Mold and mildew in your home isn’t only unsightly, it can also make you sick. Exposure to mold and the spores it releases into the air can irritate your eyes, nose, throat, and skin. Mold and mildew are also known to cause respiratory problems, nervous system disorders, and contribute to depression. It is a severe problem for those who suffer from asthma and allergies.
Could There Be Mold in Your HVAC Unit?
Mold often gets its start inside of your home’s HVAC unit. Because your system circulates throughout the entire house, mold that starts in the unit can quickly spread to every corner of your home. If mold begins to grow in your home it can be difficult and sometimes costly to get rid of. However, you can help prevent mold and mildew growth with a few basic HVAC maintenance practices.
What You Can Do
One of the functions of your air system is to remove moisture from the air to keep you and your family comfortable. This moisture forms condensation on the unit’s evaporator coil that then drips into a pan to keep it in one place. This drip pan needs to be cleaned frequently to prevent mold and mildew and to keep your unit running smoothly.
What We Can Do
Cleaning the drip pan is something everyone can do, but we want to specify that other maintenance, such as cleaning the duct work and condensate line, should be left to the professionals. Here are some things that your HVAC service professionals can do.
Clean Your Unit Condensate Line
The condensate lines are designed to transport the water that forms in your system safely away from the electrical power sources. Since they connect to an exterior location, over time they can become clogged with yard waste, dirt, and debris. Clogging of the condensate lines also happens frequently after strong storms.
These lines should be cleaned regularly to prevent water from backing up in the system. If the water isn’t draining freely, your unit will not work efficiently. Pooling water can also create a welcome environment for mold and mildew to thrive.
Clean Your Duct Work
You can check for the growth of mold and mildew in the first few feet of your duct work. If you find it growing there, treat it with an EPA-registered disinfectant.
Schedule HVAC Maintenance
The average homeowner can manage the cleaning their unit’s drip pan and condensate lines on their own. However, the cleaning of other parts should be left to a competent HVAC technician.
Moisture can accumulate on your unit’s evaporator coils, filters, and other fragile interior parts. Since mold and mildew thrive in moist environments, these parts can become coated. Once there is mold or mildew in your unit, it is only a matter of time before mold spores take up residence inside your home.
During regular HVAC maintenance, a technician uses specially designed tools to remove and clean the interior parts of your system. Once dirt, mold, and mildew are removed from the furnace and air conditioner, the quality of your indoor air will improve.
Removing Mold and Mildew with Super Cleaners
If you find yourself continuously battling mold and mildew, you may find relief by using specialized cleaners. There are several popular advanced solutions available. Check with your HVAC technician to determine which best fits your individual system and air quality goals.
- Biocide Chambers – Using ultraviolet light, a biocide chamber eliminates mold and bacteria that grows around your air conditioning coil.
- HEPA Air Cleaner – By adding a HEPA cleaner to your HVAC unit, you can effectively eliminate up to 90 percent of bacteria and airborne mold spores measuring as small as .01 microns.
- Electronic Air Cleaner – As air passes through your heating and cooling system, this type of air cleaner uses an electric charge to trap mold spores and prevent them from recirculating in your home.
If you follow these simple suggestions as part of your regular HVAC maintenance, you’ll be well on your way to eliminating or preventing mold and mildew in your home.