When Do I Call A Professional
Although cleaning mold off an ac window unit filter and screening might seem simple to you as a homeowner. You never can tell if the mold spores have traveled long distances and begun to grow in other places of your home.
Mold spores can travel and begin to affect your walls, windows, and other areas of the home. Calling out your local home inspection company is a great idea at this time. Having peace of mind that all mold is removed from the home is vital to your health.
What Do I Need To Clean
Believe it or not, the recommended items needed to clean mold from your window ac unit are not extensive. The majority of the products are to protect your skin from being exposed to bleach or the mold itself as well as from breathing in the mold spores.
- Plastic Gloves-needed to protect your hands from mold and chemicals, while you scrub.
- Face Covering-needed to keep your face safe from exposure to the mold spores and keep you from inhaling them.
- Plastic Bucket-necessary to mix a solution of water and chemicals to clean the mold spores off the window ac unit.
- Wet/Dry Vac-used to vacuum dirt, dust, and debris from the window ac unit.
- Screwdriver-necessary to unscrew the frame that holds the unit into the window.
- Scrubbing Sponge-necessary to loosen the mold and mildew from the ac unit and its internal coils.
- Commercial cleaner-spray onto the internal coils of the window ac unit.
- Dish Soap-used to soak the grille and filter of the window ac unit.
- Bleach-necessary to kill the mold and mildew spores.
How Do You Know If There Is Mold In Window Air Conditioner Units
You might be able to see mold on the unit itself or on the filter if you remove and examine it. You might smell a musty odor characteristic of mold when the air conditioner is turned on. You might also be experiencing mold-related health problems like coughing, sneezing and respiratory problems. If you’re not sure whether or not there is mold in your air conditioner, you can have a mold remediation professional come in and inspect it. They will also inspect the wall around the unit in case there was a leak.
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What Causes Window Air Conditioner Black Mold
Knowledge is power! Knowing what causes window AC mold will help you to prevent it again once youve cleaned your AC.
Three things are needed for black mold on a window air conditioner. At the end, we talk about how to deal with the moisture and nutrients part of the equation.
- Mold spores Mold is common. Mold spores are found in most homes. By themselves, they might not pose a serious threat.
- Moisture When spores get wet, they begin to grow and reproduce. This is why the US Environmental Protection Agency says, the way to control mold growth is to control moisture. However, since your window AC dehumidifies the air in the room gets rid of moisture this is difficult, and it is why black mold on window air conditioners is so common.
- Nutrients Mold needs food. Thats why it does so well on old forgotten food in the refrigerator. And this also offers a hint to keeping mold off your window air conditioner. Starve mold by keeping the AC clean.
The EPAs guide 10 Things You Should Know About Mold is good reading for anyone concerned about mold in air conditioner health risks and how to prevent them. The guide includes many useful links too.
What You Should Do If You Suspect Mold In Window Air Conditioner Unit
While air conditioner units should not grow mold under normal operating conditioners, if you suspect mold it is important to clean your window air conditioner to remove any possible mold growth. Turn the unit OFF until you can confirm that it is free of mold. Using an air conditioner that contains mold will blow microscopic mold spores into your home, causing the potential for serious health issues and illness.
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How Do You Clean Mold Out Of A Window Ac Unit
Before you do anything, youll have to make sure you have the proper supplies to get the job done. Heres what youll need:
- Protective gear
- A phillips head screwdriver
- A wet/dry vacuum with attachments
- A large bucket
- Laundry detergent
- Dish soap
- Rags and/or brushes for scrubbing
Once youve gathered everything you need, you can then move on to the project itself.
Step 1. Put on all your protective gear. This should include eyewear like goggles or a face shield, a N95 or better face mask, and rubber gloves. Mold can be toxic if inhaled, so its important to always err on the side of caution.
Step 2. Turn off your window air conditioning unit, unplug it, and safely remove it from the window frame. Take it to a well-ventilated place where youll be able to work on cleaning it comfortably.
Step 3. Remove the front grille on your units body. You can usually do this by grasping the outer edges of the body frame, pulling forward, and then down. It should sort of click and slide out of place. If the front grille appears to be screwed in place, remove the screws before attempting to pull it off.
Step 5. Back at the filter-less unit, you have another cover to unscrew. Itll be behind where you took off the front grille and removed the air filter. Once unscrewed, this metal cover can now be pulled up and out. Once this portion is open, its time to take the vacuum to your now-empty unit. You want to get up any possible debris thats gotten inside its nooks and crannies.
Clean The Interior Of The Air Conditioner
Once the front grill and filter have been removed, youll have a chance to see the extent of the mold in your air conditioning unit. The mold can look like black, brown or blue spots that dont appear to have a smooth or consistent texture and may be slightly raised from the air conditioning unit itself.
If there are a few isolated mold spots on the front of the interior of your air conditioning unit , theres a good chance your unit can be cleaned. However, if there is significant mold throughout the unit , the unit may need replacing.
