Preventing Mold Growth In Your Ac Unit
Fungi and bacteria that thrive in moist environments can grow on the inside of air conditioning units, leading to a musty smell and causing health problems. Mold can cause respiratory issues such as sinus problems or headaches for those with allergies or respiratory issues. These pesky spores have been known to trigger asthma attacks as well.
Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent this from happening. You should make sure your AC unit isnt leaking by periodically checking condensation levels at the bottom of your unit with a flashlightif its wet down there, you may want to get someone out to look at the unit right away! You should also make sure that your AC unit is properly insulated. A well-insulated system will not let in as much warm air and moisture, which means less mold growth.
One last thing you can do to prevent mold from growing inside of your vents is to change the filters regularly according to the manufacturers instructions.
How Does Mold Growth In Air Conditioners
Mold spores are literally all around us. They are constantly floating through the air and landing on sold surfaces. In nature, when those spores land on organic matter, such as fallen trees and leaves, they grow and feed on the matter, aiding in decomposition hence, outdoor mold growth is actually quite beneficial. Of course, mold spores get inside, too. The microscopic spores float inside through windows, doors, chimneys, and ventilation systems. They can also attach to shoes, clothing, bags, and anything else that goes outside, and when those items are brought back inside, they become airborne, travel throughout your house, and land on all types of surface.
Try as you might, there is no way to completely eliminate mold spores in your house. Minimal concentrations of mold spores usually arent problematic the problem arises when those spores continue to multiple and become mold. Why? Because patches of mold release spores, and the concentrations of the spores that mold growth produces can be quite high. Thats where the problem lies, and where adverse health effects as a result of mold exposure can occur. Since it is impossible to stop mold spores from entering your house, in order to prevent the negative effects that mold exposure can cause, you need to work on preventing the spores from growing into the fungi.
In order to grow, mold needs just a few basic things:
Donât Miss: Treat Mold On Drywall
How To Prevent Mold In Air Conditioner Unit
Dont forget that the HVAC system is perfect for mold growth, so they can grow back in a matter of weeks if preventive measures are not taken.
One of the best ways to keep them from coming back is to use an EPA registered mold growth inhibitor immediately after cleaning.
Mold infestations are persistent, which means you need to act fast before they grow again and cause you untold expenses.
Luckily, there are many steps you can take to prevent mold from growing back into your HVAC system.
We will list them out below.
- Replace the HVAC system filters
- Insulate the air ducts to reduce the condensation levels inside the ducts
- Practice regular cleaning of the drip pans
- Seal condensation and leaks
You can also buy a dehumidifier from a home improvement store . The humidity level should not go beyond 60%, as this is the ideal range for mold growth.
Place the dehumidifier close to the areas close to mold growth for better results.
When the aerial water vapor content is low, the water will evaporate faster from the ducts, thereby reducing the chances of mold growth.
Another thing you can do to prevent future mold growth in your ducts is to inspect them regularly. If you dont know what to look for during inspection, then call on the professionals to do it for you.
As we have mentioned before, mold can be very persistent, and it can grow back if proper care is not taken.
Recommended Reading: Removing Mold From Leather
Two: Make Your Cleaning Solution Or Buy A Commercial Cleaner
For those who are not interested in making a solution themselves, you can simply buy an EPA-approved commercial mold cleaner.
But if you dont mind the DIY approach, you can make a solution all by yourself.
Air Conditioner Mold Spray
Baking soda is a great product for HVAC mold removal. A bleach solution can also do the trick.
To make your solution, take a tablespoon of household detergent and mix with half a tablespoon of baking soda into a cup of water.
Alternatively, you can mix one part bleach with 16 parts water to treat non-porous surfaces.
This recipe is often used for mold in air ducts treatment.
Is Mold A Problem In Your Residence
If mold seems to plague your house, there’s a problem somewhere.
Your Central AC System – If you’ve got a central air conditioning unit, mold can grow in your ducts. This is particularly true if your ducts are the wrong size and/or if your AC or heat pump is the wrong size. These issues may not enable the dehumidification process, which goes to be complete enough. Water contracts on cold, mold spores and dusty sheet metal have all they have to grow.
We highly suggest having the machine looked at by an HVAC professional. Obtaining two remarks about what the issue is and the way to solve it’s a fantastic idea.
Your Home or Building You should definitely try to remove mold in your home. If that’s not possible this time w, or until it is done, an air purifier built to eradicate mold spores from the air is a great short-term option. Once the mold has been eliminated, the air purifier will keep your air cleaner and more breathable.
Also Check: Removing Mold From Ceiling In Bathroom
How To Remove Mold From Air Conditioner Ducts And Other Parts
Youre here for this information, and we provide step by step mold removal instructions.
