Does Black Mold Pose Any Danger If It Starts Growing In Your Hvac System
Black mold growing in your home will begin releasing spores into the air which you may end up inhaling mold spores and identifying by scent from the AC units. As per the Center for Disease Control , inhaled mold can lead to a number of health issues, including eye irritation, coughing or wheezing, throat irritation, and nasal stuffiness. In some cases, mold spores in your air conditioner can even be responsible for irritation to the skin.
People allergic to mold may have severe reactions to mold. The same applies to people with compromised immune systems.The mold that grows in the air conditioning system isnt necessarily more hazardous than visible mold growing elsewhere in your home. That said, the air conditioning will be more efficient at distributing the mold spores throughout your home. Thats because your air conditioner is designed to distribute air throughout your house. You don’t automatically need a new air conditioner.
If the concentration of mold spores is high enough, a mold problem will be inevitable. Check your AC units regularly.
Mold In Central Air Conditioners
If you suspect mold in your central air system or ductwork, contact an HVAC professional to handle the inspection and cleaning process. Repairing your heating and cooling system is not a DIY job and you dont want to risk damaging other parts of the unit.
Need help finding a certified HVAC expert? Click below.
Find a pro to help clean my AC!
To ensure your system works properly for its intended lifespan, schedule routine maintenance ahead of the summer season. A technician can help you prevent mold growth and other damages from occurring so your home and family are comfortable when hot weather hits.
Mold In Air Vents: Symptoms To Watch For
Black mold in your air vents can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms and health problems. The symptoms may vary from person to person, and can also depend on the length of exposure and the amount of spores inhaled.
Common symptoms and health problems caused by black mold may include:
- Itchy, irritated eyes
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
If you suspect that you or someone in your household has been exposed to black mold, its crucial to take swift action to protect your health and remove contamination. Consult a professional to have the mold removed in a safe, effective way and make sure to also consult an AC pro to prevent a future infestation.
Recommended Reading: How To Remove Mold From Blankets
What To Do If You Have Mold In Your Air Conditioner
Finding mold in your air conditioner is a problem that you should deal with immediately. If the mold is heavily infesting a small air conditioner, it’s recommended to replace the unit with a new air conditioner because even with significant cleaning there is a high chance that the mold will continue to thrive in unseen areas of the appliance. However, if the mold is relatively light, then you might be able to get rid of it before it spreads throughout the AC unit.
Wear safety glasses, a face mask, and gloves, then move the unit to a space where it can be cleaned without contaminating the rest of the home, such as the driveway. Open the air conditioner and remove the filter. You can either replace the old filter if it is disposable or wash the filter in a mix of 1 part liquid bleach to 10 parts water, allowing it to soak for at least 10 minutes to kill any mold.
Rinse the filter and allow it to air dry. While the filter dries, deep-clean all affected surfaces of the air conditioner with the solution of bleach and water. Rinse off the AC unit, being careful not to soak any electrical components, and allow it to dry before reinstalling the filter.
Scrub The Moldy Areas Of The Ac
You need to get a sponge, brush or cloth to soak up the solution and scrub down the affected areas of your AC. You also want to clean the front grille with the same solution. Even if you do not see any mold, it may still be a good idea to scrub down the area just to prevent mold from growing in the future. You should allow the solution to sit for at least 10 minutes. After this time, you need to rinse the AC down with a damp cloth and water. If you still see mold on the unit, you can repeat the scrubbing steps until it goes away.
Recommended Reading: Is This Mold Or Mildew
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.
How Do I Prevent Mold From Growing In My Air Conditioner
Controlling moisture is the key to preventing mold in air conditioners. Unfortunately, air conditioners can also be a source of moisture. Here are some steps you can take to control moisture when using an air conditioner.
Mold growing in an AC unit or in your homes HVAC system is a serious problem, because it allows mold spores to be spread throughout the house. Cleaning up an HVAC mold problem is a difficult and possibly expensive task. The best way to deal with mold in an air conditioner is to control moisture and prevent it from happening at all.
Recommended Reading: How Fast Does Mold Grow In Walls
How To Prevent Black Mold Around Air Vents
Preventing black mold from developing is the simplest way to ensure you have good air quality inside your home. Small changes, such as using a HEPA filter in the air conditioning system, are recommended to maintain the cleanliness of the vents. Annual maintenance of all parts of your system, including the coils, can also help reduce the risk of mold spores entering the ducts. You will typically need to have a professional inspect and clean your furnace or air conditioning system annually to complete these tasks.
If you live in a humid environment or experience a lot of humidity in the home, then you may want to consider investing in a dehumidifier. The dehumidifier can remove excess moisture from the air, which is needed for mold spores to thrive. Lastly, maintaining cleanliness in the home by using a vacuum with a HEPA filter regularly and limiting the amount of dust in the home can reduce mold spores. If you are renovating and there is a lot of dust, then you can close off vents with plastic sheeting to keep vents clean.
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.
Also Check: How To Stop Black Mold In Shower
How Can I Tell If Mold Is Growing In My Air Conditioner
Indications of mold in your air conditioner can be noticeable yet subtle. A key telltale sign of mold presence is a mildew smell, but the source of the mold can be difficult to identify. Is it coming from the kitchen? Is it coming from the carpet? If it is present in your air conditioner, you will usually notice an increase in the odor when your unit is turned on.
Here are some other signs that mold is present in your AC unit:
- Musty or mildewy odor
- Black dust accumulating around air vents
- Visible presence of mold that is black, brown, green, white, pink, yellow or orange in color
Clean The Front Housing
Just like you need to clean the interior, the front part needs to be cleaned as well. After all, if any mold spores have formed there, it will be enough to allow it to replicate and send it straight to the room.
