Did you know that mold can be a problem lurking in your HVAC system? It’s not a pleasant thought but mold can grow and spread quickly in areas where there is excess moisture and heat. That means that your HVAC system is prime real estate for this unwelcome fungi to grow! Every time your HVAC system turns on, thousands of microscopic mold spores travel through the air ducts of your home and circulate through the air, where they are impossible to spot and easily inhaled. The presence of mold in your HVAC system can cause several health problems by compromising the air quality in your home. The good news is that there are ways that you can eliminate this hazard before it does damage to you and your system.
Continue reading and find out what causes mold to develop, how to tell if you have it, and what you can do to prevent its growth.
Mold develops in HVAC systems primarily because of the presence of moisture and a source of nourishment that enables the mold to grow.
The moisture comes from condensation present in air ducts. When your home is warm, and cooler air is being pushed through the vents, water vapors can form and collect in the air ducts. If high levels of humidity are present, the water will remain on the sides of the ductwork instead of evaporating. The nourishment needed for this perfect storm can be something as simple as dust particles that settle in the water. This combination of organic and inorganic materials gives mold the necessary provisions it needs to grow, multiply, and travel throughout the duct system. Another cause is by condensed moisture gathering in the HVAC system’s drain pan or condensation line. Even a simple clog will enable this trapped moisture to become an issue.
The environment created by an air conditioning system turning on and off contributes to the spread of mold. When the HVAC system turns on, if there is mold present, it will spread mold spores throughout the entire home, in every room and every space. The longer the system operates while contaminated, the worse your mold problem can become. What makes matter worse is that the presence of mold can be hard to detect until it becomes severe because the signs resemble so many other issues. Some things to look (and smell) for are a strong smell or musty odor, visible mold around air ducts or intake vents, noticeable puddles or leaks around the HVAC system and respiratory issues.
There are numerous health issues that are associated with mold exposure. They include asthma attacks, wheezing, coughing, runny nose, sneezing, bronchitis and pneumonia. Other issues include eye irritations, skin rashes, a general sense of fatigue or depression, shortness of breath, and a sore, itchy throat. Prolonged exposure can cause irritability, headaches, and trouble sleeping. Many times, mild cases of mold in your HVAC system do not cause health problems, but it is imperative to address the mold issue and eradicate it before it becomes severe and damaging to your health.
By taking an active role in the prevention of mold growth, you can keep the air in your home free from these potentially hazardous particles. Here are some ways to do just that.
Upgrade Air Filters
Filters are your first line of defense against mold. If you haven’t already, make sure you are using HEPA air filters in your home. These filters are rigorously tested to ensure they can effectively filter out and dissipate harmful particles like mold, dust and other allergens. If you have had problems with mold in the past, you may want to replace your filters more often than you normally would. With clean, efficient filters, you can breathe easy knowing that any mold in your HVAC system will be unable to pass from your air ducts into your home.
The way to keeping your HVAC system in tip top shape is having a tune-up twice a year. If your system is regularly maintained, any signs that point to mold, such as leaks and pools of condensation, can be addressed before the problem becomes severe and harmful.
Professional Duct Cleaning
To prevent the growth of mold, it’s important to target the environment where these substances often thrive—your air ducts. Having your ducts cleaned by a professional is extremely beneficial. Not only will this cleaning remove any dust, dirt, and debris that could impact how well your ducts circulate air in your home, it will also remove any visible traces of mold that are present.
By now you can see that mold is no joke! The effects that it can have on your health and your HVAC system can be downright disturbing. Hopefully there will never be any mold in your HVAC system but if there is, we can help. Maintenance performed by Advanced AC & Heating provides homeowners with peace of mind knowing that their system has been inspected from top to bottom by well qualified and trusted HVAC technicians.
Remember Shreveport/Bossier that keeping up with maintenance on your HVAC system can prolong the life of your unit and can prevent small issues from becoming overwhelming, expensive issues. Call on us today for all of your HVAC needs! 318-222-KOOL