Heres your supply list to remove AC mold:
- Safety first Face mask and nitrile or latex gloves. You might want to slip leather/mechanics gloves over the nitrile gloves when cleaning the fins or interior of the AC. There are sharp parts to avoid.
- Window AC Cleaners Antibacterial dish soap for the washable filter, Tilex or similar cleanser that lists on its label that it kills mold. If you dont have antibacterial dish soap, the Tilex can be used on the filter. We prefer Tilex because it is specially formulated to kill and remove mold and mildew.
- Cleaning Tools & supplies Nylon scrub brush, cloth rag or paper towel, vacuum cleaner with crevice tool and upholstery brush.
- Hand tools Screwdriver set.
How to Clean the Washable Filter:
This is an easy first step to get you rolling.
If there is black mold on the frame of the filter, spray it with Tilex, let it sit a few minutes, and wipe it off.
Then proceed with general AC filter cleaning:
1). If you have antibacterial dish soap, put the stopper in a utility tub, bathtub or large sink. Fill it with 2 of water, and pour in a liberal dose of dish soap. Swirl it to mix the soap.
2). Remove the grille from the front of the AC and remove the filter, or simply slide the filter out of its slot . Most grilles have clips a few have screws.
3). Drop the filter in the soapy water or spray it on both sides with Tilex. Let it sit for 15 minutes .
Effects Of Mold In Your Ductless System
We touched on a few effects that mold in your ductless system can have on you. But, those scratch the surface. If you leave a problem like this untreated, it will spread throughout the house. And, youll feel worse and worse. The more spores you inhale, the more severe the symptoms: headaches, trouble concentrating, even memory loss. Meanwhile, you dont want it to spread. Mold itself wont cause any structural damage. But, it also helps breed fungus and other invasive things. Those can eat away at walls and rafters if left untreated. Now, its important to understand that spotting a little speck isnt the end of the world. The truth is, we all have at least some mold in the house. In fact, any black spots on your bathroom tile grout or shower curtain are mold. There are many strains of mold out there. Most are relatively harmless, especially in small quantities. Still, you dont want to let the situation get out of control. After all, you clean your bathroom regularly, right? In the same way, you want to stay on top of any problems with your ductless heat pump systems. Unfortunately, these components can cultivate mold quickly if you dont use them properly.
Also Check: Clean Moldy Leather
Things To Do If You Find Black Mold In Your Air Conditioner
If you notice a moldy smell in your home after powering the AC, there’s a chance that this foul odor may come from the unit.
Word of caution: If there’s a mold infestation in your AC unit, you may be at risk of a health hazard. Mold is a fungus that thrives in damp, dark places and it may trigger severe allergic reactions and other health conditions.
Many homeowners often overlook and take for granted the convenience brought by air conditioner units, so they forget to commit to routine maintenance activities.
The Problems Air Conditioner Mold Creates
The musty smell appears to be a heavy problem in itself, but its not the only troublesome issue about mold.
With your AC continually circulating air throughout your home, it sometimes picks up mold spores, spreading them into your living areas.
As a result, you could suffer from frequent allergy symptoms.
Worse, mold exposure can have moderate to severe consequences on your health. It can give you:
- Discomfort in the eye and nasal passages
- Skin reactions
- Respiratory infections
So it can be quite a serious problem. According to the Environmental Health Perspectives, dampness and mold exposure can increase the risk of respiratory health issues by
Even the process of cleaning up a moldy AC can risk your exposure to mold.
This means you have to be vigilant about preventing mold growths not just wiping them out.
And vigilance also means detecting mold growths as early as possible.
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Mold From Bathroom Ceiling
How To Remove Mold From A Window Ac:
OK, washing filters, turn your attention to the rest of the unit.
1. Pick Your Position: Move the device to a well-ventilated space where it is easy to get to either side of it. A picnic table outside work or a bench in the garage or are two common choices.
2. See the AC Interior: The grille should be off. Eliminate the screws holding the metal cover in the front of the AC it was right behind the grille.
3. Suck it Up: Use the vacuum tube to clean loose dust, dirt, lawn clippings, etc. from inside the AC. The crevice tool might come in handy.
4. Brush The Fins: Add the upholstery brush into the vacuum, and lightly clean the fins on the AC coil. Keep the brush in the same direction the fins run. Be gentle to ensure the fins don’t bend.
5. Clean The Fins: when the debris is gone from the radiator-like fins, spray-on Tilex. Let it sit for 15 minutes, brush it gently, and rinse it off with water or a hose from a spray bottle.
6. Clean The Housing: Spray off the housing the portion that sticks out the window. Allow the cleaner sit, and then rinse or wipe it off.
