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.
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.
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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.
Custom Calculators With Homewyse Lists
Change cost factors, combine homewyse items and add items you create – in a resuable pricing app customized to your business. Start with a popular templates below or build your own :
For a basic project in zip code 47474 with 500 square feet, the cost to Clean Mold From Air Ducts starts at $0.25 – $0.74 per square foot*. Actual costs will depend on job size, conditions, and options.
To estimate costs for your project:
1. Set Project Zip Code Enter the Zip Code for the location where labor is hired and materials purchased.
2. Specify Project Size and Options Enter the number of “square feet” required for the project.
3. Re-calculate Click the “Update” button.
NOTE: *Input the total of the finished surface area AND the area of any openings enclosed by the finished area.
Get Your Ducts Sanitized With Mold Air Duct Sanitizing Marietta:
Air duct sanitizing Marietta is not the same as cleaning. The sanitizing option kills microbes and other growths. Professionals use Sporicidin, an EPA-registered disinfectant solution. Furthermore, it helps in mold air duct sanitizing Marietta. Furthermore, it is less toxic and fragrance-free. Hence, used in medical facilities. If you ever feel like there is something wrong. Always listen to your gut. Look into your ducts. And when you suspect anything like Mold. Immediately clean and sanitize it.
Also Check: How To Clean Black Mold On Shower Grout
Signs Of Mold In Car Air Conditioner
Has it been a while since you last took your car to get serviced? Well, waiting for a long-extended period of time for car service can lead to a world of issues within your vehicle including air conditioner problems that could result in mold growth. The tell-tale signs that mold has developed in your car can include the following signs.
Why does my AC air smell bad? A strong foul odor in your car is the number one indicator of mold inside your car. The air that passes over the evaporator carries mold that enters into the car cabin through the AC vents. The foul odor will then circulate throughout the car when the air conditioner is turned on.
Blockage of Cold Air
When your cars AC is not pushing cold air out, this could be a good indicator of mold present within the air conditioning system. The mold will block the air filter and prevent cold air from blowing out into the vehicle.
Difficulty Breathing or Reactions
If you or your family are having reactions when inside the car, or even difficulty breathing this could be a sign that mold is in the environment and its affecting your health. Mold can cause breathing problems and other respiratory issues. When you are exposed to mold in your environment it can be very dangerous to your health, especially if you have certain allergies, asthma, or any lung-related issues.
Noticing Signs Of Mold In Your Air Ducts
ODORS. An unusual or musty odor is often the first sign of mold in air ducts or in air vents. In many cases, youll smell it before you can see it. If you notice a musty or moldy smell that goes away when you are not using your air conditioning or heating , that can narrow the cause down to mold in your HVAC system.
Mold and mildew in air vents and ducts can smell wet, rotten, or stale. If you notice a recurring problem, particularly in areas with poor ventilation or a lot of moisture, get it checked out right away.
VISIBLE MOLD. Look for the first signs of mold around AC vents, in the ducts and in the drip pans. Condenser coils pull moisture out of the air and into drip pans, and if these become clogged they create the perfect environment for mold to grow.
Keep in mind that mold spreads through spores, which are tiny particles that are invisible to the naked eye. That means you wont necessarily see actual patches of mold growth right away. By the time you do see a noticeable amount of mold, infestation can be quite serious. At that point, you need professional help to get rid of the mold and make sure it doesnt come back.
SYMPTOMS. If people or pets in your home start exhibiting symptoms whenever the AC is on, mold in air ducts might be the cause. If theres enough mold in or around the vents, it can spread in the air, causing allergy like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, irritated nose and throat, and itchy eyes.
Why Does Mold Grow In Air Ducts & On Vents
Unfortunately, with the constant flow of cool air there can be a build up of condensation within the air ducts or on and around the registers. Sometimes it might be a small area of a steel air duct while other times it can be a whole entire flexible air duct connector that will need to be replaced. Depending on how badly contaminated it is will determine the work necessary to get rid of the mold issue.
In general, moisture is the breeding grounds for mold in any area of your home. This is why homeowners will have dehumidifiers running in a basement of crawl space to prevent the build-up of moisture that creates the perfect environment for mold to grow. If you do spot a moist area, make sure to take care of the issue right away to prevent mold from growing there. The hard part about mold in your air ducts is that you dont see it and with everyone recovering from COVID-19 chances are they wont smell it either. Thats why its important to keep a close eye on the air vent grills and registers that tell the story of whats really going on inside your air ducts.
