How To Remove Mold In Air Ducts
If you suspect mold in your HVAC unit, the EPA suggests not running your AC as it could cause the mold to spread across other parts of your home. Its best to deal with the problem as early as possible to minimize damage, health hazards, and expense.
Before starting a DIY mold cleaning project, you need to properly dressed. You should be wearing a protective mask with filters since breathing in mold can lead to several health issues. Keep wearing gloves during the cleaning process, and make sure you dont touch an affected area with bare hands. You should also wear a goggle to prevent mold spores from entering your eyes.
It Can Easily Spread Throughout The House
Most strains of mold grow and spread easily. The duct work that runs through your house provides a pathway for mold to move easily from room to room, throughout the whole house. Turning on the heat helps mold move through the duct work even faster, as the forced air carries the mold spores effortlessly along. Even worse, when the heat is turned on, the air blowing through the vents carries mold spores into every room. In no time at all, you could have mold throughout the entire house.
How Do I Get Rid Of Mold In My Air Conditioner
Cleaning up mold can be difficult, messy, and the process of cleaning mold out of an air conditioner is dependent on the type of unit. Car AC units, window units, and central AC units differ greatly regarding the resources needed to eradicate them of mold. Regardless of what you are cleaning, the area where you perform the clean-up should be well-ventilated, and you should wear non-porous gloves and a face mask with goggles, especially if you are sensitive to mold. Mold can be wiped up with a household cleaner and a cloth or sponge. Bleach is not needed to remove mold. If mold has grown on a porous surface such as wood, plaster, carpet or upholstery, you will probably not be able to get rid of all the mold. The moldy item or section will need to removed, thrown away and replaced.
Window unit: By the time you see small mold spots forming on the air direction vanes or grate of your window air conditioner, it is probably too late. The mold you see is just the tip of the iceberg. You can disassemble the unit and try to clean mold from the internal air ducts, coils, evaporators and other parts, but there is always a chance you will miss some and the mold will simply grow back. A moldy window unit likely needs to be replaced.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean Mold Out Of Washing Machine
Mold In Air Conditioners: How To Clean And Prevent Growth
Mold and mold spores can reduce the air quality in your home, especially if someone in your household has a mold allergy. Mold growing in the bathroom or basement is bad enough, but what if mold grows in your air conditioner or inside the ducts of your HVAC system? We will explain how mold might form in a window-unit air conditioner or in ductwork, how to prevent it, and what to do if you do find mold in your air conditioner.
Remove The Blower In The Air Handler
The blower will be located in the air handler itself. During this process, the coils from the air handler may also be cleaned if mold is growing on them.
This article is dedicated to the ducts, however, if you do have your coils cleaned it is usually done with a biodegradable solution or throuwashing.ess called acid washing. This is normally an additional charge and is not a normal part of the duct cleaning process depending on which company you use.
It is entirely possible for your ducts to be absolutely filthy but your coils are clean. I see it all the time.
Don’t Miss: How Serious Is Mold In Your House
Maintain Indoor Humidity Levels
Since moisture is the root cause behind mold production, pay special attention to maintaining the humidity levels inside your home. It is recommended to keep the humidity level below 50% to prevent the growth of mold. You can use a dehumidifier to bring the humidity levels down.
Head to this article and take a look at the ideal indoor humidity chart.
Why Does Mold Grow In Air Ducts & On Vents
Unfortunately, with the constant flow of cool air there can be a build up of condensation within the air ducts or on and around the registers. Sometimes it might be a small area of a steel air duct while other times it can be a whole entire flexible air duct connector that will need to be replaced. Depending on how badly contaminated it is will determine the work necessary to get rid of the mold issue.
In general, moisture is the breeding grounds for mold in any area of your home. This is why homeowners will have dehumidifiers running in a basement of crawl space to prevent the build-up of moisture that creates the perfect environment for mold to grow. If you do spot a moist area, make sure to take care of the issue right away to prevent mold from growing there. The hard part about mold in your air ducts is that you dont see it and with everyone recovering from COVID-19 chances are they wont smell it either. Thats why its important to keep a close eye on the air vent grills and registers that tell the story of whats really going on inside your air ducts.
You May Like: How To Keep Mold Out Of Car
Signs Of Mold On Metal Air Ducts
Mold bears a characteristic, unpleasant odor. If theres a mildew-like, musty smell taking over the air within some of the rooms in your house, check your metal air ducts for the presence of mold. You can also identify mold infestation by checking for mold growth within your drip pans, and intake vents. If theres patchy, black dust that doesnt wipe off easily collecting around your metallic ductwork, chances are you have a mold issue thats been festering for a while.
