Keep An Eye On Humidity
Humidity is a natural cause of moisture which, in turn, is the main cause of mold. The Center for Disease Prevention and Control recommends indoor humidity in the range of 30% 60% to discourage mold growth.
Window air conditioners often share some properties with dehumidifiers, but if relative humidity exceeds 60%, youll likely find that the air conditioner is ineffective in controlling humidity.
If you find the air humid even when the air conditioner is running, the CDC suggests a dehumidifier to help you keep humidity under control.
How To Safely Remove Mold From An Air Conditioner
We explain how to remove mold from an AC unit in a safe way. Read on to find out how.
Mold is one of the biggest problems and worries homeowners and renters face.
The repercussions of having mold inside the home can extend to structural issues to health problems.
Some places in the home are easy to spot the growth of mold such as basements, near windows and bathrooms in particular.
Although the site of mold is a real concern, it is mostly very easy to spot, and you can act swiftly to protect the building and your familyâs health.
However, there is one place where mold growths may not be so visible every day â but is even more important to get rid of.
Mold in air conditioning unit may not be spotted early but the unit may be blowing these mold spores around your home ready for your family and family pets to breathe in.
Not to forget the damage it could do to your expensive unit. This is why you need to check your air conditioning regularly and know how to remove mold from it if you see any.
Tips For Preventing Window Air Conditioner Mold Formation
Prevention is better than cure, and we are going to learn how to prevent mold formation so that we dont have to cure anything. Because, once the mold is formed, it is a tricky process to remove all of it completely leaving no trace. You will require an air conditioner mold spray or several other expensive products to remove it completely.
But following the tips mentioned below, you can prevent the mold formation, and breathe in fresh air without the musty smell which is both refreshing and healthy at the same time.
Also Check: Removing Mold From Bathroom Ceiling
How To Prevent Styrofoam Mold In Window Air Conditioners
- Use Fan Mode to Dry the Interior of the AC
Almost every air conditioner should have a fan mode that you must regularly to avoid moisture building up inside the AC units.
- Clean Your Window AC Once or Twice During the Cooling Season
If you keep your home clean at all times, you wont need to remove mold so often since you wont let it form in the first place.
Cleaning it once or twice during the cooling season should be enough.
- Remove Dust
Mold tends to feed on the dust inside the unit and uses water and humidity spots to grow even more.
Therefore, you should occasionally take some time to clean the unit of any potential contaminants. Go all the way back from the filter to the cover.
- HEPA filters
Every air conditioner has some filter but usually, a standard filter wont keep the mold from spreading in your home.
You can opt for HEPA filters on your unit, as they can hold back smaller particles as well.
- UV filters
For your home to be safe from mold, you might also want to invest in a UV filter. These filters can kill 99% of bacteria and viruses, which means that mold doesnt have a chance.
- Controlling your indoor air quality
Most of the mold from your AC is caused by the situation in your homes indoor and outdoor environment.
Use a dehumidifier, as it picks up water from the air. Perhaps you can also clean the mold spots in your home with bleach .
- Run Your AC regularly
Is My Window Ac Making Me Sick
Living or working near an old and moldy air conditioner can increase your chances of respiratory infection. Mold has also been know to cause symptoms like: throat irritation, wheezing, and congestion. If you are feeling any of these symptoms, it may be time you checked out your surroundings for mold.
Also Check: How To Remove Black Mold From Bathroom Ceiling
What To Do About Black Mold On Window Sills
Make a mixture of one part bleach to three parts warm water. Scrub the mold off of the windowsill using a non-abrasive brush and frequently dip the brush in the bleach mixture. Use a clean rag to then wipe away the mold you loosened. Allow the windowsill to dry completely before you close the window.
Mold In Air Conditioners
Mold can grow in many areas in your home, particularly where it is dark and humid. So it should come as no surprise that air conditioners are one of the places where mold can be found. Unfortunately, AC units represent a particularly risky place for mold to grow, since they push air through the house.
This means that a moldy air conditioner will actually blow microscopic mold spores into the air you breathe, spreading the spores throughout the rest of your home. Since mold presents multiple health risks, its important to prevent mold from developing in your air conditioner, and to eradicate it if it does appear.
Also Check: Remove Mold From Shower Ceiling
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.
The Risks Of Mold In Your Window Ac
A mold infestation can be incredibly risky in terms of health. This is amplified in your AC, which spreads the mold spores around generously for everyone in the room to have a taste.
Molds can affect the nose, throat, and eyes, causing infections and irritations. Their consequences are generally negative, but even more pronounced for people with mold-specific allergies, breathing problems, etc.
Additionally, since Air Conditioners circulate the mold around, this may carry on the mold to other places in your home. This makes it a bigger hassle to clean up. This is why it is more effective to deal with a mold problem as soon as it pops up in your AC.
Recommended Reading: Shower Ceiling Mold Removal
Regular Dusting Is Mandatory
The second thing you can do to prevent mold from growing in your window is to make sure you spend enough time dusting and cleaning your house.
The last and perhaps most important thing to do to reduce the risk of mold in the window air conditioning system are to reduce the humidity inside and outside the unit.
If you switch the air conditioning on and off, especially for a day, moisture can build up in the living units, which leads to mold.
How to clean a window air conditioner, remove the mold and make it smell better
What Causes Window Ac Black Mold
Knowledge is power! Knowing the causes of window AC mold can help you prevent it from again once you’ve cleaned your AC.
Three things are necessary for black mold on a window air conditioner. In the end, we discuss how to take care of the nutrients and moisture part of this equation.
Mold spores – mold is usual. Mold spores are found in most homes. By themselves, they may not pose a severe threat.
