If You Have Mold in HVAC During the Summer, Know What to Do

Mold in HVAC components often means there’s mold elsewhere in the home too. Because active mold growth releases airborne reproductive spores, the airflow produced by your HVAC system may efficiently spread mold contamination. Spores distributed to all parts of the house infect areas where moisture — or even merely high humidity — provides a favorable environment for mold growth.

Most of an HVAC system is enclosed and not frequently observed by occupants of the home. A musty odor emitted from ductwork when the system cycles on may be the only sign of HVAC mold contamination. However, the continuous presence of toxic mold spores circulated throughout the house can trigger allergic responses and even chronic illness in susceptible individuals.

Where’s the Mold in HVAC Components?

Three areas of the heating and cooling system provide necessary ingredients for mold growth:

  • Indoor AC evaporator coil. Installed in the indoor air handler, the frigid evaporator coil extracts gallons of condensation from system airflow on a hot day. The wet coil surfaces may also accumulate microscopic airborne matter, including reproductive mold spores. This combination of moisture plus spores initiates active mold growth inside coil passageways.
  • Ductwork. Cooled air circulating through HVAC ductwork in hot weather may trigger condensation. The dark, moist environment created inside ducts is favorable to active mold contamination, which proliferates out of sight.
  • Air filter. An HVAC air filter not only effectively traps dust and dirt, it also captures airborne mold spores. Mold in HVAC may grow inside the filter media and continue to infect system airflow.

What to Do About HVAC Mold

For the average homeowner, changing the system air filter monthly during cooling season and every other month in winter is the primary preventive measure against mold. Where mold contamination is already present or suspected, treatment by qualified HVAC professionals includes:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting the indoor evaporator coil.
  • Inspecting all spans of ductwork and removing any mold growth, then sanitizing surfaces to prevent recurrence.

Paitson Bros. offers professional service to detect and eliminate mold in HVAC system components. Since 1922, we’ve been Terre Haute’s choice for a comfortable and healthy indoor environment.

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