Mold In Air Conditioners
Mold can grow in many areas in your home, particularly where it is dark and humid. So it should come as no surprise that air conditioners are one of the places where mold can be found. Unfortunately, AC units represent a particularly risky place for mold to grow, since they push air through the house.
This means that a moldy air conditioner will actually blow microscopic mold spores into the air you breathe, spreading the spores throughout the rest of your home. Since mold presents multiple health risks, its important to prevent mold from developing in your air conditioner, and to eradicate it if it does appear.
Factors Affecting Hvac Mold Removal Cost
Determining the costs of the HVAC mold removal procedure isnt a straightforward process.
Certain factors are taken into consideration which ends up affecting the overall cost of the project. Such factors include the contractor hired, the mold condition, repairs of mold damage, and your location.
In terms of the contractor hired, this has been discussed above. The different price structures adopted by contractors means youll likely get varying estimations for your job.
Also, your mold condition is likely to determine your final cost outcome. Difficult or advanced mold removal jobs typically attract higher fees.
In cases where mold growth has reached an advanced stage, damages might be common. This translates to additional repair fees apart from those of HVAC repairs.
All of the details provided above will determine how much cost your mold remediation job will be. Youll need to call for an inspection and estimation to have an idea of the exact costs.
How To Prevent Mold In Future
Once youve taken care of the mold in air ducts, its important to make sure it doesnt happen again. Getting an HVAC preventative maintenance plan is a great way to keep an eye on the mold and keep your HVAC system healthy. It can help prevent the causes of mold by making sure there are no issues that can cause moisture leaks. Regular maintenance prevents breakdowns and keeps your cooling running smoothly.
Another thing you can do to take care of your HVAC is consider a periodic duct cleaning service. Duct cleaning is usually not included in routine preventative maintenance. Youll definitely need duct cleaning after discovering mold in air ducts, but also consider getting a regularly scheduled cleaning, especially if you live in a humid climate or have trouble with mold that keeps coming back.
You can also consider installing UV light and/or Ionization air purifiers that can kill mold as well as other particles such as viruses and bacteria. Passive systems can effectively destroy particles on surfaces in your HVAC system , while active systems can also destroy airborne contaminants, including odors and VOCs.
If you have issues with mold after taking these steps, its time to look into an underlying cause of humidity in your home or business, which may be accumulating outside your HVAC system:
Read Also: How To Stop Mold In Air Conditioner
Mold Professionals Cleaning Hvac Ductwork
Mold remediation professionals are generally called into a job when there has been a significant leak and mold growing on building materials. This can also include a mold problem that was caused by the HVAC system not functioning properly.
That does not mean they know how to clean the ductwork. Remember, some of the material that ductwork is made out of can be delicate and cause further problems not related to mold growth if not cleaned correctly.
Install A Reme Halo Device
While air filters help remove particles from the air, to truly kill viruses, bacteria and mold, you will need to utilize some type of additional technology such as the Reme Halo device.
The Reme Halo device can be inserted into your existing ductwork. Once installed it distributes ionized hydroperoxide molecules. The hydroperoxide molecules attack airborne contaminants such as bacteria, mold and dander. It also charges the air particles it comes into contact with and causes them to stick together, making it easier for your air filter to remove the enlarged particles.
The REME HALO is already being used in hospitals, cruises, restaurants, food processing plants and other industrial applications. Fortunately, it can also be installed in your home to provide you with safer, cleaner air.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Average Cost For Mold Remediation
Types Of Mold In Air Ducts & How To Remove Them Like A Professional
Molds are generally known as the organisms which are neither plants nor animals. Air conditioners are considered to be the most common areas that serve as spawning grounds for mold to grow.
The ducts and vents that help the airflow to every part of your room. It is really easy for mold to grow anytime because of the nature of the air conditioners. Air conditioners usually ensure a high amount of moisture in the air, which makes the environment damp daily.
Molds can be hazardous and are reasons for severe health problems. Air duct mold is particularly dangerous for children, pets, and unhealthy people who have a weakened immune system.
The main activity of molds is to break down decaying organic matter such as dead plants, leaves, or dead animals. No matter how perfect your climate is in your home, your air ducts are the ideal host to produce a wide variety of mold strains.
Tips For Clean & Healthy Indoor Air
Lets learn a few tips and tricks to keep the air ducts clean.
Read Also: Can Mold Make You Ill
How To Clean Mold Out Of Ductwork
Mold gets into your homes ductwork when there is moisture inside the ductwork. As your air conditioner circulates cool air through the air ducts on hot days, the humidity in the air can condense in the ductwork. The moisture in the air beads up on the walls of the ducts. The presence of this moisture allows mold spores to grow and colonize inside the ductwork.
Mold spores get into the ductwork by blowing in elsewhere in your home or from the outdoors. The warm moist environment in the ductwork can be an ideal place for mold to grow. When it is growing in your air ducts, the spores will be circulated through the mechanical equipment, blown through your system and into the air throughout your entire home. This may be one of the biggest reasons why you need to clean your duct work.
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.
Recommended Reading: How Much Bleach And Water To Kill Mold
Is There Mold In My Ac Ducts
The right answer is probably. If you feel the need to ask, then it is worth having a qualified technician analyze your AC system to find out what is wrong. A professional will check your indoor and outdoor units as well as the ductwork connecting them.
Mold growing in your AC ducts is no joke as this is where almost all the air coming to you passes through. This makes it many times more dangerous for the health than mold growing in other areas, like behind the refrigerator.
