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Mold is a black-greenish mass that grows in humid areas. Finding mold in your Ac unit is not a natural phenomenon, but it happens. It is equally hard to detect mold in your AC until you notice the pungent earthy smell.
Is Mold in Your Air Conditioner Dangerous?
The mold found in your air conditioning units can always spread to the whole house whenever you turn on the Ac. This mold is harmful to your health as it can cause allergic reactions and respiratory diseases.
The mold in your air conditioning units is dangerous as it is easily inhaled unknowingly. The effects are severe for young children, the old, and to people with a compromised immune system. This can be seen in people with conditions like asthma, most affected by inhaling the mold.
When you inhale the black mold, you are likely to exhibit the following symptoms;
- Irritated eyes, nose or throat
- Difficulty in breathing
- Skin irritation
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Cough or sneezing
When you experience these symptoms for a long time, you need to seek medical attention and follow up with having your HVAC system cleaned and repaired if necessary. You need to note that the higher the concentration of the mold in your house, the more severe the symptoms you are likely to experience.
How Do I Test My Air Conditioner for Mold?
Some of the ways to test for mold in your air conditioner include:
1. Musty odors
You can detect mold in your air conditioner if get a distinct musty smell. You can notice this smell in specific rooms or your house, especially when switching your Ac on.
2. Black dust around air vents
If your air conditioner ducts collect dust for some time, it shall be a breeding ground for mold. Check out for any debris in your air conditioner ducts, the presence of debris is an indicator that there is mold breeding. This could take the form of black patches that are difficult to clean around your air vents,
3. Health Symptoms
These are itchy throat, skin or eyes. Sneezing or coughing, among others. These become severe when you turn on the AC or in a room in your house with a high concentration of mold particles.
How Do I Get Rid of Mold in an Air Conditioner?
When you discover that you have a mold build-up in your AC system, you first need to turn off the HVAC system. This is a cautionary measure that will stop the further circulation of mold particles in your house.
You can easily clean the mold in the areas that are easily accessible. Here, you need to wear protective gear that is a non-porous glove, a face mask, and goggles. You must also protect t your skin by covering it as much as possible. Also, ensure that the area is well-ventilated.
Simply get a cloth or sponge and wipe off the mold from the Ac. Only do this to areas that you can easily access and are visible. Remember that mold is a toxic substance, and you should avoid any form of exposure to it by all chance.
As much as you can easily clean up the mold in your air conditioner, it is not advisable. This is because you can easily expose yourself and anyone around you to the toxic spore of the mold.
It is, therefore, ideal to hire the services of a mold removal expert. This is important because the expert shall have the correct equipment and be able to identify any fault in your air conditioning system and have it repaired to avoid future mold growth. This way, you shall save on cleaning costs as you shall only do it once and eliminate any future recurrence of the same problem.
A mold removal expert shall be able to ascertain whether the substance is indeed black mold. They shall also examine the insulation on your HVAC system and find out where the fault is, and whether the mold has spread up to the insulators or not.
This is basically to check the extent of damage caused by the mold or how far the mold has spread. They shall also use the correct tools to remove the mold, disinfect the affected areas, and prevent mold growth.
Sometimes the mold removal expert might come across a badly damaged part of the Ac system. Here, they shall have to replace it.
Preventing Mold in Air Conditioners
You can prevent molds from growing in your air conditioner ducts by keeping the airways clean and free from debris.
It is also essential to always check the condensation levels in your HVAC device. Here, little moisture is recommendable but having water standing is dangerous for it makes perfect breeding conditions for the mold. It is necessary to call a specialist to come and assess your HVAC system and certify that you have the recommendable system. This will eliminate any chances of faulting the HVAC system.
It is also advisable to change the filter in your HVAC system every three months. This way, you will be reducing the accumulation rate of any organisms like the spores or the buildup of debris.
Sometimes, however, you might have a washable filter; this, therefore, shall involve washing the filter regularly with the correct detergent and in the correct manner. You also need to rinse it properly.
A sound HVAC system that, if properly maintained, can last for almost 15 years. Therefore, it is suitable that you maintain the HVAC system in good condition and have it regularly checked and repaired if necessary.
The HVAC system is self-regulating; here, it gets wet, and with the passage of air through it, it dries up. You should keep it as clean as possible to enhance its work mechanism.
It is recommendable that you have a humidifier if you can afford it. This will help you eliminate moisture that is not necessary.
Your Ac system should have good drainage, probably leading to a utility sink. With this, you need to ensure that it works properly to avoid moisture gathering around it. When you have a portable Ac, you need to make sure that you empty it periodically and have it dried up, to avoid debris buildup.
HVAC tech with over 30 years of experience. Retired and doing repair work on the side around Madison County, AL.