Moisture – When spores get wet, they start to grow and reproduce. This is the reason why the US Environmental Protection Agency states, “the way to control mold growth is to control moisture. But because your window AC dehumidifies the air in the room-eliminates humidity this is hard, and it is why black mold on window AC is so common.
Nutrients – Mold needs food. This the reason it does so well on old ignored food in the fridge. And this also provides a clue to keeping mold off your window AC. Starve mold by keeping the AC clean.
Recommended Reading: Mold Cleaner For Ceiling
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.
Do You Have Mold In Your Air Conditioner How To Prevent And Remove It
According to the CDC, molds can irritate the nose, throat, eye, skin, and lungs. AC units can be a haven for mold if not properly maintained. This can lead to mold spores in your homes ductwork, which can impede airflow and contaminate the rest of your house.
Mold needs an organic food source or moisture coming from high humidity, a spill or a leak. Condensers and evaporators contribute to moisture on the coils, and so they have the potential for water leakage if not properly vented.
While mold does not usually grow on properly functioning air conditioners or in HVAC ducts, its best to ensure that your unit is not contributing to poor indoor air quality by having maintenance performed annually.
Read Also: How To Rid Mold In Basement
Other Unusual Smells Found In Air Conditioners
Window AC smells differ, and these usually signal other issues, not mold and mildew. You might get these smells:
A burning smell usually results from dust settling on the condenser coils after long periods of inactivity. When you turn on the AC, the dust burns, and it should go away after some time.
However, if the smell persists, it could be due to burning electrical parts or overheating components. The solution is to turn off the AC and get a professional HVAC technician to look at it.
If you smell any rotting odors, it is due to rodents or small animals that have died somewhere inside the unit. Remove the front cover to access the interior, then remove the animal.
Air conditioners circulate air in your house, and if there is a gas leak, you will smell what resembles skunk spray. Since natural gas has no scent, utility companies add Methyl Mercaptan to give an odor that ensures easy detection in case of leaks. The solution is to shut off the gas supply and call your utility company to fix the issue.
Evaporator coils and filters tend to absorb odor from the air passing through, so if you smoke in the house, this scent will stick to these components eventually.
When you turn on the AC, the stuck smoke particles go back to circulation, causing the smell. Changing the filter and cleaning the unit will solve this problem.
Exhaust Smell In Car AC
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
Read Also: How To Remove Mold From Leather Bag
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!
Keep The Moisture Level Under Control
Keeping the moisture level to a minimum both in the ducts and in the unit is another preventive measure you implement to prevent the formation of molds. Mold is easily formed in a moist environment, and thus youll do good to prevent it by cutting down the moisture levels.
Maintain your draining channels well, so that moisture levels are checked there. Along with it, check for leakages that may build moisture pockets and favor the growth of mold.
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Preventing Mold In Window Air Conditioner
Prevention is better than cure- its how the saying goes. One of the best ways to prevent your AC unit from catching a case of mold is to maintain it well. Regular cleaning and dusting of the unit will keep the unit in good shape, and ensure that there is no opportunity for the mold to grow.
Dust and dirt are big enablers of mold. You can vacuum away the dust and dirt and pollen or wipe your AC down with a paper towel or a rag. Regular cleaning and dusting will ensure that mold doesnt collect and infest in one place.
Clean your window AC unit during the off-season. This will prevent moisture and humidity from accumulating and enable mold growth.
You can also use Fan Mode to blow air into the AC and dry out any moisture particles.
You can also use UV Light to avoid mold growth. These are also considered to be very effective. Also, if youre a busy person then you must use a good UV light.
It is a proven way to get rid of mold and other bacteria/viruses. Most hospitals, firms, clinics use UV light for preventing bacteria and viruses growth.
Getting rid of mold can be tricky, and complicated, but following these steps might help you restore your AC unit to its previously clean and pristine condition.
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What Is Air Conditioner Mold
Yes, I get that youre having problems with some nasty stuff that looks like mold within your AC. But what really is mold?
Im sure youd want to know. After all, you wouldnt want it to keep coming back, right?
So heres a little overview of what mold is.
First of all, a mold is a fungus. Its furry. And it grows when these three conditions are present together: an organic substrate, moisture, and warmth.
So mold loves places that are dark and damp. Now that sounds like the inside of your air conditioning unit!
This photo of Comfort Inn Ship Creek is courtesy of TripAdvisor
While there are many types of molds, they all tend to favor damp and humid spaces. Some thrive in air vents and ducts. And many of them are toxic.
Sounds scary, right?
Yes, and here are the other things to be worried about mold growths.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean Mildew From Leather
Air Conditioner Featured Outside Of Home
Leaving the air conditioning running in your home will not only cool your home, it will help remove moisture from the air and help circulate and filter the air.
Question: In the process of selling my home, the buyers requested a home inspection. My problems started when the mold inspector reported elevated spores were four to five times the amount found outside. After paying a contractor to clean and treat for molds, the follow-up test showed the levels were even higher. The buyer refused to complete the deal. What made the mold grow so fast, and did we get ripped off by the contractor? A.N., Evansville, Ind.
Answer: With a little investigation, I was able to gain some additional information about the sale of your home. It seems that soon after the initial inspection, the home was left vacant with the utilities off. The resulting enclosed dark and damp environment created an almost perfect situation for mold spores to grow.
In the summer, a closed house with the air-conditioning turned off will have higher humidity levels than an air-conditioned home. A vacant house also receives little or no sunlight through closed shades and no air movement with the fan off and the doors locked.
If you had simply left the air conditioning running, it would have cooled the home and removed moisture from the air and circulated and filtered the air.
In my opinion, the remediation contractor failed you in that he did not warn you of the potential for recontamination.