If you have fungal allergies, youll most likely suffer allergy symptoms like a running nose and skin rashes, whichll be triggered by the mold present within your metal air ducts. Other physical symptoms that may be triggered by mold growth within your metallic HVAC parts include dizziness, nausea, weariness, and sporadic headaches.
Since you may not be able to access certain sections of the metal HVAC ductwork, its always wise to go with professional help for proper inspection and confirmation of mold infestations- if present. The HVAC maintenance professional should also be able to get rid of the mold growth within your metal air ducts.
Still, if youre a DIY diehard and dont fancy contacting a HVAC cleaning company, or generally abhor having to pay for home maintenance projects that you can do by yourself, you can get rid of mold within steel, brass, or copper air ducts and vents with the following procedures:
What Are Some Prevention Tips
Regular duct cleaning is the number one way to minimize mold in your HVAC system. By removing dust buildup at least once every two to three years, you deprive the fungus of its foothold and its food. Hire a professional to clean areas infested with mold itÃ¢s important to take safety precautions during cleanup to avoid severe exposure and to keep from spreading the microbes more.
You can also install a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture in the air. The ideal level to limit mold growth while keeping the home comfortable is about 40% to 50%. Finally, if your HVAC system is strong enough to support a HEPA air filter, this will filter out spores before they can enter the ducts and reduce the risk of mold growing there.
For professional duct cleaning to eliminate dust and mold, choose DuctMedic Air Duct Cleaning. With locations in Lincoln and Omaha, NE, they have over 25 years of experience with cleaning and sealing, as well as air purifying services to help recover the air quality in your home. To schedule a visit from their trained technicians, visit them online or call 829-3828.
Read Also: How To Check For Black Mold
Signs You May Have A Mold Infestation In The Ductwork
The unmistakable signs of mold in the air ducts include:
- Moldy or musty odor throughout the house or in one or more rooms. The odor may become stronger when the air conditioner runs.
- Black mold is visible around the air vents, ducts, or in the air conditioner drip pans.
You may also experience health effects. The long term effects of mold exposure on your health can be unpleasant, even dangerous. A black mold infestation in your air ducts can cause several of the following symptoms:
- Allergy-like symptoms such as watery eyes or itchiness in your eyes, irritated sinuses, runny nose, and/or throat irritation that often gets worse when the air conditioner runs.
- Headaches when you are home but nowhere else.
- Nausea, fatigue, or dizziness when you are home.
HVAC Service and Maintenance Plans And Why You Might Want One
Seven Ways To Remove Mold On Air Vents
If youve noticed mold on your air vents, lets get it dealt with right away. Well teach you how to get it away, how to prevent it but also talk through how to spot it.
Well also discuss whether its dangerous, why its there and what it looks like. By the end of this, youll be a mold on air vents expert, armed with the right knowledge to spot it, eliminate it and prevent it.
Remove Mold on Air Vents With Dawn Dish Soap
Turn off your AC unit. Remove the air vent grill and place it in a basin of warm soapy water for one hour. While it soaks, use a HEPA vacuum to clean the inside of the air vents. Use a rag soaked in soapy water to scrub the vent grill and air ducts clean. Allow everything to air dry thoroughly.
Read Also: What To Do If You Breathe In Black Mold
How Can You Tell If Theres Mold In Your Air Ducts
As most parts of the air ducts are not visible, it can be difficult to tell if there is mold in your air ducts and whether you need an air duct cleaning service. Lets take a look at some of the most obvious signs that theres mold in your air ducts and that you need to call for professional air duct cleaning service immediately.
- Odors. Mold smells. Most types of mold are usually associated with some type of unusual or musty odor. It usually smells rotten, wet or stale. Its never a good smell. This is usually the first sign that most homeowners notice. Usually, the odor will only be present when youre using your air conditioning or heating system. Once you turn any of these systems off, you should notice a significant decrease in smelly odors.
- Visible mold. This doesnt happen often. Usually, most homeowners will not notice any mold and their home. However, in some worst-case and extreme scenarios, the mold may start to grow out of the vents. Youll start to notice visible mold in the ducts and in the drip pan. This usually happens when the condenser coils become clogged. If you notice any visible mold, you need to call a professional right away for air duct cleaning services. Mold spreads through spores. This means that theres likely a huge infestation by the time that you notice the mold.
Read Also: Does Vinegar Get Rid Of Black Mold
How To Spot Signs Of Black Mold In Air Vents
Mold can be one of the negative effects of floods or can indicate a problem with your air conditioning system. When black mold grows on walls, floors, carpets and so on, its relatively easy to spot. However, when black mold starts growing in your air vents, things get a little trickier.
You may have black mold in your air ducts if you notice any of the following signs.