Dubais humid and dust-laden climate means that you stand a higher chance of developing mold growth. Therefore, experts recommend that you carry out thorough AC duct cleaning at least two times a year.
What Causes Black Mold In Air Vents And Ducts
Mold in air ducts most commonly occurs when there is moisture inside the ductwork. As cool air flows through the vents on hot days, the moisture in the air can condense inside the air vent. You can see the same principle at work when you drink an icy beverage, and water beads up on the outside of the glass. When moisture is present, mold can flourish inside vents. The mildew can be introduced into the vents in several ways.
Mold spores are generally air borne, or spread through air. Spores can enter the duct work by simply blowing in from another area of the home, or from outside. The conditions need to be right for the spores to develop, however. A single mould spore can blow inside your home and begin to develop into a colony if the conditions are right. Warmer, moist environments are ideal for mildew spores to grow.
Act Now and Remove Mold from your HomeCall a Professional Mold Remediation Specialist or Get Up to 4 Quotes Now.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Black Mold Out Of Wood
What Type Of Mold Grows In Air Conditioners
There are thousands of types of mold. Of these, the most common types of mold found in air conditioners and ductwork include:
- Aspergillus: a genus of mold fungus prone to triggering allergic reactions and illness in people with weak immune systems.
- Cladosporium: a very common genus of mold with a green to black appearance, often relatively innocuous though it can still trigger allergic reactions and worsen asthma.
- Stachybotrys chartarum: known as black mold or toxic mold, Stachybotrys chartarum is a particularly dangerous species of mold that produces poisonous mycotoxins.
Ducts Need To Be Cleaned Every 3 To 5 Years
Not at all. While air duct cleaning may be needed to remove accumulated particulates that are impairing cost-efficient HVAC operation, this should not be an ongoing issue every few years. Duct cleaning is not part of normal HVAC maintenance. If your ductwork is properly sealed, you regularly change filters according to the manufacturer recommendations, and you clean floor registers with a vacuum every six months to avoid dust build up, you should not need to do duct cleaning at all.
The exception might be if you recently performed a major remodeling project or other new construction to your home that created a lot of dust. Then you might want to consider a duct cleaning. But, once the ducts are cleaned and you are back on track, there should be no need to do it again.
Taking simple maintenance steps you can perform on your own not only saves you money in terms of continued HVAC operational efficiency, it avoids future costly repairs and the need to clean ducts periodically.
Don’t Miss: How Does Mold Cause Allergies
What Is Air Duct Cleaning
- climatic region
- level of contamination
If you decide to have your heating and cooling system cleaned, it important to make sure the service provider agrees to clean all components of the system and is qualified to do so.
Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans , fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing .
In addition, the service provider may propose applying chemical biocides, designed to kill microbiological contaminants, to the inside of the duct work and to other system components. Some service providers may also suggest applying chemical treatments to encapsulate or cover the inside surfaces of the air ducts and equipment housings because they believe it will control mold growth or prevent the release of dirt particles or fibers from ducts. These practices have yet to be fully researched and you should be fully informed before deciding to permit the use of biocides or chemical treatments in your air ducts. They should only be applied, if at all, after the system has been properly cleaned of all visible dust or debris.
S To Prevent Mold Problems In Your Hvac System And Air Ducts:
There are times when home remedies are not enough, and you need to resort to more drastic methods. Mold infestations can be quite stubborn, and not tending to them can lead to more significant expenses. If you have had recurring mold problems in the past couple of years, you should consider the following prevention measures:
Recommended Reading: How To Treat Black Mold On Crepe Myrtles
Will Lysol Kill Mold
Lysol does have disinfecting products, including their mold and mildew remover spray. It eliminates mold and mildew stains, bleaches surfaces and kills 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria.
However, this product is intended for bathroom surfaces, so use on air vents at your own risk. The manufacturer does state that prolonged contact with surfaces made from metal, old porcelain or plastic laminate can lead to discoloration.
You can try other Lysol products, such as a disinfectant spray. But these are intended to prevent mold and mildew, rather than kill it. It is better for odor, bacteria and viruses than anything else.
Detergent And Baking Soda
Similar to our laundry detergent method, this is a little more heavy-duty because of the added baking soda. All you need is one tablespoon of laundry or dishwasher detergent, half a tablespoon of baking soda and one cup of water. Increase these ratios as needed.
Read Also: Can I Sue My Landlord For Mold Exposure
It Won’t Save Energy Either
Although not always part of their basic cleaning services, many duct-cleaning companies often also clean the heating and cooling equipment .
Another sketchy claim made by most duct-cleaning operations and their trade association is that dirty ducts and equipment overburden heating and cooling equipment, which wastes energy. Again, it intuitively makes sense that a cleaner system will run smoother and last longer after all, thats why we and HVAC-equipment manufacturers and repair services recommend that you regularly change your filters. But the page Benefits of HVAC Cleaning on the National Air Duct Cleaners Association website stretches this benefit too far by stating: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating and cooling a home is wasted.
Although much of the energy used to power heating and cooling equipment is indeed wasted, that waste is because of inefficient equipment, lousy insulation, leaks around doors and windows, and unsealed ductwork. While theres some benefit to cleaning and maintaining HVAC equipment, that benefit is relatively small, and little energy waste is attributable to dirty ducts or equipment.
CMHC researchers found that when duct cleaners also cleaned the blower-fan blades, there was a small reduction in airborne particles. Cleaning the blower fan might also slightly improve your systems energy efficiency.