Cleaning mold in air conditioning unit | Fixing air conditioning mildew

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Updated on:

April 25, 2023

How to get rid of mould in air conditioners | HVAC mildew cleaning

You might be dealing with mold in your air conditioner if it is producing more than just cool air. The first non-visual indication that there might be mold in air conditioner parts that you can't immediately see is frequently a wet or musty smell.

Tackling the mold growth problem has much more advantages than simply getting rid of the mildew odor in your home (although that may rank pretty high on your priority list). Health issues such as coughing, wheezing, or an itchy throat can be brought on by breathing in mold spores.

Don't ignore it if you notice mold on your window AC unit or if a persistent stench suggests growth is occurring just beyond the vent grille.

We will debacle how to get rid of mold in your air conditioner unit in this article, and answer most common questions.

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allergy from dirty hvac system

Is mold in central air conditioner dangerous?

It's crucial to comprehend the potential dangers of mold before deciding if your unit can be cleaned or needs to be replaced. If left unchecked, black mold development in air conditioner systems can start to harm your family's health for a number of reasons.

You can experience various symptoms of mold exposure. Some of them are coughing, wheezing, nasal congestion, itchy or red eyes, skin rash, irritated throat. If someone has a mold allergy, these symptoms can be worse. If you're looking at a window air conditioner unit, the repair should go pretty quickly as the spread of the mold spores was probably limited to one particular space.

But, professional cleaning could be required if the source of your issue is mold in the HVAC system or components of your central air conditioner. The HVAC system in a house can act as a conduit for mold spores, potentially resulting in poor indoor air quality in every room and lading your family to inhaling mold spores.

What is black mold in air conditioners?

Sometimes referred to as "toxic black mold," "toxic mold," or "black mold," Stachybotrys chartarum is an extremely hazardous species of mold. In the presence of too much moisture, it frequently grows on porous, organic surfaces like drywall and wood.

Stachybotrys produces mycotoxins into the air as it ages, which when consumed or inhaled can irritate the mouth and nose and could result in allergic responses.

Stachybotrys may contribute to sick building syndrome, which manifests as nausea, headaches, dizziness, exhaustion, coughing up a dry cough, itchy skin, and irritation. However, no concrete evidence linking the two has yet been found.

black mold in air conitionng system

How to spot black mold spores in your air conditioning unit?

Sadly, a lot of individuals don't detect black mold in their home until they become ill. If you suspect mold, these are common indications of black mold in your air conditioner unit are listed below.

Musty odor

A sudden musty or moldy odor in your home may indicate the presence of black mold. As soon as you detect any off-putting or musty aromas in your home, check your air conditioner and air ducts.

dirty hvac ducts

Dirty air filters/evaporator coils

Your unit's air filter or evaporator coils may frequently develop black mold. They are internal parts, therefore it's simple to forget about them. Black mold, however, can spread just as swiftly inside your unit as it would outside.

It's possible that mold is present if your air filters or coils are unclean. To arrange for a professional evaporator coil cleaning, either change your filter or contact a cleaning service.

Learn more about mould removal out of car cabin in full guide with video.

Mold around the air ducts

Seeing black mold growing around your air conditioning system and air ducts is one of its more obvious symptoms. If you notice mold or a lot of trash near your air conditioner, give us a call straight away. We'll do a black mold test and offer a thorough cleaning.

Learn more about mold and mildew removal out of your home.

How to clean mold in the AC unit

Security first: Wear your safety equipment (mask, eyewear, and gloves).

Remove AC: Unplug the air conditioner from its power source and turn it off. For cleaning, remove the unit and place it outside or on the garage floor.

Disassemble: Your unit's front body grille should be removed. On the majority of units, this is simple to accomplish by dragging it forward and slightly pressing down. Use the screwdriver to remove any screws holding the grille in place if necessary.

Filter removal: The air conditioner's front grille will hold the filter. While some filters are disposable and may need to be changed, the majority are reusable and can be cleaned with soap and water.

Reusable filter that needs cleaning: To clean a washable filter, add a few inches of warm water and dish soap to your sink or bathtub. Put CLR (or your other mold-removal agent) on the filter, then let it soak for about 15 minutes.

Scrub the filter: Next, scrape the filter on both sides with the scrub brush. Clean the filter with fresh water before hanging it up to dry.

Returning to the air conditioner, unscrew the metal cover that is situated behind the front body grill and lift it straight upwards.

Dust with a vacuum and any necessary attachments to remove as much dirt and debris as you can from the interior of the appliance. Remove any discernible mold development by wiping it with a cloth or sponge.

Scrub the mold: Spray your air conditioner liberally with the mold cleaner of your choice, then scrub the moldy spots. Moreover, if the front grille of the air conditioner has mold on it, clean it. After about 10 minutes, let the solution rest on these surfaces before rinsing with water and a moist cloth. Make sure to be careful with any electrical components.

Give the unit, filter, grille, and metal cover enough time to dry completely.

Set up a clean unit: Reassembling the air conditioner will allow you to place it in the selected window and connect it to power.

If you got mold smell inside your car, check this guide.
portable steam cleaner for hvac cleaning

Best way to clean mold growth in the AC units

We have provided a step by step guide on the traditional method of cleaning mold, but there is a more efficient way to clean the AC system from mold infestation. Using a powerful steam cleaner will ensure that all visible mold is gone, and give you a brand new air conditioner. Steam cleaning kills up to 99.9% of germs and will leave your central air conditioning system not only clean, but sanitized as well, getting rid of all the mold spores and musty odors.

One of the best portable steam cleaners on the market is the Fortador Volt Mini. Volt MINI functions at high pressures and temperatures, producing steam at a maximum pressure of 101.5 psi and temperature of 338 °F. The variety of attachments will aid you to remove mold in hard to reach places more easily. This device will also help with preventing mold allergies since steam gets rid of all allergens.

maintenance team of hvac system

How to prevent mold growth?

If mold has been found in the air conditioner unit, it is more likely to return despite cleaning attempts. This is due to the possibility that mold spores are still present in the unit's interior, which you were unable to access. Mold tends to grow in dusty air conditioners. Mold thrives in dusty and humid environments so make it a habit to remove the grille and filter every few weeks and vacuum the inside of the unit to prevent dust from gathering because dust in the unit aids in the adhesion and growth of mold spores.

Drainage systems for whole-house air conditioners should be installed, ideally connecting to a utility sink, a basement slab, or a drain tile. Make sure yours is operating correctly to prevent moisture from building up around the unit or into the ductwork. Drains can block up with buildup or debris, which can cause serious flooding in your home.

Living in a home where you have mold in your AC unit can start a lot of respiratory problems and damage the overall quality of your life. Checking your central air conditioners unit might not seem like a priority, but it is absolutely crucial to do this task as often as every couple of months. If you run into a problem of mold, make sure to use our guide on how to get rid of this problem.

About the Authors

Koren Zitser
Vip Air, Panama: 20+ years in global AC excellence. Partners with industry leaders, offers split to large-scale systems, specializing in VRF, Multi V, maintenance, and innovation.
Kristina Tretyakova
Distinguished as a South Florida Top-10 student in 2021. Studying Marketing and Business Administration at FIU. Proficient in daily operations and skilled in cleaning, auto detailing and copywriting.

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