What Are The Signs Of Mould Inside Air Conditioner Vents
One of the earliest signs of mould in an air conditioning unit is a musty smell when the system is in use. You might also see an increase in allergy symptoms, such as itchy eyes, a runny nose, or sneezing.
Mould isnt always visible, but when it is, it takes on a variety of colours and textures. A specific type known as black mould can show itself as black spots. Black mould can be very dangerous, and a specialist cleaner is recommended to tackle it.
How Do I Remove Air Conditioner Mold
Either replace or clean the air conditioning filter to remove air conditioner mold. Also, mold in air conditioning units can be removed by using a commercial grade cleaner made to get rid of mold growth. The way that you remove the mold depends largely on the type of air conditioning unit you have. You can do it yourself or hire a professional cleaning service to remove mold from the unit.
Removing air conditioner mold from a window unit involves practical care to ensure your safety. Make sure the unit is unplugged before you begin. You should also wear a mask while cleaning mold from the air conditioner. A mask protects you from breathing in mold spores and dust particles.
Often, cleaning or replacing the air conditioner’s filter removes mold from the unit. Moisture is the breeding ground for mold development, so you will want to do everything possible to eliminate areas of moisture which offer opportunities for mold growth. Frequent cleaning of filters is recommended for a window unit, especially if you live in a geographic location where high humidity is a constant issue.
Consider Hiring Professional Services
Although mold is an increasingly common household problem today, you need to be extra cautious regarding black mold. This particular mold type is hazardous, given frequent exposure.
Black mold thrives in moist environments, such as inside AC units or walls damaged by water . Its musty odor, in particular, is enough to trigger headaches and allergic reactions. It may even trigger specific respiratory issues, such as an asthma attack.
Since you’re dealing with a severe problem at hand, it’s recommended to consult a professional to mitigate the growth of these harmful, tiny spores. You wouldn’t want to expose all the occupants of your home to dangerous health risks.
Mold removal professionals are experienced and adequately trained in remediating mold activity. They know how to contain the fungi properly, apply antimicrobial chemicals, and do correct mold prevention. Most pros use a sealer/encapsulant to protect the treated areas against water damage and future mold problems.
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Cause Of Black Dust Around Air Vents
It is a known fact that air-conditioners produce moisture. Moisture that is produced due to dehumidification of air is disposed through the drainage pipe of the unit. However, moisture is produced as a result of condensation as well, which has nowhere to go. Cold air flows out of the air conditioner, but the warmer air present inside and around the unit causes the formation of small droplets of water inside and around the vents and air ducts. Combined with dust particles, this small quantity of water provides the perfect ground for mold infestation. So, dust and moisture are the cause of black dust around air vents.
Signs/Symptoms To Lookout For
- If you see any of the below-mentioned signs or suffer from any of these symptoms, you should be on the lookout for black mold.
- Strong musty or mildew-like smell in the entire house or localized to a few adjacent rooms.
- Black substance growing around the vents and inside the ducts.
- Nose, throat, and eye irritation only when you step inside the house.
- Feeling of fatigue, nausea, and dizziness when inside the house.
- Unexplained frequent headaches.
- Rashes on skin.
Usually, more that one of these indications will show themselves. When that happens, you have to be prepared for swift action both in getting rid of the mold and taking the family members for a medical checkup.
How To Remove Black Dust Around Air Vents
Prevention Tips For Mold Formation
Is Mold In An Air Conditioner Dangerous
If you discover the presence of mold in your air conditioner, that certainly is cause for concern.
The mold on your air conditioner is typically not that scary black mold, but it can still cause respiratory problems and other symptoms, especially for people with mold allergies, asthma, or other health conditions that compromise immunity. Children and the elderly are also more susceptible to the effects of mold.
If you or someone in your home has experienced a recent change in health that there is no apparent explanation for, it may be a good idea to have your HVAC system looked at to see if you have mold growing in your air conditioner or air ducts.
Symptoms to watch out for that may be linked to mold growth in your home include:
- Aggressive coughing
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Question: How To Prevent Mold Growth In A Split System Or Other Air Conditioner
I am about to purchase a new mini split because my old one broke and has mold. Do you know of a method to prevent mold from growing in the first place? – anonymous by private email 2018/10/24
I have not found a mold-proof air conditioner or air handler, and I often find mold growing on the organic debris that is deposited on air filters and on the plastic or metal surfaces in the air path.
Here are some things that will at least reduce the rate of mold growth in air conditioning and air handling equipment:
- Size the unit properly so that it will properly de-humidify the building air
- Watch the condensate drain system to keep it working and to be sure excessive condensate isn’t blowing past the condensate drip tray and into the duct system or for a mini split, blowing out onto the air distribution vanes
- UV light: Some commercial air handler service techs experiment with the addition of UV light to try to bathe mold-prone surfaces in constant UV to retard mold growth. UV won’t kill off organisms in air blowing rapidly through the air handler but it can treat AHU surfaces. UV Light Disinfection of HVAC Ducts & Air Handlers is discussed
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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.
Cleaning Without Removing A Window Air Conditioner
It can be hard to clean a window air conditioner without disconnecting it from the wall as you need a considerable amount of water. However, it is possible with a little more effort.
