Monday, April 15, 2024

How To Clean Out Mold From An Air Conditioner

Turn Off Your Ac To Prevent Further Spreading

How to Clean a Dirty Moldy Window Air Conditioner

Before cleaning your AC, you should first shut off the system. This will prevent mold spores from further circulating around your house. You need to unplug the system and visually inspect the unit to see if you have a mold problem. This will require you to grab a flashlight because mold may be further down the system. You need to be vigilant of the signs of mold, which can include streaks of green, black or brown stains. Occasionally, these stains will appear fuzzy. You also need to watch out for the development of mildew, which takes the form of white and powdery gray stains.

How To Detect Mold In Your Window Air Conditioner

Most homeowners expect to discover mold in basements, leaky areas around roofs, and under carpets that are old or that have gotten wet at one time. But, not many are aware of the danger that lurks inside their air conditioner.

The first sign of mold the homeowner typically recognizes is a musty smell that fills the room often without the visual detection that there are active mold spores present. Mold in a home can lead to serious health issues and it doesnt take long for the symptoms to begin.

If you continue to smell this odor, rest assured there is mold somewhere in your home. However, if the smell is stronger when you turn the unit on, chances are there is mold growing in it somewhere, even if you are unable to find where at the time.

Extensive mold removal and repair cost can accumulate just as fast if the mold isnt detected early. If the discovery of mold is early enough and prompt action is applied, the homeowner can get a handle on the danger before it progresses too far.

Chances are you will be able to see mold in your AC if you make a thorough inspection or if you remove the filter and examine it, there could also be visible traces there. Even if it is too soon to see active mold on or around the filter, yet the smell it there, do a detailed inspection of the coils and around the motor for any signs of onset growth activity.

How To Kill Mold On An A/c Unit

Killing mold on an A/C unit is not as difficult as you might think. However, cleaning out the unit to ensure that the mold is dead is slightly more difficult. Since most mold in air conditioners grows on damp dirt and dust that has collected in the unit, you must be sure to remove all dust particles from the area.

Fortunately, it only requires a little time and some common household cleaning supplies to whip your air conditioner into shape and kill mold on an A/C unit.

Also Check: Removing Mold From Leather

How Does Mold In Air Handlers Happen

Mold needs two things to live:

  • Dust/Food.
  • Moisture.
  • Air handlers have two things inside of them, can you guess what they are?

    Air handlers are a source of dust as it sucks in all the air inside your home. Furthermore, air handlers cool your home down, which also removes humidity from the air. The humidity is collected, condensed, and removed from the home using the condensation line.

    Therefore, in order to control molds life inside our air handlers, we need to control dust and the water.

    Is Mold A Problem In Your Home

    How To Eliminate Mold From Your Window Air Conditioner ...

    If mold seems to plague your home, theres a problem somewhere.

    Your Central AC System If you have central air conditioning, mold can build up in your ducts. This is especially true if your ducts are the wrong size and/or if your AC or heat pump is the wrong size. These issues might not allow the dehumidification process that goes with air conditioning to be complete enough. Water condenses on cold, dusty ductwork sheet metal, and mold spores have all they need to grow.

    We highly recommend having the system looked at by an HVAC professional. Getting two opinions about what the problem is and how to solve it is a good idea.

    Your Home or Building You should definitely try to eradicate mold in your home or building. If thats not possible right now, or until it is done, an air purifier designed to remove mold spores from the air is a good short-term solution. Once the mold has been removed, the air purifier will keep your air cleaner and more breathable.

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    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.

    How To Remove Mold From Air Conditioner Ducts

    As soon as you spot mold in your air ducts, you are facing a serious problem that should be addressed right away. While many homeowners may want to learn how to remove mold from air conditioner ducts themselves, this problem does not have a quick fix and requires professional assistance. A thorough and effective professional duct cleaning requires special antifungal cleaners. You may also need air conditioner repairs to correct whats causing the mold. If you dont address the underlying cause, then cleaning can only produce temporary relief. If you live in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or Delaware dont hesitate to reach out to the experts at Oliver for help.

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    Use The Vacuum To Clean Up Dirt

    Most vacuum cleaners come with attachments that allow you to clean hard-to-reach places. Use the attachment to clean up as much debris and dirt as you can. You may need to rotate the unit to reach certain components that are prone to dust build-up. You want to make sure you clean the evaporator coil and blower motor. This will make wiping down the unit to clean off the mold much simpler.

