If your home develops a musty odor that just won't go away, HVAC mold may be to blame. Various components in both heating systems and air conditioning units can foster the perfect environment—moist, relatively warm, and full of organic particles—for mold to thrive. Here’s a closer look at the problem.
Identifying HVAC Mold
Mold spores are essentially everywhere. When they’re exposed to excessive moisture, they can multiply if they have a steady supply of nutrients until a full-blown infestation develops. As such, HVAC mold is especially common in ductwork.
Not only do ducts accumulate dead skin cells, animal dander, and other debris that can feed mold, but they also develop condensation fairly easily. When warm air comes in contact with a cool surface, like the duct’s metal siding, the water vapor in the air condenses into droplets, which pool inside the ductwork.
If your air conditioning unit’s ducts are infested with mold, members of your household might experience symptoms like congestion, watery eyes, and nose or throat irritation. Inexplicable headaches that dissipate after you go outside could also be indicative of a mold issue. In severe cases, you may even be able to see the growth near the intake vents or around the drip pans.
Combatting HVAC Mold
While you can use a bleach or baking soda solution to eliminate any visible mold, the only way to combat an infestation within your air conditioning unit’s ductwork is by calling in a professional. Look for an HVAC contractor that cleans ducts using EPA-registered mold growth inhibitors.
As for preventing infestations in the future, make sure to change your HVAC filters diligently—at least once a season—and to empty out your drip pans regularly. Addressing any leaks as soon as they develop is also important.
In especially humid climates, it's wise to insulate the ductwork. This will serve to reduce condensation by moderating the temperature of the ducts.
If your heater or air conditioning unit has a mold problem, turn to Strouth and Sons Heating and Air Conditioning, LLC. Operating out of Liberty, NC, this locally owned and operated HVAC contractor is proud to serve homeowners and businesses throughout Duran and Orange counties. Backed by more than 13 years of experience, they're equipped to repair, replace, and maintain residential and commercial equipment. To schedule service, call (336) 524-3868 today. Learn more about their services on their website.