Before starting the job, you should put some buckets under your AC. Then, take off the screws of the frontal case or mask and take out the filter.
Afterward, you need to spray the device and wipe it with the dry cloth at the same time. Repeat the process until you see the frontal and inner parts are entirely clean. Dont forget to spray the filter and rinse it, as well. It is an excellent idea to do so in your bath or sink.
The next step is to go outside and spray the AC without removing the cover. Do it wherever you see the hole. Leave the agent and water to soak all the parts of the device for approximately 15 minutes.
Then rinse the device with water from the hose or bucket. Make sure not to pour a large amount of water immediately. It is better to use less water over a more extended period. While doing so, you will see the dirt comes from the bottom holes of the outside unit.
You will know a window air conditioner is clean once the water coming out becomes clean. If needed, you can repeat the soaking part, but always rinse the detergent or bleach afterward.
Once you have finished with the cleaning, you should leave all the parts to dry for at least 2 to 4 hours. After putting back all the pieces together, your seasonal cleaning is finished.
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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.
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How To Prevent Mold In Air Conditioner
Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to prevent mold from developing in your air conditioner:
- Reduce moisture. The easiest way to avoid moisture build-up in an AC unit is back when you purchase it. Look for an AC unit with humidity control. Many modern units vent water vapour with air. If you have a unit that is designed to collect water in a reservoir, empty it regularly.
- Avoid organic debris. In addition to water and air, mold needs organic matter to breed. Clean or replace your air conditioners filter regularly, and vacuum the interior to clear out any dust and debris. Dont give mold any food to live on!
- Keep unit running while on vacation. Mold tends to build up when the air conditioner is not running and the air is still. Keep your unit running, even when on vacation. To reduce energy consumption, you can set the target temperature higher so it runs less often, but dont shut it off altogether.
Unfortunately, air conditioners represent a particular problem area for mold, since they push the air and mold spores through the house and into the air you breathe. The risk of black mold in particular makes it important to be vigilant about mold in air conditioners and nip problems in the bud.
It may feel intimidating, but dont feel discouraged. Knowledge is power, and knowing to keep an eye out for mold in your air conditioner will help you keep your home healthy and happy.
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The Dangers Of Mold In Your Air Conditioner
If mold is growing in your house, it can release spores that can be easily inhaled. According to the CDC, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. People with mold allergies may have more severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed to mold.
Mold growing in an AC unit is not necessarily more dangerous than mold growing elsewhere in your house. However, the function of an air conditioner is to spread cool air throughout a room, and the purpose of the HVAC ducts is to distribute air throughout the house. If they become contaminated with mold, they will efficiently distribute mold spores across an entire room or the entire house. If the concentration of mold spores is high enough, you will have a mold problem everywhere, rather than in just one location, and you will be inhaling mold spores in every room, even while you sleep.
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 itâs nearby when allergy symptoms start â 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 â and there are steps you can take to prevent it.
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Diy Mold Removal Steps
Before you spend the time and money cleaning mold out of your ductwork, have the substance tested by a lab to determine that it is in fact mold. If you determine that it is mold, try to assess how extensive the growth may be. If it is extensive, you will probably need the help of a professional HVAC contractor to assess the extent of the problem and the best way to clean it out effectively. In some cases, the insulation around the ductwork will be infested and need replacement from an HVAC contractor.
If you believe the mold infestation has not established itself in a large area, however, you can remove it yourself and save a significant amount of money. Here are the steps you should take:
1. Find a mold removal cleaning agent and mold inhibitor. You can make your own mold cleaner by mixing one tablespoon of household detergent, 1/2 cup of baking soda, and 1 cup of water for porous surfaces. For non-porous surfaces , you can use 1 part bleach with 16 parts water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle for ease of application. Alternatively, you can purchase an EPA-approved mold killing product. Also, purchase an EPA-approved mold inhibitor to apply after the cleaning.
2. Wear protective clothing. Protect yourself from the mold killing agents you are using and the mold itself. The EPA recommends wearing an N95 mask, and you should wear rubber gloves, coveralls, and protective eyewear.
4. Choose your removal option:
6. Install new filters. Install new air filters.
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.
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Contact A Professional From Day & Night Air
There is some AC work you can do on your own. However, there are other projects you should entrust to the experts at Day & Night Air. Contact us through our online form if you have any HVAC issues. We can send one of our experienced employees to your house soon to see what the problem is and to recommend the best course of action.
Household Members Could Get Sick From Breathing Mold
Mold related illness can seem as if the person has a common cold or the beginning of the flu. If you or other members of your household began experiencing any of the following symptoms, you see your physician as soon as possible.
- Sore throat
- Respiratory infections
- Run-down feeling
If the above symptoms started since using your AC, there is a good chance your illness could be due to mold in it. If you are uncertain, call All Hours Air and we will send a technician out to do a thorough inspection.
Small spores of mold are often hard to see right away, however, given time, the mold will grow and become more apparent to the human eye. It is imperative that you not wait if symptoms like those listed above begin surfacing in people of your household.
Humidity that window units draw in from outside air doesnt just disappear it settles in and around the coils that keep the air cold. This moisture added with dirt and dust from the air creates a perfect environment for spores of mold that quickly grow and spread.
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