You concerned about mold in your home? So, can the air duct cleaning help? Let’s talk about mold cleaning from your air duct system.
The basic HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system has developed over the years to serve all the different needs of various households in the United States. Thanks to advanced technology for letting us have a comfortable life!
Why Do Your Air Ducts or HVAC Systems Become Dirty?
Negligence is the primary reason that results in a dirty HVAC system or air ducts. The system’s cleanliness may be impacted by failing to change air filters on time, using bad filters, having spaces in filters, or using no filters at all. Duct leakages can also be the source of filth. Others include pests, debris, and animal waste, specifically in tight spaces under the house.
How Often Do You Need To Schedule Mold Cleaning from Your Air Duct System?
Three factors contribute to dust accumulation on the coil: i) low-quality air filters; ii) improper installation; iii) use of no air filter at all. The problem with dust accumulation is that this build- up serves as a mold nutrient, which results in mold growth.
The coil has water on it while the air conditioner runs. The removal of moisture from the air during cooling enables water to accumulate on the coil.
When mold starts to develop inside the air handler, every time the furnace or air conditioner operates, mold spores are pushed into the living area of the house. This deteriorates indoor air quality and may encourage more mold growth inside the home and ducts.
Why Is There Mold Growth in AC Ducts?
- Air Conditioner with Low Temperature
- Too Large A.C unit
- Duct Leakages
Mold can occasionally grow around the vents if your air conditioner is set to a very low temperature. The temperature difference that occurs when the warm air in the room and the chilly air coming from the vents collide can induce moisture in the air to precipitate on surfaces near and around the vents. mold growth may result if the moisture accumulates and never gets dried. The temperature differential is what it is known as, and it often takes a variance of 20 degrees or more for moisture to develop. You have to notice the moisture situation or else the moisture will enter your air ducts.
Mold in air ducts is one of the issues your AC unit may create if it is too large for the area you have. Larger units tend to chill small spaces too fast and shut off before dehumidifying the air, which results in an excessive amount of moisture. This moisture can accumulate in your ducting and rooms. If you notice mold soon after a new installation, make sure your equipment is the right size for the available space.
This temperature difference may result in the same sort of issue if the leaks in ducts allow warm air to enter. Because of the temperature difference between the cold air in the ducts and the warm air in the walls, moisture may collect on the ducts, creating ideal conditions for mold growth. In this situation, you will require thorough air duct cleaning, mold cleaning, and sealing of duct leakages to stop the issue from recurring.
What Indicates Mold Growth in The Ductwork?
- A musty or moldy stench in the entire house or one or more specific rooms. When the air conditioner is running, the smell can get worse.
- Black mold stains are quite obvious near the vents, ducts, or drip pans.
- There's a chance your health will suffer. The long-term health impacts of mold contamination can make you feel uncomfortable and may cause harm. The following symptoms may occur due to mold growth in your ac ducts:
- Symptoms are similar to that of allergy-like itchy or watery eyes, disturbed sinus, throat discomfort, or a runny nose that frequently deteriorates when the air conditioner starts working.
- Headaches, tiredness, dizziness, and nausea only when at home.
Mold Growth in Air Conditioners
When to Clean The HVAC System?
- Flooding or major leaks that allow dampness to penetrate building materials or furnishings, such as drywall or carpeting.
- You can sense a musty or moldy odor coming through air registers or from nearby rooms.
- It is necessary to remove damp, decayed, or moldy building materials when mold contaminates building materials. Mold spores can permeate the home's ventilation system and get into the indoor air and infect furniture, which is an obvious outcome of their disruption.
- When the origins of the moisture are found inside the HVAC unit, as when condensation forms on the coils, mold can form and move throughout the entire system and into the home ventilation in the presence of moisture and regular dust or insulation. This can lead to a systemic mold condition in the house.
Mold Cleaning from Your Air Duct System
- If you find mold in your air ducts, you must get rid of it right away. Mold has more time to develop and spread if action is delayed, which worsens any potential health problems. Given this understanding, give mold remediation top priority if you discover it.
- Home remedies like saturated bleach can be used to clean air ducts for mold development. You can also use mold eradication products. However, you shouldn't always attempt to remove mold on your own.
- Involuntarily exposing yourself to mold by cleaning it yourself can result in health problems. Ineffective mold removal techniques can exacerbate the issue by spreading mold development and resulting in further harm. Some mold infestations are just too severe for an untrained person to tackle.
- If you feel air duct cleaning is a risky task or believe that you don’t have adequate knowledge and repair sense for mold cleaning, never hesitate to seek help from professional air duct cleaning services that perform duct cleaning with professional tools and equipment.
Some specific tools are required for effective HVAC duct cleaning.
- A vacuum should have a hose and nozzle connection so that it can access deeper areas inside your ducts.
- A big paintbrush or a toothbrush would be helpful.
- A screwdriver is necessary to take out the vents that are covering your ductwork.
- Paper towels will be useful in wiping away the fleeing dust. They’ll also work to cover more supply registers.
- Installing a new air filter after cleaning the HVAC system is the best thing to do.
