What to do About Mold in the Air Conditioner

Mold growth in a petrie dish

What’s worse than mold growth on your home’s walls and other structures? The presence of mold in the air conditioner. In no time, the HVAC system can spread mold to other areas of your home before you even know it’s there.

Perhaps you weren’t aware mold could grow inside of your AC unit. In that case, you’ve come to the right place. Air Dreamy walks you through everything you need to know about mold in the air conditioner.

Continue reading to learn more about the dangers, signs, and prevention methods of indoor mold growth.

Is there Mold in the Air Conditioner?

More often than not, when mold is in the air conditioner, you’ll notice other signs before seeing the physical evidence. When mold makes its way into your home’s HVAC system, it has an excellent chance to thrive because it usually goes undetected until other signs arise, indicating an abundance of this nasty fungus.

So, most importantly, you’ll want to do everything you can to prevent mold in the air conditioning. But, first, let’s dive into the signs leading to the discovery of mold in your HVAC system:

  • Pungent, musty smell
  • Fluid leaking from your HVAC
  • Physical evidence of mold on your air ducts or vents
  • You or other household members are experiencing symptoms of mold exposure
  • Black spots clustered around your vents

When observing the signs above, be sure to check around your home before concluding the mold is inside your HVAC. Mold growth can occur just about anywhere in the house. However, you’ll commonly find it in damp areas, like the kitchen, bathroom, crawl space, and basement.

Suppose you inspect all possible areas for mold and find no evidence. In that case, it is likely growing somewhere within your HVAC system.

Mold on the ceiling

What Causes Mold in Your HVAC?

There are certain conditions mold requires to grow and survive. For example, in more humid and hot climates, like Florida, mold tends to be far more common. This is because excess moisture is necessary for mold growth.

Unless actively avoided, higher humidity levels indoors are bound to happen during Florida summers. Therefore, most mold infestations occur during this time of year. Below, we will discuss indoor moisture further and introduce the other causes of mold.

High Humidity 

As mentioned, the most significant cause of mold in the air conditioner is high humidity levels and excess moisture inside your home. These conditions are uncomfortable and unhealthy to live in, but they practically welcome mold with open arms.

The best thing you can do is pay attention to indoor humidity levels. Most modern thermostats will have a percentage reading on the display screen to make this possible. You want the reading to remain between 30% and 50%. When humidity rises above the ideal range, mold growth is highly likely, especially in your HVAC.

Ventilation Issues

The vents in your home are a vital part of removing moisture. With poor ventilation, water in the air becomes trapped rather than pushed through the system and out of your house. One of the most important places for your vents to be functioning correctly is the bathroom.

After a long hot shower, the steam builds up. The exhaust fan is critical in removing moisture as quickly as possible. When the humidity remains in the air, mold production is far more likely.

So, ensure the vents throughout your home are clear of debris and working at their best to protect you and your family from mold exposure.

Dust and Debris

Aside from moisture, mold requires organic matter of some kind to grow. This is usually in the form of dust and other debris, like pet dander. Every house has some amount of dust. However, it is essential to keep up with the dust and debris collecting on the surfaces of your home to prevent mold infestations.

More specifically, when there is mold in the air conditioning, it is likely there because of dust build-up on the unit or throughout the ductwork. It’s common for dust and debris to settle in the ducts in your home, no matter how often you remove the dust from your bookshelves, TV stands, and other furniture.

Luckily, regular HVAC maintenance and duct cleanings can help keep debris collection under control.

Is Mold Dangerous?

The growth of mold anywhere indoors can be a health hazard for humans. However, when there is mold in the air conditioner, matters are worse. The air you breathe circulates through the HVAC system. So, when there is mold present, it can spread very quickly, promoting further growth, perhaps in other areas of the home.

Mold exposure can make you very sick. Unfortunately, it isn’t always so evident because the symptoms are similar to other common ailments, like seasonal allergies or the common cold. It’s important to pay close attention to how you feel in your own home. For example, if you leave your residence for an extended period and some of your symptoms subside, this is a clear indicator you may have mold in the air conditioner or other areas indoors.

Common side effects of mold exposure:

  • Coughing
  • Headaches
  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Itchy eyes and skin
  • wheezing

Additionally, those with preexisting respiratory illnesses may experience more severe symptoms than they are used to. For instance, mold exposure may agitate asthma symptoms and lead to awful complications, like increased asthma attacks, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

AC vent up close

How to Prevent Mold in the Air Conditioner

While discovering mold in the air conditioner can be challenging, preventing it is much simpler. When you live in a humid climate such as Florida, it is vital to implement mold prevention throughout the year to ensure you and your family’s health and safety.

You can start your mold prevention today with the following expert advice.

1 | Dehumidifiers

As you may assume, a dehumidifier is an appliance that removes excess moisture from your home. It is an incredible device to have around when indoor humidity levels continue to spike in summer. Whole-home dehumidifiers connect directly to your HVAC system and reduce moisture levels throughout the house. Portable dehumidifiers can be placed in a single space and reduce the humidity in the surrounding air.

2 | High-Quality Air Filters

If you’re still buying inexpensive air filters for your HVAC system, it may be time to invest in higher-quality products. There are air filters designed to block out mold spores and other common allergens and protect the health of the members of your home.

They may be more pricey than lower-grade filters. However, suppose you suspect mold growth or have family members who struggle with respiratory issues or allergies. In that case, they are well worth the investment.

3 | Regular HVAC Maintenance 

The smartest way to prevent mold in the air conditioner is to have your HVAC and ducts regularly inspected by your local HVAC experts. They have the tools, experience, and knowledge to ensure the conditions for mold growth are nonexistent. Plus, if there is mold throughout your HVAC system, the professionals will be able to catch the infestation early before it becomes severe enough to cause extreme health issues for you and your family.

Air Dreamy Prevents and Eliminates Mold

Suppose you have discovered mold in the air conditioner. In that case, it is best to have a qualified and skilled team of professionals remove the mold. Handling this dangerous fungus can risk your health further. It takes the right equipment and knowledge to eliminate mold safely and effectively.

The experts at Air Dreamy are happy to help. With friendly customer service and perfection of the craft, you can rest easy knowing we will take care of the mold issue.

Even better, we can help you prevent mold growth in your home. With routine maintenance and duct cleanings, mold infestations are less likely to occur. So, call on the local team you can trust. Schedule your service with Air Dreamy today.

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