Mold in Air Conditioners

Mold in Air Conditioners and How to Fix It

Mold and its spores can spread quickly throughout your home if left unchecked, causing your otherwise healthy family to experience moderate to severe reactions like coughing, wheezing, itchy eyes, and more. Targeting mold growth and eliminating it not only gets rid of unsightly dark splotches but also works to improve the air quality of your home. Spotting infected areas in bathrooms and above windows are generally easy to deal with, but what do you do when mold gets into your air conditioner system? 

The Perfect Environment

Mold spores live everywhere, the trick is to ensure they don’t find the perfect breeding ground and release high concentrations of spores. These microscopic nasties need two things in order to grow: moisture and a food source. Areas with high humidity, leaks, or improperly cleaned spills can easily provide moisture. Any organic material, from wood to carpet and even dust can be a food source for mold spores. In most cases, your air conditioner isn’t a prime location for mold growth. However, unchecked condensation and dust build-up are all it takes for mold to take hold. 

Cleaning Strategies

Visual clues, a musty smell, and experiencing respiratory symptoms can all be signs that your air conditioner has fallen prey to mold growth and is now blowing spores throughout your home. If you find yourself in this situation, make sure to follow these tips:

  • Turn off your AC unit as soon as you notice mold.
  • If the mold appears to be coming from your central AC system, call the professionals right away. If the culprit is elsewhere, proceed with the remaining tips. 
  • Wear gloves and a face mask with goggles to ensure you don’t inhale the mold.
  • Wipe down non-porous surfaces with a household cleaner. In most cases, you don’t need bleach.
  • Remove and safely dispose of porous surfaces affected by mold such as wood and plaster. 
  • If you see mold spots forming on the grate of your window AC unit, chances are it’s too late to get it under control. Most likely the unit will need to be replaced altogether. 

The Best Defense

A mold outbreak within your AC unit can be detrimental if not dealt with right away. The best way to mitigate mold damage is to prevent it through regular maintenance and these best practices: 

  • Ensure window units are properly fitted and sealed in their respective windows.
  • Regularly clean grates and filters in your window unit to prevent dust build-up. 
  • If you have central AC, regularly inspect your drainage system. 
  • Empty any portable AC units periodically.
  • Have your ductwork professionally inspected and cleaned at least once a year. 

Mold growth within your air conditioning system poses a dangerous risk to the health of your family. Regular cleaning and inspections are key to ensuring those spores are always kept in check! If you’re due for a duct cleaning, don’t wait until it’s too late, call the experts at McMillin Air today to book an appointment. 


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