    Why You Need A Professional To Remove Mold

    How to clean a window air conditioner, remove the mold and make it smell better.

    Hiring a professional to clean may seem like an unnecessary expense, but technicians can take care of mold and help prevent it from coming back more effectively and safely than you can do yourself.

    First of all, scrubbing mold with ordinary cleaners wont make it go away. Regular cleaning products will leave behind enough mold for it to easily grow back. Professionals have the proper equipment to protect themselves and your home or business from not only the mold, but the chemicals they use to clean it.

    You could also accidentally damage your HVAC system if you try to clean mold in air ducts yourself. Professionals know what to look for and how to treat your AC with care. Professional ductwork cleaners have HVAC training, so theyll be familiar with your system and know how to clean it without damaging it. They also use the correct mold growth inhibitor products to prevent it from coming back, and they know how to properly dispose of tools to prevent contaminating other areas.

    Learn more about professional duct cleaning services:

    Read Also: How To Mold Leather Holster

    Check For Any Damaged Parts

    Although your goal is to eliminate any mold, you should use this opportunity to see if there are any new components you need. You should check for any bent parts, such as a flattened fin. You also need to see if the coils have become crooked that you need to straighten out. In the event there is a problem, you need to remedy it immediately. This will require you to contact a professional from Day & Night Air to install it for you. There are many intricate parts inside an AC, and you do not want to risk putting your fingers too close to certain parts. Leave this job to the experts.

    Mold: A Common Hvac Complaint That Is Easy To Deal With

    The presence of mold in an HVAC system is a common complaint. Mold is a sneaky little bugger. It can grow and proliferate and make building occupants sick without ever being seen, and dramatically reduce indoor air quality . And the fastest way to spread mold through a building is through a forced-air HVAC system. If you are an HVAC professional, consider checking out our six steps to removing mold in HVAC systems article.

    The reason this complaint is so common is that mold is always present in your buildings and your HVAC system to the extent that it is present in your buildings environment. There will be more mold in humid weather and less in dry weather. You will never get rid of it completely, but you can control it. All it needs to grow is moisture and food take those away and the mold goes away.

    Check out this related content:

    According to the U.S. EPA, you should routinely inspect your HVAC systems, not just for mold, but for moisture. Look at drain and condensate pans to make sure they are draining properly. If they are clogged, the moisture that accumulates will become a mold factory. Also make sure that all HVAC ducts and system components such as air handlers, blowers, plenums, and the like are free of any moisture.

    Read Also: Mold On Bathroom Ceiling

    How Do I Clean Black Mold In Shower Silicone

    Eliminating black mold. Once youve taken the time to kill mold spores, you can start cleaning your silicone shower mold. It is better to use a toothbrush and an old towel. Clean the silicone and rinse with hot water. When mold grows in warm, moist places, heat kills the spores left over after washing.

    Also Check: How To Remove Mold From Wood Cabinets

    Clean Out The Tray And Drain

    When You Have Air Conditioning Mold, Let Specialists Help

    Finish the interior clean of your window AC unit by emptying the drip tray and clearing the drain. To remove debris or dirty water from your tray, grab a wet-dry vacuum or a damp cloth and pull out everything that’s collected inside. Leave it to dry before reassembling.

    Finally, check the drain to see if anything is blocking it. Use your cloth to wipe around the opening and make sure there’s a clear pathway for water to exit your unit.

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    Window Unit Cleaning Step By Step Guide

    1).First, disconnect the window units power source, including if it is wired directly to the home. If this is the case, disconnect or turn off the main breaker in the circuit box. For the next important step, you will need either the owners manual or the number to call the manufacturer.

    2).Check the owners manual to see how to discharge the Capacitor correctly. The Capacitor is the device that keeps an extra charge to kick-start the motor. This step in necessary because it will make sure there are no electrical charges left on it before you start the cleaning process.

    3).Next, clean the outside cover by wiping it down with a wet cloth. Be sure to use a good dirt and grim cleaner so that when you open the cover no loose particles fall inside.

    4). Remove the cover from the front of it by either unsnapping it with your hands or removing the screws/plastic hooks that hold the cover in place. Use caution while handling the metal pieces, the edges can be sharp.

