Why Is Mold Bad When It’s Inside Your Home’s HVAC Unit?

Is HVAC mold growing somewhere inside your heating and cooling system? It might not be obvious at first, but the same components that keep your home comfortable all year are susceptible to fungal contamination. All mold really needs to thrive are moisture; temperatures in the typical household range; a dark, enclosed environment; and an organic food source.

As it turns out, your heating and cooling components provide all these essentials to support active HVAC mold growth:

  • Condensation typically occurring inside or around the indoor AC evaporator coil.
  • Stagnant, standing water in the AC condensate drain pan beneath the indoor air handler.
  • Moist airflow through dark passages of system ductwork.
  • Dust accumulation inside ducts that includes organic particulates that mold feeds on.

Why Mold Matters

Because the airflow in the system eventually reaches all parts of the house, the presence of HVAC mold contamination can trigger a number of issues:

  • Allergic reactions and chronic illness in susceptible individuals who inhale airborne mold spores that are continuously circulating in household air.
  • Substantial reduction of air conditioner efficiency as coils that are coated by mold growth do not effectively extract heat from the system airflow.
  • Indoor water damage as mold growth in the condensate drain pan clogs the drain line, causing the pan to overflow every time the air conditioner cycles on.

Preventing HVAC Mold

  • Change the system air filter monthly during summer and every other month during the winter.
  • Get professional preventative maintenance. This service by a qualified HVAC technician includes an up-close examination of the system coils, ductwork, and condensate drain pan for evidence of HVAC mold. If mold is discovered, cleaning and decontamination procedures can be performed.
  • Consider installing ultraviolet lights in ductwork to sterilize HVAC airflow.
  • Maintain indoor humidity at 50% or less. High indoor humidity causes condensation that triggers dormant spores into active mold growth inside the HVAC system and elsewhere. If necessary to maintain proper humidity, consider installing a whole-house dehumidifier.

Paitson Bros. offers the techniques and expertise to detect and eliminate HVAC mold contamination in your home. We’ve been safeguarding the Wabash Valley’s indoor air quality for 98 years.

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