Read Also: How To Remove Mold From Your Body
Your Air Conditioning System Is A Breeding Ground For Black Mold
Unfortunately, your air conditioning system and your air ducts are a common place for black mold to reside. Moisture plays a significant role in the growth of mold. Your air conditioning system can act as an incubator for black mold because of its constant change in humidity levels throughout the summer season. If your air conditioner works as a dual heater as well, then it increases the likelihood of having a mold infestation at some point in time due to constant usage.
If you do have mold in your home and you use your air conditioning system, the effect can be the air conditioner moving the mold spores into your ductwork through the air, with those mold spores getting lodged into your air ducts. Once they make their way to your air ducts they will have a non-visible environment to grow.
How To Clean Mold On Your Ac Vents
Theres no need to panic or scramble if you find some mold on your AC vents. So long as youre willing, you can take care of it. Put yourself first, though. Before you begin, take measures to protect yourself from the mold. Rubber gloves, respiratory protection, and safety glasses are must-haves.
As far as what you will need to deal with the mold, theres no need to go nuts. Your favorite detergent, bleach , and water are what youll need. Of course, you can use commercially available EPA registered mold removal solutions and inhibitors to prevent the mold from returning.
Recommended Reading: Mold Skin Rash
You May Like: How To Tell If Your Apartment Has Mold
How To Test For Mold In Air Ducts
Locate the Origin of the Mold By Yourself: Locating the cause of the mold can be difficult. The majority of the time, the origin may be linked to water leaks.
Detect any leaks that might be inside your air ducts or the HVAC system alone. Once discovered, you should seek professional assistance to resolve the problem.
Hire an Expert to Do Mold Testing: Even though you can test the mold manually, do-it-yourself mold-testing tools and techniques are not always completely dependable and exhaustive enough to guarantee that there is no mold in your ducts. If necessary, hire a professional to test and address the mold in your air ducts.
Consult the Nearest Mold Removal Services if Necessary: If the mold test comes back positive, you will need mold eradication or water damage repair services. You have to ensure the HVAC system is turned off during this operation. This drastically reduces the possibility of mold growth.
These mold removal services will take the correct processes and regulations to remove mold efficiently and properly, and they will have the necessary instruments and gear. This renders it simple to eliminate mold effectively without putting yourself or your family at risk.
The Interior Air Handler
Besides the air vent covers, the usual place I check for mold is at the indoor air handler or furnace. There is no point in checking the exterior condenser or outside A/C unit because even if there is mold on it, it isn’t connected to the interior duct system.
For most furnace covers, you will simply have to remove a few screws or a few latches and it simply comes off. It is a good idea to turn off the furnace or A/C at the thermostat prior to taking off the cover.
Once the cover is off, use a flashlight and look carefully around the blower fan, the evaporator coil, the wiring, and the air ducts. Look for a black substance which is almost always mold.
Also Check: How Can I Get My House Tested For Mold
How To Get Rid Of Mold In Air Ducts
If you detect mold in your HVAC system, it would be wise to avert from using your air conditioner since it may encourage the mold to spread even more to other areas of your home. It is indeed ideal to deal with the situation as soon as possible to reduce damage, health risks, as well as costs.
You must be appropriately clothed before beginning a DIY mold cleanup project. Because breathing in mold can cause a variety of health problems, you must use a safety mask with filters.
Wear protective gloves throughout the mold removal process and avoid touching a contaminated area with your naked hands. You must also wear eye protection to keep mold spores out of your eyes.
Here are the steps on how you can get rid of mold by yourself:
Step #1: Turn off your HVAC system and ensure it is not receiving energy from the master circuit.
Step #2: Afterward, detach the air duct covers.
Step #3: To prepare a cleaning mixture, dissolve a soap or dishwashing soap in water. You can also include a tablespoonful of baking soda.
If the surface you are trying to clean is non-porous, you can use a solution of one-part bleach to sixteen-part water. Immerse the air duct covers for 15 minutes in the cleaning solution.
Step #4: Furthermore, clean the space within the air ducts with a vacuum that is incorporated with a HEPA filter.
Step #5: Clean the surface of the air ducts with your cleaning solution and a towel. To access the deeper parts within your ducts, you might have to use a mop.
Is Mold On Air Vents Dangerous
If you spot mold on your air vents, its not something you should ignore. This can be really dangerous, especially since the air will distribute the mold around your home. Youll start to breathe it in which can lead to a range of health problems, including :
- Respiratory effects.
- Eye irritation.
These symptoms can occur in healthy people, as well as people who already have pre-existing conditions. If you experience a sudden onset of these symptoms, and notice mold in your air vents, its time to clean them right away. You may also want to visit the doctor if your symptoms persist.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Find Mold In Your House