Maintaining a healthy environment at home is a task that never truly ends. Keeping things clean and tidy not only makes for a more enjoyable place to live but contributes to lowering indoor air pollution and keeping things comfortable. That’s especially important if you or a family member has allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues. Knowing that, it’s obviously a major sign of concern if you happen to spot mold in your air conditioner.
You might use window units and mini-splits where the mold growth is evident and apparent on the hardware itself. In other cases, you might spot mold growing on your vents and near interior AC components. Sometimes you can’t see the mold, but you can tell that something is amiss even without visual confirmation. Mold can pose a serious health risk and impact indoor air quality, especially if it is one of the more dangerous species. Understanding what’s happening here and what you can do about it is essential for safeguarding your health and enjoying a reliable source of cool, clean air.
What Causes Mold To Grow in Air Conditioners?
Mold spores typically thrive and grow into colonies in spaces with plenty of oxygen, not too much light, and lots of moisture. It feeds on microscopic organic matter and is very hardy and resilient so that it can remain in place for long periods. Unfortunately, air conditioners provide one of the most perfect environments for mold growth, especially in areas where heavy condensation forms.
That makes window units a particular concern because the cold air blowing from the vents into a hot or humid room could cause condensation on and inside the unit. Mold could eventually begin to develop in these spaces. The same thing can happen on vent covers and even inside of your air conditioning system.
Signs That Say You May Have Mold in the Air Conditioner
Knowing that you have a mold problem is the first step on the road to fixing the issue. A visual inspection of your equipment may reveal everything you need to know — but sometimes detecting mold isn’t so easy. Watch out for some of the other signs that say you may have mold in the air conditioner:
- Allergic reactions and other physical symptoms of mold exposure. These often include headaches, runny noses, sniffling and sneezing, and other respiratory-related symptoms. These symptoms may grow worse when the AC runs.
- A persistent damp or musty smell, especially near the air conditioner or its vents. This is often the odor of mold spores floating in the air. If your AC doesn’t smell right, it’s time to act.
- The development of mold on objects near air conditioner vents. Because mold spores can float through the air, they may colonize surfaces near your vents.
Can You Remove Air Conditioner Mold On Your Own?
To a certain extent, it is possible to control mold safely at home on your own. However, there is one problem with this method: you will not be able to reach components inside of the unit easily. You will need to use gloves, goggles, and a face mask, combined with an approved mold killer and cleaner to disinfect the surfaces that have accumulated mold. If you do not eliminate all the mold during cleaning, what remains will quickly re-colonize the space you’ve just cleaned.
Why a Professional’s Help is Essential
Eliminating mold the first time you encounter it within your system is essential. By choosing a licensed and experienced air conditioning contractor, you can access stronger cleaning products and a more involved mold removal process. A technician can look inside your air conditioner’s various components safely, cleaning and removing any presence of mold. With this solution, you can trust in a much better outcome immediately.
Do You Need Duct Cleaning Now, Too?
If mold lived inside your central air conditioner’s components, spores may have blown all through your home via the ducting. If it has been several years since you last had your ducts cleaned, or if a technician visually confirms the presence of mold in the ducts, you may wish to request this additional service. Breathe easy knowing that you’ve eliminated every source of mold in your HVAC system.
Don’t Delay When You Spot the Signs of Mold
It’s always easiest to mitigate mold problems when you catch growth early and take steps right away to remove it from your equipment. While that isn’t always possible, you should keep a close watch on your hardware, especially during the most humid months of the year. Once you do see mold in the air conditioner, try to remove it yourself — or, if it is severe or affecting your allergies, contact a professional team today. Don’t let mold get in the way of a better indoor environment.