Will Lysol Kill Mold
Lysol does have disinfecting products, including their mold and mildew remover spray. It eliminates mold and mildew stains, bleaches surfaces and kills 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria.
However, this product is intended for bathroom surfaces, so use on air vents at your own risk. The manufacturer does state that prolonged contact with surfaces made from metal, old porcelain or plastic laminate can lead to discoloration.
Read Also: What Can Mold Cause To Your Health
How Can I Get Rid Of Mold In My Hvac System
If you dont have an extensive mold problem in your ducts, DIY is an option here. Whats considered an extensive problem? 10 square feet, according to the EPA.
The first thing you have to do before you start cleaning is choose a quality disinfectant thats designed to remove mold and is labeled as safe to use in your ductwork. You dont want cleaner fumes being spread all around the house that arent safe to breathe. As far as DIY cleaners using bleach and such, we would skip those and go straight for a commercial mold disinfectant.
You also shouldnt try to do any of this cleanup without gear that will protect you from not just the mold, but whatever cleaner you decided to choose. Youll need at least an N95 mask, rubber gloves, a protective suit, and safety goggles. A vacuum cleaner also helps, but to be clear about this, when youre using a vacuum cleaner on mold, youll want to throw your vacuum away afterward because it will be contaminated. Its best to use a wet/dry vac for this.
- Vacuum cleaner
- Cleaning rags
If the problem is more than 10 square feet, however, you should call a local mold remediation company to do the cleanup.
Covering the Air Vents
Turn Off the System
This is done because you dont want to spread mold spores by running the fan at all.
Tapping the Duct Work
Vacuuming the Vents
Replacing Filters in the Air Return Registers
Cleaning the Blower Compartment And Return Air Boot
Mold Inside Furnace Or Air Conditioner
The most common places to see mold growth
in an air conditioner are on the evaporator coils or in the drain pan beneath them. These components are frequently coated with condensation that can provide enough moisture for mold to flourish. You may see mold anywhere in your furnace as it heats and humidifies the air inside it.
Knowing the signs
of mold growth in your air ducts will allow you to get a duct cleaning early before the mold infestation spreads. Contact Service Tech, Inc., if you are in need of duct cleaning so you can enjoy the best possible air quality in your home.
Read Also: What To Do With Black Mold On Drywall
Your Air Conditioning System Is A Breeding Ground For Black Mold
Unfortunately, your air conditioning system and your air ducts are a common place for black mold to reside. Moisture plays a significant role in the growth of mold. Your air conditioning system can act as an incubator for black mold because of its constant change in humidity levels throughout the summer season. If your air conditioner works as a dual heater as well, then it increases the likelihood of having a mold infestation at some point in time due to constant usage.
If you do have mold in your home and you use your air conditioning system, the effect can be the air conditioner moving the mold spores into your ductwork through the air, with those mold spores getting lodged into your air ducts. Once they make their way to your air ducts they will have a non-visible environment to grow.
How To Prevent Mold In Future
Once youve taken care of the mold in air ducts, its important to make sure it doesnt happen again. Getting an HVAC preventative maintenance plan is a great way to keep an eye on the mold and keep your HVAC system healthy. It can help prevent the causes of mold by making sure there are no issues that can cause moisture leaks. Regular maintenance prevents breakdowns and keeps your cooling running smoothly.
Another thing you can do to take care of your HVAC is consider a periodic duct cleaning service. Duct cleaning is usually not included in routine preventative maintenance. Youll definitely need duct cleaning after discovering mold in air ducts, but also consider getting a regularly scheduled cleaning, especially if you live in a humid climate or have trouble with mold that keeps coming back.
You can also consider installing UV light and/or Ionization air purifiers that can kill mold as well as other particles such as viruses and bacteria. Passive systems can effectively destroy particles on surfaces in your HVAC system , while active systems can also destroy airborne contaminants, including odors and VOCs.
If you have issues with mold after taking these steps, its time to look into an underlying cause of humidity in your home or business, which may be accumulating outside your HVAC system:
Read Also: How Do You Get Tested For Mold Toxicity
Keeping An Eye On Problem Areas:
Finally, mold eradication is useless if you only do it once and then forget about it. In as little as 48 hours, Mold can start to form. So, pay attention to the problem areas. You may have a moisture problem if mold spores reappear. To get your HVAC systems mold problem under control. Consider insulating your ductwork. Thus, use a dehumidifier or contact an HVAC professional.
