When mold grows in your air conditioning unit, it can greatly affect the air quality in your home, especially if anyone has mold allergies. The air conditioner blows cool air into your home, bringing mold spores and other bacteria with it. If you notice signs of mold growing in your air conditioner, call the experts at Pioneer Comfort Systems. We offer a wide range of indoor air quality solutions that can help your family breathe easier. Call Pioneer Comfort Systems at (318) 378-5729 today to learn more.
How to Check for Mold Growth in Your Air Conditioner
When mold grows in your air conditioner, unfortunately, it’s not visible. Mold will usually build up in the air vents, creating a damp, musty smell noticeable throughout your home. As you and your family are inhaling mold spores, you might suffer from nasal congestion, coughing, or throat irritation that you can’t necessarily pinpoint. If you suspect mold might be behind your respiratory issues, follow these steps to inspect your air conditioner.
If you have a window, wall-mounted, or freestanding unit, first, you’ll want to make sure that it’s unplugged. Once you’ve unplugged the air conditioner unit, remove the front or back grill that accesses the air filter. Inspect the air filter for any black, brown, or green stains that also look fuzzy. If the filter does not show any signs of visible mold, inspect the inside of the unit with a flashlight to see if you can find any mold within the unit. Mold can also create a powdery white or gray stain.
Inspecting your central air conditioning system is more complicated due to how large the appliance is and how difficult it is to access the inside of the unit. To look for mold growth in your AC unit, you can use a flashlight to look at the air ducts, fans, supply vents, and exterior of the unit to see if you notice any mold growth. Unfortunately, that will be the extent of your ability to check your air conditioning unit on your own. You’ll need to call an HVAC technician for a more thorough inspection.
Dangers of Mold Spores in Air Conditioners
Mold in air conditioning systems is not necessarily more dangerous than mold growing in other areas of your home. The difference is that when mold is in a particular area of your home, it is contained in that specific room. However, when mold grows in your air conditioner, the airflow pushes the mold spores throughout your home. This is why mold build-up in your AC unit can be a cause for concern because the mold can spread and create health issues in every room of your home.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, exposure can cause various health effects or none at all. Some people are more sensitive to mold. For those people, mold exposure can lead to a stuffy nose, wheezing, red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people with mold allergies or asthma may have more severe reactions…like fever and shortness of breath.
How Does Mold Grow in Air Conditioners?
Unfortunately, mold is everywhere, which makes it almost impossible to rid your home entirely of mold. Even if you remove the mold from your air filters, it could still find its way through a window or door. There’s no need to panic, though. Mold only becomes dangerous when spores can thrive in an environment where they can multiply at high concentrations. So the key to preventing mold in your air at home is to keep it from growing to begin with.
In order to grow, mold needs moisture and an organic food source. In your air conditioning system, the condenser and evaporator coils create condensation and can lead to a water leak if not drained properly. The organic food source is the surface where mold grows, like carpet or wood, or the organic particles in the dust. Even though HVAC systems aren’t usually the right environment for mold to grow, mold can thrive when dust collects in these systems.
How Do I Get Rid of Mold in My AC Unit?
Depending on the air conditioning system you have, cleaning mold can either be done yourself or require a professional. When cleaning mold yourself, make sure that the area is well-ventilated. You’ll also need to wear a face mask with goggles and non-porous gloves for mold removal.
Eliminate Mold Growth in a Window AC Unit
It might be too late when you notice mold on your window air conditioner. To remove mold from your window unit, take the unit apart and clean the coils, air ducts, evaporators, and other electrical components. The only problem is there is a chance that you did not remove all the mold spores, which will grow back. When you see mold on your window ac unit, it’s best to replace it.
Eliminate Mold Growth in a Central Air Conditioning System
Due to the complexity of a central air conditioning system, removing mold will most likely need to be done by a professional. As soon as you suspect mold in your air, the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, suggests that you immediately shut down the HVAC system to prevent the mold from spreading further. The air ducts must be cleaned and vacuumed in order to remove mold from your HVAC system. The sooner the mold is caught, the easier removal should be, depending on how far it has spread through the AC unit.
At Pioneer Comfort Systems, we offer a three-step duct cleaning service. During our duct inspections, we inspect the air ducts, vacuum the ductwork, and sanitize the ductwork. To learn more about our Shreveport air duct cleaning services, call us today at (318) 378-5729.
How Do I Prevent Mold Growth?
Listed below are some other steps you can take to control the moisture levels in your air conditioner and prevent mold growth:
- Replace air filters regularly. Dust and build-up on air filters create a food source for mold.
- Cleaning your air ducts should be done using dry vacuuming or wiping. Never use water.
- Make sure any window ac units fit tightly to prevent any humidity or rain from coming inside.
- Window units must be slightly tilted outside to ensure proper drainage of the condensation line.
- Clean filters and grates on window AC units regularly to avoid dust build-up.
- Air conditioning units must have drainage systems.
- Portable air conditioners need to be emptied periodically. When they need to be emptied, the unit will shut off, and a light will come on, notifying you that it needs to be emptied.
- Make sure any grates and air returns are not blocked and cleaned.
Call Shreveport’s Best AC Repair Company
If you believe that you have mold in your air conditioner, cleaning your AC unit can be complicated and may not even remove all the mold in your system. When you start to suspect mold in your air conditioner, call the Shreveport AC repair experts at Pioneer Comfort Systems today at (318) 378-5729.