for over half the year. The city does have a higher than average rate of smoking, which can compound a mold allergy, but the summers are short and relatively cool, though they can get humid. The fact that the city is on the water also gives the area great air circulation.
The median home value in Boston is $599,000, and home values have increased 4.2% over the past year, so it’s an expensive market to buy into if you’re only moving there because of allergies.
This midwestern state capital and college town is known for its stellar quality of life, but it also offers excellent air quality for mold allergy sufferers. Like other cities on this list, it’s in the far north of the country, with long, cold winters that will put mold spores in a months-long deep freeze. While mold spore levels can spike in the spring, the winters give you a guarantee of over half a year with no allergy attacks.
The median home value in Madison is $253,400, and have increased by 3.2% over the past year, making it one of the more affordable destinations for allergy sufferers.
Whether you decide to buy a breezy seaside cottage in Miami, or a stately old Victorian in Madison, your best bet is to partner up with an experienced real estate agent who knows the local market, and can help you find your dream home at a dream price.
Clever Partner Agents are top performers in their markets and come from elite brands and brokerages, so no matter your needs, they can help you achieve your ideal outcome.