    5). If the filter to your unit is reusable, remove it and clean it with hot, soapy water until it is nice and clean. To remove all the dust and particle buildup, use a soft brush and gently remove everything. Set the filter in an area where it can dry thoroughly before you put in back the A/C. Putting a damp filter back in will only attract more dirt and mold.

    6). If it has a disposable filter, manufacturers recommend changing it monthly to help keep mold at bay.

    How To Clean Mold From Air Conditioner Coils Step By Step

  • Turn off air conditioner at the thermostat.
  • Turn off the power to the indoor unit or furnace.
  • Open the access panel in the duct work to reveal the air conditioner evaporator coil. It will be near the furnace or blower motor housing.
  • Screws may be holding the panel. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws if necessary.
  • Use the brush attachment on a shop vacuum to remove the layer of dirt covering the coils.
  • If you dont have a vacuum with a hose attachment, use a soft brush to gently brush away any dirt.
  • Work slowly to avoid causing damage to the sensitive fins and coils.
  • Spray alkaline coil cleaner over the fins and coils. Be sure to read the manufacturers instructions on how to do this safely.
  • Let the cleaner set and drip for the time specified in the manufacturers directions.
  • Spray off the cleaner with water in a spray bottle. Drippings will go through the condensate drain.
  • Give the coils and fins some time to dry.
  • Apply a mold inhibiting product called biocide that kills microorganisms like mold and mildew.
  • Re-install the access panel cover on the duct work.
  • Turn the air conditioning unit back on at the thermostat and test the system for cooling function.
  • Recommended Reading: Fungus On Leather

    How Much Does It Cost To Remove Mold From Ac Ducts

    Mold spores can travel through the air, causing a potentially dangerous situation. Thats why its important to have mold and mildew removed promptly. The cost of air duct cleaning to removing mold and mildew is between $700 and $2,000 due to the need for specialized equipment and chemicals to complete the job.

    Cleaning Mold From A Wall Or Window

    Cleaning mold out of a window AC unit.

    These air conditioner mold removal steps will work on most window or through-wall air conditioners as well as on wall-mounted split system air conditioners and heat pumps.

    A split system or “ductless” air conditioning system dispenses with duct work entirely, using a wall-mounted indoor evaporator/blower unit and a separate outside compressor/condenser .

    At above left you can see rather typical dark mold growth on the plastic surfaces of the indoor half of a wall-mounted split system air conditioner. Similar mold may appear on window or through-wall mounted air conditioners as well.

    Mold grows readily on the plastic surfaces of the air conditioner’s face cover and on its air-directing louvers because these surfaces often are damp with condensate from the conditioned air.

    Mold may also grow on the metallic surfaces of the squirrel cage fan that blows room air through the air conditioner, more so as those surfaces accumulate building dust that typically includes organic debris such as skin cells.

    At left is a close-up of a fairly-clean split system air conditioner blower fan.

    If you click to enlarge the image you’ll see normal dust accumulation on the blade edges. In contrast, if the curved blades have become dust-laden not only does that serve as possible mold food it also means that the air-flow of the blower fan will be reduced.

    Below is a fairly dirty air conditioner air outlet grille or fan blade.

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    How To Remove Mold From Air Conditioner

    We dont recommend that homeowners attempt to clean a central air unit or ventilation . If, on an inspection of a small self-contained unit, you have decided to tackle it yourself, heres what youll need to do:

  • Wear goggles, a face mask and gloves to avoid exposure
  • Move the unit to a space where you can clean it without cross-contaminating your house
  • Open the unit and remove the filter
  • If the filter is disposable, throw it out
  • If the filter is not disposable:
  • remove all debris and visible mold
  • fully submerge the filter in a mix of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water
  • let soak for at least 10 minutes
  • rinse
  • air dry
  • Use a wet/dry vac to remove all debris from the interior of the unit
  • Deep clean all affected surfaces using a mixture of 1 parts bleach to 10 parts water, adding a spoonful of detergent for extra penetration.
  • Allow at least 10 minutes for the bleach to kill off any last remnants of mold
  • Hose or otherwise rinse off the unit, but avoid soaking the electrical components
  • Allow to dry
  • Reinstall the filter, reassemble and reinstall
  • If youre intimidated by the above work, remember: hiring a mold removal expert is always a safe and sure-fire way of getting mold eradicated.

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