Health Risks When Exposed To Mold
The mold in the car AC and health ailments are closely related. With mold in the system, allergies can be dramatically triggered. Additionally, if you suffer from asthma, you might notice more problems while you are in the cabin of the vehicle.
Overall, exposure to mold is linked to serious respiratory concerns. Its also possible to suffer from sneezing, red eyes, a runny nose, along with a skin rash.
How To Prevent Mold On Air Vents
Once your air ducts are nice and clean, how can you prevent mold in the future?
- Mold growth inhibitors: Look for an EPA registered mold growth inhibitor product to prevent mold regrowth in the air vents. Follow the manufacturer guidance on how to use the product properly.
- Replace filters: You should replace your HVAC filters regularly.
- Clean drip pans: Where the drip pans collect water, mold can grow quickly. You should clean your drip pans regularly to prevent this.
- Dehumidify: Keep moisture levels down in the house. You should invest in a good dehumidifier and keep it near places that are prone to mold growth.
- Regular inspections: You should hire a professional company to inspect your ventilation system regularly. This ensures there are no leaks, mold regrowth or other faults that could lead to mold and mildew. These companies can also maintain and clean the air vents to ensure theyre in tip top condition.
- Regular cleaning: Make sure youre regularly cleaning your air vents and ducts before mold appears. You can use the above methods to keep them clean so that they arent the ideal environment for mold.
- Clear path: Dont put objects or obstacles over your air vents. This limits good air circulation which can lead to mold growth.
- UV light or ionization air purifiers: These items kill mold, viruses and bacteria. Consider getting these installed within your HVAC system such as the coils or fan units to eliminate odors, mold and other nasties.
Clean The Evaporator Coil
Musty smells can also come from a dirty evaporator coil.
The evaporator coil on a portable AC is the part that gets cold and cools down your rooms air. The evaporator coil is also responsible for dehumidification as warm, moist air passes through it.
You can usually access the evaporator coil by removing the filter from the back of your portable AC. Use a flashlight to inspect the evaporator coil for any debris such as dirt or hair.
Use a vacuum to suck out any debris from the surface of the evaporator coil.
If there is deep-rooted grime in your evaporator coil, a simple vacuum wont do the trick. Instead, use a spray-on coil cleaner solution to deep clean your evaporator coil.
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Can You Do The Job Yourself
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Its not a good idea to try to handle any type of mold issue without professional help. Most homeowners dont have access to the specialized equipment necessary to properly and safely remove mold.
Accessing all parts of an HVAC systems ductwork is impossible for the vast majority of homeowners. If ducts are not properly cleaned, they can be damaged easily. Furthermore, if even a little bit of mold is left behind, it can quickly spread, rendering all that effort useless.
Theres also the issue of safety. Mold spores can cause serious health problems. This is especially true if you dislodge these spores while trying to clean your vents without the proper safety rated facemask.
Kill Black Mold In Airconditioning Vents Using A Ozone Machine
If you are using an ozone machine to kill mold, you will also want to plan on leaving the home since the ozone can cause respiratory distress. Removing the mold from the vents is important, however, since the long term effects of mold exposure can be dangerous, especially for infants, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
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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.
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.
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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.
What Causes Mold To Grow In Air Ducts
Mold grows in ductwork when two things are present: moisture and warm temperatures. A warm, humid environment has the ideal conditions for mold to form. A humid climate along with poor ventilation, or anything that traps moisture in your walls and causes condensation, can lead to mold in air ducts.
Here are some of the HVAC problems that can contribute to these conditions and ultimately mold growth:
If your AC unit is oversized for the space you have, one of the problems that it can cause is mold in air ducts. Larger units can cool small spaces too quickly and turn off before dehumidifying the air, leading to excess moisture. This moisture can build up in your rooms and ductwork. If you see mold shortly after a new installation, check to make sure youve got the proper sized equipment for the space you have.
Setting your AC on a very low temperature can sometimes lead to mold around the vents. When the cool air from the vents meets the warm air in the room, the temperature difference can cause moisture in the air to condense on surfaces in and around the vents. If that moisture builds up and never gets a chance to dry out, it can lead to mold growth. This is called the temperature differential and usually takes about 20 degrees of difference for moisture to form. If you dont notice it for a while, the moisture can make its way into your air ducts.
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Protect Your Home From Molds
After learning how to get rid of mold and its spores, lets proceed with preventing them from coming back.
