If you had simply left the air conditioning running, it would have cooled the home and removed moisture from the air and circulated and filtered the air. Do your research to find someone who complies with those standards and has a history of reliable, high-quality work. If it’s filled with heavy mold growth, indicated by mold and mildew deposits that cover one-third or more of the surface area of the case and the internal workings, it’s probably time to replace the unit (see below for the problems associated with heavy mold growth). But did you realize that mold can also grow inside of air conditioning systems, spreading through the very air you breathe? Usually, these allergic reactions are relatively minor, but in some cases, they can be fatal. Remove the top and the back of the cabinet, following the directions in your owner’s manual. It’s dark, warm, and if not properly maintained, water may be present too, which will increase the chances of mold … Your air conditioning can be making you sick, and you may not even realize it. Install an air conditioner with a high efficiency particulate air filter — better known as a HEPA filter — to remove mold spores from the air. Black mold and toxic mold from poor air quality can lead to you or … The most prevalent mycotoxin producer is known as Stachybotrys chartarum, or more commonly, black mold. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to mold include hives, rashes, and trouble breathing caused by swelling of the throat. Be sure to have a third party retest your HVAC system for mold after the job is done to ensure that whoever you hired did a thorough job; if mold remains, any licensed professional should return and finish the job for no additional cost. Mold spores can cause a variety of health complications. The symptoms may vary from person to person, and can also depend on the length of … Such a complicated job requires special tools in order to ensure that it’s done thoroughly and that the air conditioning and ventilation systems are not damaged. ), Freon Air Conditioner Replacements in 2020, Air Conditioning: The Eco Friendly Alternatives, Maintaining my R-22 Air Conditioner: Is it Worth it? If you suspect that mold is in your AC unit, the US Environmental Protection Agency recommends turning it off so no more mold spores can circulate and contaminate your home. Soak the filter soak in a sink with hot soapy water to which you’ve added approximately 1/2 cup of bleach. Alternately, you could call a mold remediation specialist to inspect the unit to see if it can be professionally cleaned, but the consultation could cost as much as purchasing a new air conditioner. However, take note that these parts being clean doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re free of mold. If you … Mildew, a common type of mold, produces powdery gray or white stains. In addition to confirming whether the mold is a problem, experts can return to the house after you’ve performed removal to retest and help make sure that you’re in the clear. That way, the AC will not run as often, but it will still cycle on occasionally when the temp in the house rises. A: Mold does have a tendency to grow inside air conditioners that sit unused for a while. The best way to be absolutely sure about whether or not you have a mold problem is to hire a professional to run individual tests in your home. In addition, don’t shut off your AC if you won’t be using it for a few days or longer during hot weather. The bleach will kill residual mold spores. Emergency Air Conditioning Repair in Palm Beach County and Surrounding Area. A dehumidifier can reduce moisture in your home and prevent black mold growth. Step 1: Turn off the power to the ac unit because you could come into contact with electrical components. Common Causes of Black Mold in Air Vents. Black dust coming from your air vents may … Black mold produces mycotoxins that are poisonous to humans… The Latest in Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioner Systems, what kind of mold grows in window air conditioners, Who Invented Air Conditioning? Whether you have a single air conditioning unit or a full ventilation system, hazardous mold can make itself a home and cause significant problems. If there is mold on the air conditioner coils, mold spores can easily spread through the ducts in your ventilation system. If you’re using a standalone air conditioning unit in your window and discover mold in it, the solution is relatively simple, if a little spendy: Throw it out and buy a new one. Fill a plastic bucket with a few gallons of hot water and about 1/2 cup of household bleach. One way to watch out for mold is through scent. It’s not to be taken lightly. How to Clean Black Mold on Air Conditioner Vents Things You Will Need. While window AC units are fairly waterproof, avoid spraying the controls and the spot where the electrical cord is attached. Ensuring that your attic has fans will minimize mold growth in your attic. Spray it lightly with the mold-killing spray before you start working to prevent … If upon your initial inspection, you discover rampant mold and mildew in the air conditioner, do not attempt to clean it. A standalone air conditioner window unit can still grow mold and blow spores into the room the unit is located in. Visible heavy mold indicates that more mold is flourishing in places you cannot see or easily reach, such as within the fan motor casing. Turn off your air conditioner to prevent further mold spores from entering your home. Those mold spores, … But if your house has central air, the smallest bit of mold can end up spreading through the whole house. Many modern homes have a full HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, which makes it all the easier for mold to become a problem because once it infiltrates one system, it spreads through the ducts to everything else. Once you’ve had mold in the air conditioner unit, there’s an increased risk that it will develop again despite your cleaning efforts. On most units, this can be done easily by pulling it … Warning. This is because mold spores could remain within the inner workings of the unit that you were unable to reach. Your best bet with a central air system connected to HVAC is to contact a professional and let them remove the mold. Before you start, assemble your tools and materials and then don a dust mask, goggles, and gloves. Spray the coils (U-shaped metal tubes near the front and the back of the unit) with commercial coil cleaner and let the product dwell as directed by the manufacturer to dissolve anything that’s collected on AC coils. So it would be best if you got rid of it as soon as possible. What causes mold to form on air conditioning systems? If the mold is accessible, you may well be able to remove it; but if it’s growing in an area that’s difficult to access, you’ll probably have to replace the unit. Or call us for immediate assistance. A majority[...], Modern Air Conditioning is Invented Years after Faraday achieved his[...], R22 Refrigerant (Freon) Air Conditioner Replacement In 2020 If your[...]