Fill your bucket or bowl with warm water and mix in some dish soap. Carefully wipe or scrub the mold until it comes off, paying attention so as to not get any water on the electrical components inside the air conditioner.
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Remove The Air Conditioner
Remove the air conditioner from the window. Use ascrewdriver to take it out from the secured frame and ask someones help tocarry the air conditioner with you to the yard. Place it on the surface of the concrete.You can also use a large piece of plywood.
Remove the filter and the grille from the front ofthe unit. Provide a sink of the mixture warm soapy water and bleach. Soak thefilter in it. After that, you need to remove the back and the top of cabinetbased on the following directions from the manual book.
How Can You Identify If Your Air Conditioner Has Mold
Humidity, moisture, and other factors like keeping your ACs unused for a long while can cause mold to grow in them, which further leads to health hazards.
A musty smell is the leading indicator of the fact that there may be mold in your window air conditioners. You can always double-check by turning off the AC to see if the smell leaves or if the AC is, in fact, the problem.
Growing in humid areas with a damp environment, mold is very similar in texture to dirt and can be brown, black, or green. It can also be in the fungal stage of grey mildew with a fuzzy texture covering the inside of your unit.
Once youve found the evidence of mold in your window air conditioners, the next step follows, which is preparing to remove the mold.
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Is Mold A Problem In Your Home
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.
Can Mold In An Ac Unit Make You Sick
Absolutely. In fact, mold in an AC unit can be downright lethal if its the wrong type of mold. People who have allergies may notice a sharp uptick in their allergic reactions if their unit currently has mold. Worse, if its black mold, its very likely that both animals and people in the household could end up with serious lung infections.
Even if you do not have allergies relating to mold, its still a serious problem. Mold, if the spores get on your food, can make you sick. It also smells foul. This means that your home wont be as relaxing as it could be.
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Reasons Why You Should Clean A Window Air Conditioner Mold:
Clean Mold From The Ac Machine
Here is a typical moldy air conditioner sitting idle for a long time notice the dark areas of mold on the unit. Then, using your shop-vac or another cleaning machine with a brush attachment, begin to remove the mold from the air conditioner. Be sure to go all the way around and get as much of it as possible.
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What You Need To Know About Mold In A Window Air Conditioner
If youre reading this article, chances are youre thinking ahead about the impact mold can have on your window air conditioner and on your health .
Youre smart to think ahead. According to the Environmental Protection Agency , potential health effects of mold exposures can include allergic reactions and asthma in those who are sensitive, as well as other respiratory issues.
Whats more, preventing mold is the best way to ensure your a/c unit lasts for years to come
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.
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Revisit The User Manual
What is more reliable to consult than the user manual that came with your window air conditioner? If this does not apply to your case, then you can make a quick online search about it and see if theres a soft copy available for your unit.
This is essential in the sense that each air conditioning unit is different. Because of this, it may entail a different approach and will help you prevent mishaps while cleaning. You do not want this to add to your woes, do you?
Make sure to read the important details in your manual particularly the ones which are related to cleaning mold. Your unit may contain specifications that will dictate which of the cleaning supplies and following steps you may not need to follow.
How Does A Window Air Conditioner Work
An air conditioning system is too complex to describe in detail in this article. Still, in brief, it transfers heat from a set of coils inside your window. Then, a compressor moves this to a set of coils outside the window.
In a window AC, the hot and cold parts of the air conditioning system are in the same unit but separated by a panel. This is important to understand because there are two fans usually powered by the same motor.
On the outside, it pulls air from the atmosphere to cool the hot coils. On the inside, it pulls air from your room to cool the air, thereby heating the coils.
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Clean The Air Conditioner Drain Line
To reduce the amount of mold that builds up inside your unit, you should periodically clean out and unclog any mold or debris from its drain line. You can use your shop-vac to remove the mold, then use a garden hose to spray it down. If you do not have a shop-vac, you can use your vacuum cleanerwith an attachment to clean out the drain line as well.
How Do You Clean Mold Out Of A Window Air Conditioner Without Removing It
Window air conditioner mold is one of the most significant issues to be found within a household. If you notice some mold growing on your window box, then its perfectly understandable for you to feel concerned. No one wants mold in their house because its such an easy problem to avoid if you take precautions and clean up as soon as you can.
Most people dont know that mold doesnt just have to be found on the inside of your home it can also show up on exterior parts such as window air conditioner units. If this happens, then there are some steps that you should take to ensure that your household stays fresh and clean throughout. We have already provided some tips on how to clean a window air conditioner mold effectively, so be sure to read this full blog post.
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Can You Prevent Mold Growth In Air Conditioners
In order to prevent mold growth in any area, proper moisture control is essential. Air conditioners produce moisture, so it isnt uncommon for mold growth to occur in both HVAC and stand-alone units. So, how can you prevent mold growth from occurring in your AC? Here are some tips that you can use to control moisture content, and thus, reduce the risk of mold growth.
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.
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