Air conditioner mold can spread throughout the house every time you turn your air conditioner on and exposure to mold can lead to numerous health problems, including respiratory disorders and allergic reactions. Air conditioning mold needs to be removed as soon as possible, to protect your health and the health of your loved ones.
This article deals with mold in central AC systems. If you have mold in a window air conditioner unit, follow the link for more information.
Mold in your air conditioning system can lead to a wide range of illnesses. All types of mold can trigger allergic reactions in people sensitive to those substances, but some types of mold produce toxic compounds known as mycotoxins which can lead to serious conditions like pneumonia and bleeding in the lungs. Mold found anywhere in the home can lead to health problems, but when mold is in the air conditioning system, it can be particularly problematic. Microscopic mold spores become airborne when air blows through the ducts and are dispersed throughout the home, where they are easily inhaled. Babies and elderly people are most susceptible to mold-related illnesses, but even healthy young adults can get sick.
Of course, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and if you can prevent the development of mold in the first places, that’s much better than having to remove it later on. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America website explains that keeping your air conditioning ducts free of dirt and other debris can reduce the likelihood of mold growth by making sure there is no organic matter in the ducts on which mold can feed. Mold also needs water in order to grow and condensation inside air conditioning ducts often provides just enough moisture for mold to thrive. There should not be standing water inside your air conditioning ducts, though, and if there is, you need to have your system serviced.
You should check your air conditioning ducts for mold if you have mold growing in other areas of your home or if you smell a musty odor in a room but don’t see mold anywhere. If you’re not sure if there is mold in your air conditioning ducts or not, you can have a certified mold tester come in and test for mold. He or she can check for mold in other areas of the home, too, since mold in your air conditioning system is easily spread to other areas of the home when you turn on your air conditioner. If mold is found in your ductwork, or elsewhere in the home, the mold tester will come back after the mold cleanup has been completed to make sure it has all been removed. To find certified mold testers near you, just follow the link.
While some homeowners prefer to deal with a household mold problem on their own, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends calling in a professional if you have air conditioner mold. It can be difficult to access all parts of the air conditioning ductwork, but professionals have the equipment needed to get the job done, including air whips or air skippers that drive dust, dirt, mold, and other debris toward collection devices fitted with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters. Professionals also know how to do the job correctly and safely, so that you and your loved ones aren’t exposed to harmful mold spores during the process of removing mold from your air conditioning ducts. Of course, they can assist you with removal of mold from other areas of the home, as well, if needed. Follow this link to find experienced mold removal specialists near you.
Mold in HVAC - Additional information on what to do if you have mold in your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems or duct work.