Scrub And Vacuum The Moldly Areas
Now that youve prepared yourself and the system for mold removal, its time to start scrubbing. Generously apply the cleaning solution directly onto the moldy areas using a light brush, wet rag, or spray bottle, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, scrub the area in circular motions to remove the mold. Use disposable towels to get rid of any excess solution and then vacuum the area as an added precaution. For areas with a strong mold presence, you may need to repeat this step more than once.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean Mold Between Pavers
Suggestions For Choosing A Duct Cleaning Service Provider
To find companies that provide duct cleaning services, check your Yellow Pages under “duct cleaning” or contact the National Air Duct Cleaners Association at the address and phone number in the information section located at the end of this guidance. Do not assume that all duct cleaning service providers are equally knowledgeable and responsible. Talk to at least three different service providers and get written estimates before deciding whether to have your ducts cleaned. When the service providers come to your home, ask them to show you the contamination that would justify having your ducts cleaned.
- they are experienced in duct cleaning and have worked on systems like yours
- they will use procedures to protect you, your pets and your home from contamination and
- they comply with NADCA‘s air duct cleaning standards and, if your ducts are constructed of fiber glass duct board or insulated internally with fiber glass duct liner, with the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association’s recommendations.
Facts About Mold In Air Ducts Every Georgia Homeowner Should Know
You wake up in the morning with a bizarre headache, sore throat, runny nose and watery eyes. While rolling out of bed, you experience dizziness and lay back down. This isn’t a regular cold or the flu because you feel better when you are out of the house or at work, but the moment you return to your Georgia home and crank on the central air system, these health problems begin all over again. As you lay in bed waiting for the room to stop spinning, your eyes notice black spots along the air duct vent. Could the problem be black mold in the HVAC system?
As anair duct cleaning company,Dynasty Ductshas fielded questions from homeowners who are worried about mold impacting their home’s air quality and their health. Let us provide you with answers to the most common questions about mold in air ducts and how to deal with the problem.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Airborne Mold In House
How Can I Tell If I Have Mold In My Air Ducts
One of the most obvious ways to know if there is mold in your air ducts is to take a closer look at your vents and drip pans. If you see mold in or around either of these, you most likely have a mold problem.
Another way to find out if you have mold in your air ducts is by having a good sniff. If you smell mold in your home, you most definitely have a mold problem.
If you just want to be safe, you can go up to your air ducts and breathe in to see if you can smell anything unusual.
These signs are early signs of a mold or mildew infestation and should be examined by an expert immediately in order to quarantine the situation.
Health Risks Of Mold And Mildew
Mold and mildew in tiny amounts pose no serious health risk to most of us however, an increase in mold growth and mildew in the A/C system can cause adverse health effects, and if a member of your family has respiratory problems, then this is a reason for alarm. The common symptoms of mold exposure include nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, headaches, and irritations to the eyes, skin, and throat. Since most of these symptoms are also caused by the seasonal allergies or the common cold, it may be difficult to link them to the mold. Mold Reports advice is that you should not bother buying a mold test kit since they just cause fear in the person taking the sample with no real added value. Instead they encourage you to have your building professionally inspected to help determine the severity of the issue.
Also Check: What Is The Best Way To Remove Mold From Walls
Insulate All Air Ducts In Unconditioned Spaces
If you have an older home that has uninsulated air ducts in rooms without air conditioned air such as in the attic or in a crawlspace, then due to the temperature differences, these sections of air ducts may be contributing a significant amount of moisture into the air.
It would be a good idea to insulate these air ducts to prevent excessive moisture buildup which may be contributing to mold growth.
I once inspected a garage that had an uninsulated duct going through a garage ceiling. A significant amount of moisture condensed in the ceiling and led to the entire garage getting covered in mold.
A Defective Whole House Humidifier
Many homes have whole house humidifiers, which are great products that will add needed moisture into the air during the cold weather months. However, if you have never cleaned the evaporator panel, or if the unit isnt working properly, then whole house humidifiers can contribute a large amount of moisture into your furnace or air duct system which can lead to mold growth.
Always change the evaporator panel or pad every year before usage and make sure that it is draining properly and not adding too much moisture into the air. You can read my full guide on how whole house humidifiers can lead to moldissues here.