Is There Mold in Your Air Conditioner?
Mold can grow anywhere in your home as long as the conditions are right.
Bathrooms, garages and attics are the most common places to find mold growing, but if there is an excessive amount of mold in your home, it can find unlimited places to live.
When mold develops in the air conditioning system of your home, this creates a huge problem because this can affect the air throughout your home. Mold in the air leads to respiratory issues like allergic reactions, asthma attacks, insomnia, skin rashes, and more.
Mold in the air conditioner needs to be removed as soon as it is detected in order to protect your family from breathing in mold-contaminated air. To learn more about how mold grows in an air conditioning unit please continue reading. If there is already mold in your AC unit, please call Pure Air North Carolina right away! A certified mold specialist can assess the extent of the mold growth and damage and determine the best plan to remove the mold from your home.
How Mold Can Grow in AC Units & Vents?
Mold is a fungus, which means its prime living conditions are moist, dark environments. Inside air conditioners, drain lines, and duct work, condensation can build from time to time, especially if there is a clog or leak.
The inside of an AC unit is rarely disturbed, so this is a perfect place for mold to develop. It can grow on the vents and filter as well if there is excess moisture, regardless of how dark or light the room is.
Mold in the AC & Sickness
As we mentioned, mold can make you very sick. Mold is comprised of tiny spores that float freely in the air until they find a suitable place to settle, where they multiply quickly.
Breathing in mold spores and the mycotoxins produced by mold is very unhealthy for people with respiratory diseases, but it isn’t good for people with healthy lungs, either.
People with mold allergies can experience coughing, congestion, watery eyes, skin irritations, headaches, and many other physical and psychological symptoms. Anyone who is exposed to mold over a long period of time can develop pneumonia and other serious, long-term illnesses.
How to Check for Mold in Your AC Unit
If mold is present somewhere else in your home, it’s a good idea to check your air conditioner as well. Another indicator that your air conditioner may have mold inside it is if the air coming out of it smells musty. You’ll notice this odor more when the air first comes on, but if the mold growth within is severe enough, you’ll smell it all the time.
Summer is a prime time for mold to develop because outdoor temperatures are higher and your air conditioner is probably running non-stop.
To check for mold in your air conditioner, you’re probably going to need the help of a professional mold company. They have specialized equipment that makes it easy to test a home for mold, check for it in hard-to-reach places, and remove it if necessary.
Getting Rid of Mold in Your Air Conditioning
It’s possible to remove mold yourself, but it’s very tricky and nearly impossible to ensure that you got it all. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you leave mold removal to the experts. Look for a certified, insured mold removal company near you for all of your mold testing and removal needs.
Whether you attempt to remove the mold yourself or hire a mold removal team, these are the steps that must be taken in order to assure the mold is completely gone:
Always wear personal protection gear. Gloves, masks, goggles, and long-sleeve clothing are necessary for mold removal because you will be dealing with concentrated amounts of mold spores. If you are able to wear a hooded shirt and cover your shoes, that’s even better.
Turn off the air conditioning. You will be loosening dust and mold spores, and you certainly don’t want these small particles blowing around your home. Turn the air conditioner off to prevent it from turning on unexpectedly if it has a thermostat.
Clean the vent covers and filters. Vinegar is a great remedy for mold on vent covers. You’ll need to wipe down both sides with a paper towel or disposable rag so you can throw it away when you are finished. To be safe, place the cleaning rags into a sealed plastic bag before putting it in the trash. Read the manual to determine how to clean the filters for your air conditioners. Some are meant to be cleaned, while others are meant to be thrown away and replaced.
Clean all metal and plastic parts. You can also use vinegar to clean the outside of your air conditioner and all the interior parts you can reach. Let the air conditioner dry completely after cleaning for at least an hour before turning it on again.
As if this wasn’t enough, you also have to clean the deep interior parts of the air conditioner, not to mention the ductwork. For this part of the job, it is always best to trust a professional mold removal company. Not only do they have the most effective equipment to remove mold from the depths of ductwork, but you can also trust that they will remove mold with methods that all but eliminate the risk of spreading it around your home.
Preventing Future Mold Growth
Before mold has a chance to grow inside your air conditioner (or after you have had it professionally removed), take precautionary measures to prevent it from happening in the future.
Here are a few things you can do:
Regular air conditioner tune ups. Yearly maintenance keeps dirt and other organic matter that mold feeds on out of your ducts and filters.
Call an air conditioning specialist if you see condensation in or around your air conditioner. Mold needs food, but it also needs water to grow. Water around your air conditioner is almost always cause for repairs or service.
Monitor mold levels in your home with an annual mold inspection from Pure Air North Carolina. All indoor spaces have some level of mold, but these levels should fall below a certain threshold. If mold levels get too high, your home is at an elevated risk of mold growth everywhere.