As a homeowner, there is nothing that can be more disgusting for you than mold. Mold may be good for some varieties of cheese from France, but it is definitely not good to have on your home. Mold on your bathroom? Definitely no. Mold on your basement? Definitely no. Mold inside your fridge? Definitely must not. And unfortunately, one area that mold may get attracted to and worse, thrive in your house, is your HVAC system. If you live in a humid area, this is one nightmare you may most definitely have to deal with. But how?
Why is there mold in my HVAC?!
As you may already know, there are two conditions for mold to thrive and prosper: moisture and warmth. That is why mold is likely to grow on your bathroom walls or in your basement. You will also notice mold in your fridge that is transferred from your food to your fridge that may not be efficiently be cooling anymore, which is why mold grows on the things you put there. Alas, if you live in a humid region like Houston, home of Air Check Mechanical Service, your AC’s ducts may be trapping moisture and thus, encourage the growth of mold. Another scenario is when an AC that is too large for the space it is installed, so the air is not dehumidified, which causes excess moisture that encourages mold growth.
Whenever the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system isn’t running, water droplets can collect in the air handler or ducts. Instead of evaporating, the water inside the system accumulates and gets warmer. This becomes the perfect place for spores to grow. Then, built-up dust, skin, and pollen particles act as fuel for mold infestation inside the air conditioning system.
How do you know if there’s mold in your system?
There are some tell-tale signs you may look for on an AC with mold. Just like in a room with mold, you can definitely smell a musty odor in the air the AC produces. When you develop an allergy or get sick because of the air your AC provides, there is most likely mold in its vents and ducts. Of course, if you have professionals ook inside your system, they may see mold already growing in the coils, the drain pan, and the ductwork.
When mold grows, it gives off a strong musty odor. You can notice the smell when your heater or air conditioner is running, and the smell will usually be stronger around the vent that contains the mold growth. As such, the odor will not necessarily be noticeable throughout the property but might be contained to a certain room. However, the smell can very well still be found in nearby areas and elsewhere in the building.
Some prevention steps
There are actually things you can do to discourage mold growth on your AC. For example, you can make sure that drain pans are regularly cleaned, so that standing water will not allow mold to grow on it. Disinfectants and mold inhibitors are also available specifically for use in HVAC systems. Dirty air filters may also allow the growth of mold, so replacing them regularly is encouraged. Finally, ducts have to be always dry to prevent mold from growing on them.
Stagnant air, combined with dark light conditions, can bring about condensation. This can encourage mold growth inside the ducts. That’s why you should keep furniture items—from drapes to couches—away from your home’s vents.
What to do when there’s mold on your AC
There’s really no need to panic when you have verified that indeed, there is mold on your AC system. Obviously, you will need to stop using your AC until the mold is removed from the system unless you want to get sick or be continuously allergic. You can actually deal with mold that has grown on your unit’s vents, but make sure you use rubber gloves, safety goggles, and a facemask (something I am suew you won’t have difficulty looking for these days) when cleaning them. Baking soda and bleach are readily available ways of cleaning mold and there are also mold removal solutions and inhibitors certified by the EPA if you want stronger cleaning agents and ways to prevent them from growing again.
Selection of the cleaning solution is the first and the most crucial step that decides the fate of the HVAC system inside your home and ultimately if you are successful in how to get rid of mold in air ducts. The cleaning agent you choose can either remove mold or let it fester secretly. Therefore, you need to be cautious when selecting a DIY solution for your mold problem.
For assistance on mold removal on your HVAC system, give us a message.