Unfortunately, mold problems is all around us. It’s in the air we breathe and resting on all our home surfaces. Add a bit of moisture, and you’ve got fuzzy green or black spots staring you down. Plenty of areas around your home are bastions for mold growth. Your HVAC system, unfortunately, is one of those perfect spawning grounds for stubborn molds.
Is HVAC Mold Common?
The answer is Yes and No. Because mold is a common component of household dust, it will always be present to some extent on the interior of your HVAC system. It is not, however, common or acceptable for visible mold growth to be present on the interior of your system or the interior of your ductwork. This is almost always the result of elevated humidity levels in the home or some other moisture problem in or around the air handler unit or ductwork. So, while there is never a truly “mold-free” home, visible mold and moisture control are the key to a healthy HVAC system.
What Causes Mold Problems in HVAC Systems?
Mold spores are prevalent in the air. If you were able to shrink down to the microscopic level, you’d see the atmosphere filled with spores of all kinds. To the naked eye, spores are invisible. If they happen to land on a nice moist spot in your home, then the real growth starts.
Mold can be dangerous, so you need to take its growth seriously. Some molds can cause nasty health side effects. Other molds may not be noticeable.
People who are sensitive to molds, have asthma or other respiratory issues are the most likely to experience adverse health effects. If you or someone in your home fits this description, it’s imperative to keep a watchful eye on your HVAC system for any signs of mold growth.
When it comes to air conditioners, mold tends to be a fairly common problem. Dealing with and preventing mold is a part of proper air quality control. Understanding what causes mold growth and how to handle it when it pops up is essential to keeping your home’s air clean.
How to Prevent Mold Problems
If you are sufficiently afraid of mold at this point, you may be wondering: “how can I prevent mold?” Good question. Humans have been dealing with mold as long as we’ve been living indoors — even further back if you count cheesemaking and other moldy endeavors.
The one thing we have gleaned from years of battling stubborn molds is that if you control moisture, you control mold. Therefore, moisture control should be your strategy to prevent nasty mold infestations.
Here are some tips to help you prevent mold growth in your HVAC system:
- Replace your HVAC filters regularly
- Insulate air ducts to help reduce condensation
- Check and clean your condensate/drip pans
- If you find leaks, handle them promptly to prevent moisture build-up
The above steps are the low-hanging fruit of mold control. They cost next to nothing and can have some significant effects. If you are in a humid environment, or mold issues are common in your home, you can enlist a little extra help.