. It is black mold, and it is definitely not good for your health to allow it to stay there. It’s likely that mold developed in the unit over the winter and you didn’t notice it until you turned on your AC unit this summer. While odds are the mold in your AC unit is not the scary black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) that you’ve heard about, inhaling mold spores of any type can result in respiratory disorders. By Glenda Taylor and Bob Vila. Exposure to black mold has been tied to tons of health problems, from depression to eye infections to lung bleeding. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises against using an air conditioner that might have mold in it because the air will blow microscopic mold spores into the room. Mold in your air conditioning system can lead to a wide range of illnesses. If you suspect that your air conditioning unit may contain mold, you should begin by checking whatever parts of the unit are visible or otherwise easy to access, including the evaporator coils and filter. Molds thrive when the humidity … Call us Any Time! Exposure to … Here is more about health problems due to black mold. Your air conditioning system can act as an incubator for black mold … Simple. Many people will also have an allergic reaction upon contact with mold. If you suspect … However, mold located in air conditioning units spreads spores out into the air throughout the house, which makes it especially dangerous and especially likely to cause sickness. For example, if you usually set the temperature to 75 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re home, set it 10 degrees warmer to 85 degrees Fahrenheit before you leave. Q: There’s been a mysterious, slightly moldy smell in my home all summer, and this morning, when our window air conditioner kicked on, I noticed that the odor unmistakably came from the unit. RELATED: 14 Surprising Places Where Mold Hides in the Home. This will allow air to circulate through the unit and reduce the risk of mold growing while you’re gone. Unfortunately, your air conditioning system and your air ducts are a common place for black mold to reside. Read on for the sleuthing tips and cleaning steps you need to bring clean, safe, cool air into your home again. Bottom line: It’s unhealthy to breathe air contaminated with mold spores, so if you can’t effectively clean the unit, it should be replaced. Saturate a scrubbing sponge in the bleach solution and use it to wipe the inside surfaces of the AC unit, removing all traces of visible mold. The presence of dust in the unit helps mold spores adhere and grow, so make it a practice to remove the grille and filter every few weeks and vacuum the interior of the unit to keep dust from settling. AC units vary in the way they are assembled, so check your owner’s manual to determine how to identify and disassemble the exterior cabinet so that you can access the interior. Step 3: Remove the ac filter and thoroughly HEPA vacuum it to suck … Moisture plays a significant role in the growth of mold. Remove the grille and the filter from the front of the unit. Mold visibly grows on a single surface, but it also spreads invisible, microscopic spores through the air, which can then be inhaled into the body. Your Air Filter is Severely Clogged. Take off the plastic front grille and inspect the styrofoam ducts for specks and spots of black mold, which can cause breathing problems and sickness. Send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap. The insides of your air conditioning unit may be the perfect place for mold to appear. Black mold in your air vents can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms and health problems. While many species of mold have in common a tendency to trigger allergic reactions and cause respiratory problems, black mold is a particular risk with AC units. Mold spreads and grows easily and … Mold in air ducts most commonly occurs when there is moisture inside the ductwork. If you want to save on cooling costs when you’re gone, set the thermostat on your air conditioner to a higher-than-normal temperature. Things are a bit more complicated if you have central air. Mold in air conditioner units is particularly likely to cause illness, though, because every time you turn on the air conditioner, mold spores … Allow the unit to air-dry completely, which could take up to 24 hours, before reassembling the unit and reinstalling it in your window. You may also want to look for mold if you experience any sicknesses or other symptoms that could be connected to mold. This is a common practice when people go on vacation, but when the weather is warm and humid, mold is more likely to get a foothold in the AC unit. Remove the air filter. In these scenarios, the mold could be discovered by the owner of the home or air conditioner or by a professional HVAC technician. Mold can grow virtually anywhere in your home, and regardless of location, exposure can lead to health problems. Attic fans can be electrical … Disclosure: BobVila.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Mold in window air conditioner units is a serious problem because every time you turn on your air conditioner, it will blow tiny, invisible mold spores into the room. This can have a negative effect on your health. Mold spores naturally traveling in the air attach to damp areas then begin to grow. Mold anywhere in your home can make you sick, of course. Thanks for sharing. It will have dissolved the gunk and it should spray right off. Once mold spores enter your lungs, they can lead to a myriad of issues, from small annoyances (coughing and sneezing) to major respiratory problems (pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma attacks, and more). Mold needs something on which to grow. 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