7. See Any Mold Inside? This is the best way to remove mold from air conditioner ducts the passageways that cycle air from indoors throughout the device and back into your room and those on the outside that take away heat.
9. Don’t Forget the Grill and Cover: Spray down the parts you take out. Let the cleaner sit, and hose off or wipe off the cover and grill.
Reattach the cover and grille.
Protect Yourself When You Remove Mold In Air Vents And Ducts
When removing mold from vents, you will need to have some specific tools on hand. A face mask with a HEPA filter is a necessity to avoid the spores entering your nose and mouth. You will also need some bleach, water, and tools to reach the insides of the vents. You will want to make sure that the electric to the furnace or air conditioning system is shut off before beginning your task. A long, flexible mop or sponge is needed to spread the bleach solution inside vents. Allow the ducts to dry thoroughly before turning the system back on.
You May Like: How To Remove Bathroom Ceiling Mold
Know When To Replace An Ac Unit
Most people should be perfectly capable of cleaning an AC unit to get rid of any mold. However, there are extreme cases where you will be better off throwing away the unit completely. The above steps are great for mild cases of mold, where only a couple streaks have formed. However, if the entire interior of the unit has fuzzy mold, then you should not attempt to clean it on your own. You can hire an AC professional to look at it in this instance. The advice you get may be to install a new AC unit.
Even in this instance, cleaning the unit may be a fruitless endeavor. This is why it is critical to keep up-to-date with AC maintenance. You have to neglect your AC for a long time in order for mold to get this bad. It is even possible that hiring someone to clean the AC for you will cost more than simply purchasing a new unit.
How To Check For Mold In The Hvac System
Every homeowner should know how to spot mold in their cooling system. It can be hard to tell that a problem is growing in your house, which just gives it more time to spread.
Here are some tell-tale signs that there may be some fungi lurking there:
- A noticeable musty smell near the air vents in the indoor environment.
- The distinct odor increases when the air is running.
- Patches of black fungi re visible around the vents, evaporator coils, or drip pans.
- You or your family has an irritated throat, nose, eyes, or sinus passages when the cooling is on.
At your annual maintenance check, your HVAC tech should test for mold. Also, check for signs of mold whenever you empty the drip pans or change the furnace filter. But, if you suspect that there may be a problem in your system, dont wait. Have the HVAC and duct system checked by a professional so that the mold can be eradicated as soon as possible.
You May Like: How To Clean Mold In Bathroom Ceiling
Mold On Window Air Conditioner Styrofoam And Other Places
Sometimes you are aware there is black mold in window ACs due to the musty, tell-tale odor when you turn it on, or it has been running for a while.
People allergic to mold sometimes know it’s nearby when allergy symptoms start – coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, an asthma attack, etc.
Other times window AC mold is evident on the filter, housing, or when you peer into the inside of the unit or the filter.
Whatever the signs, mold should go – and there are steps you can take to prevent it.
Next Steps Of How To Get Rid Of Mold In Air Ducts:
Once you have finished cleaning the visible mold, it is time to make sure that it never comes back! You need to look for EPA registered mold growth inhibitors for this process. These can successfully prevent mold from growing again after the clean-up. Without the application of inhibitors, the fungus is most likely to come back in the same area within a few weeks.
It sounds like a time-consuming task when it comes to the process of how to get rid of mold in air ducts and it surely is. You should be especially careful to dry the area after the cleaning. It is also a process that involves high health risks. Experts will always recommend that you leave the task of how to get rid of mold in air ducts to professionals who have the right equipment to ensure maximum safety to you and your family during the process.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean Mold Off Bathroom Ceiling With Vinegar
How To Remove Black Mold From Air Ducts And Vents
Removing mold that has begun growing inside air vents can be a challenge. Some experts recommend using ozone, but the CDC and other agencies have warned that this method of removing mold can be damaging to the respiratory system. Mold can be killed with a mixture of one cup of bleach per gallon of water, but chances are good that you wont be able to reach the mold deep inside the duct work of the home. Instead, you can follow these steps to kill mold in air vents:
Step 1: Have the substance you suspect to be black mold tested to be sure that it is actually this type of fungus. You can avoid a potentially time consuming and costly cleanup with this simple test.
Step 2: Identify the main cause of the mold in your home. Wet wall interiors and damp baseboards can contribute to mold. Identify and treating the main cause of mould will ensure the problem doesnt reoccur.
Step 3: Check the insulation surrounding the ductwork. If the mold in your air vents has extended into the surrounding insulation, you will need to replace this material.
Step 4: Clean the interior of the air vents using a professional cleaner who has been recognized by the NADCA. Since improper removal of mold can be a waste of time, and money, you will want to choose someone who has experience and specialized knowledge in removing fungus.