1. Identify problem areas
Mold spores are everywhere, but that does not mean you should let your home be contaminated with them. One way to prevent mold contamination from happening is to monitor the problem areas in your home.
Does your attic often get mold? Then, check your insulation or your roof for damage. Address the problems of water and moisture damage no matter how small they seem.
2. Dry the wet areas immediately
Wet areas may range from wet furniture to a flooded basement. If possible, attend to these water damages as soon as they happen to prevent mold from growing.
Causes Of Mold Growth In Acs
Mold is a type of fungus. Like all living organisms, fungi require three things to grow: oxygen, water and organic matter. Since air conditioners circulate air and the cooling coils tend to create condensation, the first two criteria for mold growth are bound to be present in an air conditioner.
Air conditioners and ductwork also provide the dark spaces where mold can thrive. Add some organic materialwhich can simply be dust and other debrisand you have all the conditions for mold to grow.
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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.
How Do The Professionals Remove Mold
Mold is a common problem in homes and businesses alike. It can be found anywhere that has moisture, which includes your air conditioning unit. Though there are many types of mold, the most dangerous type for humans is black mold. This particular fungus thrives on moist environments such as those found within an AC unit or inside walls where water damage has occurred from leaks or high humidity levels.
The musty smell caused by this type of fungi will cause headaches and sinus problems for some people with allergies, causing allergic reactions or respiratory issues it may also trigger asthmatic attacks if they have already been diagnosed with asthma. Additionally, some people could suffer from mold allergies causing immune system issues. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent these tiny spores from growing into larger colonies that could pose health risks to you and others.
Professionals in mold removal and restoration are trained and skilled in mold remediation processes. This includes how to set up proper containment, methods to use antimicrobial chemicals that clean any mold and mold stains, and mold prevention. Mold professionals often use a sealer or encapsulant to make the treated areas more resistant to water damage and mold, and to help with odor control.
If you need the help of a professional, contact Jenkins Environmental Services today!
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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 .
What To Do When Your Portable Air Conditioner Smells Musty
Now that you understand what causes bacteria and mold growth in your portable air conditioner, lets look at a few ways to get rid of it.
Oftentimes, giving your air conditioner a thorough cleaning will help reduce the musty smells. However, if you allow excessive mold or bacteria growth inside your air conditioner, it will be very difficult to completely get rid of the smell.
Excessive organic buildup inside your air conditioner will cause the smells to become deep-rooted in the parts of the AC.
How do you prevent this?
Always perform regular maintenance on your portable AC to never let it get to that point in the first place.
Below, Ill go over a few things that you can do to prevent mold, mildew, and bacterial growth.
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Supplies Youll Need For Getting Rid Of Mold In A Window Air Conditioner
Wait For The Air Conditioner Unit To Fully Dry And Reassemble
Now that youve cleaned the filter and interior of your air conditioning unit, wait for the unit to fully dry by leaving it in a cool, dry place. This can take up to 24 hours. Then, reassemble the unit in the same way you disassembled it earlier, taking care to replace the frame and screws in the same manner you removed them above. Any odor should be greatly reduced or eliminated. However, as mentioned above, if the mold starts to regrow, you likely have mold deep in the air conditioner and will need to replace the unit altogether.
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How To Prevent Mold In Window Air Conditioner
If youve ever found mold in your window air conditioner before, chances are youre adamant about preventing it from ever happening again. But what exactly do you do to prevent mold growth? The answer is crystal clear.
There are several steps one can take to prevent mold growth in a window air conditioner, including:
- Turning on the ACs humidity control setting
- Keeping the AC unit on
- Keeping the unit free of dust
- Deep cleaning the AC unit periodically
- Using white vinegar spray
Moldy air conditioner units are common, but this doesnt have to be the case. Keep reading if you want to learn more about how to prevent mold in your window air conditioner, helpful information about mold, and more!
To Prevent Mold Growth In Your Home
- Keep humidity levels in your home as low as you canno higher than 50%all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. You can buy a meter to check your homes humidity at a home improvement store. Humidity levels change over the course of a day so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
- Be sure the air in your home flows freely. Use exhaust fans that vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
- Fix any leaks in your homes roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
- Clean up and dry out your home fully and quickly after a flood.
- Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting. You can buy mold inhibitors at paint and home improvement stores.
- Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.
- Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried right away. Think about not using carpet in places like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.
- To learn more about preventing mold in your home, see the Environmental Protection Agencys book A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home at .
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