If the mold-affected area is small and you think you can do the mold cleaning yourself, then follow these steps for effective HVAC duct cleaning for mold cleaning.
- Switch off your HVAC unit.
- At the very least, N-95 respirators should be worn by everyone involved in the cleaning process.
- Replace any porous materials that have absorbed water, such as insulation or filter media. Use plastic bags that are at least 6 mm thick to double bag the trash.
- Clean up any standing water with wet vacuums.
- To remove mold, mildew, and other debris from non-porous surfaces (such as ductwork, coils, plenums, pans, etc.), use a disinfectant that has been approved by the EPA for use in HVAC systems.
- Use a mechanical coil cleaning method to eliminate any solid dirt from the HVAC evaporator coils.
- To prevent the spores you mix up during cleaning from spreading to other parts of the system or the structure, separate all sections of ductwork using bladders. Use an EPA- registered disinfectant to mist the area.
- Spray a mold and mildew inhibitor on each HVAC system part. To reduce dangers connected with using the incorrect chemicals and cleansers in HVAC systems, they must once more be EPA registered and explicitly labeled for use in HVAC systems. The EPA has approved BBJ Mold Control for use in HVAC systems to prevent the growth of mold for up to two years.
- To finish, HEPA vacuum everything you just cleaned.
A Few Facts About Mold
- To stop mold from growing, address the leak or problem with the water.
- Along with air duct cleaning for mold removal, it is important to find and eliminate the moisture source that caused mold in the house and air ducts.
- If damp building materials and furnishings are cleaned and dried within 24 to 48 hours, mold growth cannot occur.
- Avoid installing carpeting in locations where moisture issues are a constant concern.
- Lower the indoor humidity (to 30–60%) to prevent the growth of mold.
- Utilizing dehumidifiers and air conditioners; improving ventilation; and using exhaust fans when cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry are all ways to reduce indoor humidity.
- Molds may grow on almost any material as long as there is moisture present. Molds can develop on several surfaces, including paper, food, carpet, and wood.
- Allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues are some of the possible health impacts and symptoms linked to mold exposure.
- By increasing insulation, you can reduce the likelihood that condensation will form on cold surfaces.
- Using water and detergent, clean the porous surfaces of mold, and allow them to dry completely. It may be necessary to replace moldy absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles.
- If mold is an issue in your house or place of learning, you need to clean it up and stop the dampness.
Techniques for AC Duct Mold Prevention
- Keep Your Ductwork Clean to Avoid Mold Growth
- Avoid Dampness
- Put Furniture Away from Vents
Mold won't grow if the HVAC ducts are cleaned often. Regular duct cleaning could prevent the growth of mold or its development.
mold growth inside the ducts is also facilitated by high humidity levels. You should think about utilizing a dehumidifier to maintain a regulated level of humidity within the house to prevent mold infestation.
Additionally, try getting a humidifier monitor that can keep an eye on the humidity level in your home. It's best to keep the humidity between 35 and 50 percent. If the indoor humidity is higher than 70%, mold will begin to grow in the ducts.
Make sure that none of your furniture is obstructing the air vent. Any obstruction could hinder the air conditioner from effectively moving air throughout your house. Condensation can occur when there is stagnant air and low light levels. This might promote the growth of mold inside the ducts. For this reason, you should keep all furniture, including couches and draperies, far from your home's vents.
Steps to Take After You Find Mold in Your Air Ducts
- Turn off the HVAC system. Never run your A/C if you are aware or doubt that there is mold growth inside your AC ducts. By doing this, mold is kept from growing throughout your house.
- Have a mold test done. Mold is frequently mistaken for dust or dirt, so removing it could be a time-and money-waster. A qualified mold inspector can help you determine whether the stuff in your HVAC vents is actually mold. They offer laboratory examinations of air duct samples that have been taken. Additionally, find out how often your air ducts need to be cleaned.
- Check the kind of air duct. Find out whether your ducting is constructed of metal sheet, fiberglass, or flexible duct. Different cleaning procedures and fees apply depending on the kind of duct material. It is significantly simpler to remove mold from naked sheet metal. However, if your ducts are composed of fiberglass or have fiberglass duct liners installed internally, they cannot be successfully sealed.
- Work with a mold removal business. Mold removal from sheet metal ducts is difficult, time-consuming, and hazardous. To stop mold from returning, the cleaning must be carried out carefully and properly using specific equipment and cleaners. A reputable mold removal business may also deal with the root problems that led to the growth of the mold in the first place.
It Is Advisable to Hire Professional Air Cleaning Services for Mold Removal
- Using cleansers to scrub the mold off the air conditioner duct won't get rid of it. Mold will rapidly regrow if regular cleaning chemicals are used because of the residue they leave behind.
- You run the risk of unintentionally damaging your HVAC system if you attempt to clean the air conditioner duct on your own.
Professionals are aware of the warning signs and how to properly care for your AC.
Professionals have also completed HVAC training. They are accustomed to your system and are aware of how to clean it without causing any harm. Additionally, they understand how to use mold growth inhibitors to stop it from happening again.