Use the cleaner on the cover of the AC just like you used it on the inside. After you allow it to sit, rinse with some hot water or wipe with a wet cloth to remove mold that has remained.
You may also finish off with a dry rag to ensure the space is no longer humid.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Black Mold In Drywall
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.
Consider Installing An Ultraviolet Germicidal Lamp
Another effective way of dealing with black mold growth is by installing a UV germicidal lamp. Ultraviolet rays have been clinically proven to be effective in curbing the growth of toxic mold and bacteria.
For best results, you should install the lamp near an evaporator coil and other places that are hotbeds for mold growth.
Besides killing mold spores, the lamps are also proven to be effective against bacteria and viruses.
You May Like: Does Home Depot Install Crown Molding
What Are Sings Of Mold In Air Conditioners
There are a few signs to watch for if you suspect mold in your air conditioner:
- Musty smell. Mold spores give off a distinct musty smell. If you have a central AC unit, you might notice a musty smell throughout the house with no discernable source or visible signs of mold. If you have one or more window air conditioners, you might notice this smell in the room where the unit is located. A musty smell coming from an air vent when the AC is running is a clear sign of mold in your air conditioner.
- Health symptoms when AC goes on. Mold can cause a variety of negative reactions, including allergic reactions and various respiratory problems. If you or someone in your family starts showing these symptoms only when the AC is running, mold may be the culprit.
- Visible signs. Of course, depending on the location of your AC unit, you may be able to give it a visual inspection, along with the air vents if you have central air conditioning. Look for the familiar patchy spots of mold, sometimes fuzzy and often black or green-black. But keep in mind that mold spores are microscopic and the source of them may be hidden from view. So even if you cant see any mold, it may still be lurking out of sight.
- Professional inspection. If you suspect mold in your air conditioner, the best way to be certain is to bring in a professional mold inspector. They will be able to determine if there is mold in your AC unit, in the ventilation system, and other parts of your home.
What Causes Mold To Grow In Your Air Conditioner
Mold needs moisture, darkness, still air and warmth to grow. Your air conditioner can easily provide the perfect environment for mold if parts of the unit malfunction. For example, a clog in the condensate drain can cause water to back up in the unit, inviting mold growth. Additionally, mold can also grow in units that have not been used for a long time.
Read Also: How Do You Know If Mold Is Toxic
How Can I Prevent It
Prevention of mold growth is definitely something that can be done by homeowners. How to remove mold from air conditioner ducts is not a simple task. You might not be perfect in your attempts, but you can certainly minimize any chances of mold taking over your home. Here are some ways that you can prevent mold growth in your home:
Use Detergent & Baking Soda
Detergent and baking soda is a more powerful version of killing mold than using laundry detergent. Below are the steps you should follow.
Read Also: Will Ultraviolet Light Kill Mold
Remove The Front Panel
To get inside the unit, you will need to take off the front panel. Although AC units come with different designs, most panels are made the same. You should be able to use your nut driver to unscrew the panel and pull it out. You can change the filter at this point if it is located in your system. If you have a washable filter we suggest disposing of it and switching over to pleated disposable filters. Washable filters tend to never get clean once they get dirty. It is a good habit to replace the air filter once every few months no matter what.
Dirty Air Filters Or Evaporator Coils
Black mold can often grow in your units air filter or evaporator coils. Since these are internal components, it can be easy to overlook them. However, black mold can grow just as quickly inside your unit as it would around it.
If your air filters or coils are dirty, there is a chance that mold is present. Replace your filter or call Davis Home Services to schedule a professional evaporator coil cleaning.
Don’t Miss: Can I Clean Mold Myself
How Does Mold Grow Insight Ac
When you have an AC, it is constantly releasing warm air. The warm air flows into the AC unit and is cooled by the condenser coils. While this is helpful during the summer months, it creates a perfect breeding ground for mold spores.
The warm air that is flowing into the condenser coils allows mold spores to grow, while the cool air blowing out of the AC is a perfect temperature for mold to thrive. In addition, the condenser coils are generally not cleaned regularly. This makes them the perfect location for mold to grow. If you see signs of mold in your AC, it is important to get it removed immediately. If you do not clean out your AC unit, the mold will continue to grow, and it can cause serious health issues.
Change Ac Filters Regularly
Regularly changing your filters is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent dust and dirt from clogging your air vents. When debris is allowed to build up in your air vents, this promotes the accumulation of spores.
Wondering when and how to change your central air conditioner filter? Depending on the type of filter you have and the size of your family, you should change your air filters every 30 to 60 days. If you have a pet, you should change your filters more frequently. Most systems are very straightforward. You can simply remove the filter cover, take out the dirty filter, get the new filter out of its packaging and place it inside.
Recommended Reading: How Much Does Mold Removal Cost
Is Mold In Air Conditioner Dangerous
If small amounts of mold spores form on your air conditioner styrofoam, the chances are that you will not be bothered by mildew.
Mold and mildew in small quantities are often not very dangerous for the average person in the short run but in the long run, it may trigger some health issues.
Black mold in window AC is the kind of mold growth that you need to be aware of.
When this kind of mold begins growing on your air conditioning system, it can become a problem for those with allergies, asthma, or certain breathing problems.
Plus, mold growth in your air conditioner can lead to throat irritation, stuffy nose, coughing, as well as skin and eye irritation.
Since your air conditioning system circulates air throughout the house, it will also spread the mold. This is why you need to make sure you maintain the central air styrofoam clean and well-ventilated.
With that in mind, people are not the only ones that are affected by mold spores.
Pets may also be affected by black mold, which is why you may want to address this problem as soon as it appears. Mold can form quickly, but it takes a lot of time to get rid of it.