Most of us know the basics of mold. It can grow in your bathroom when you shower without a fan on, or you might see mold if you have a leak in your pipes. But did you know that mold can grow in your HVAC system, too?
We probably don’t have to tell you how problematic mold can be when it starts to spread through your HVAC system. When mold grows in your HVAC, its spores funnel out into your home’s air whenever you turn on your fan, heat, or air, potentially causing respiratory and health problems for you and your family.
As a result, it’s important to take steps to prevent mold growth. Some tips to keep those nasty spores away from your HVAC system are listed below.
Clean, Replace, and Unblock Air Filters
As a homeowner in Charleston, SC, you probably already know that air filters are your first line of defense against debris, dust, pollen, and grime. However, when your air filters aren’t changed as often as they should be, this grime can build up more and more.
Eventually, this buildup produces moisture, causing mold to accumulate. To make matters worse, when your HVAC system sucks air in, this moldy grime gets pulled into your HVAC unit, which can then spread even more mold into your ducts and HVAC system.
When air filters aren’t cleaned, the dirt can also block airflow from moving through your duct system. Dirty air filters create an excess moisture buildup, which can spawn even more mold growth.
Keep an Eye on Your Ductwork
It’s easy for homeowners to brush off their ductwork. After all, how dirty could empty tubes get? The unfortunate truth is that a clean and properly functioning duct system is vital to keeping mold growth at bay.
Most air ducts have some stretch where they run through unairconditioned areas in your home (like basements or attics). Due to hot external temperatures and cooler internal temperatures, condensation and moisture can accumulate in your air duct system.
When your duct system is not properly cleaned, the moisture can build until mold grows.
Fix Your Condensate Pipe
Your HVAC system is a complicated machine that contains a lot of moving parts, mechanics, fluids, and more.
The condensate drain is the mechanism that pulls fluid away from your AC unit. If there is a problem with this drain, then the fluid will remain in your HVAC system. Too much moisture will create mold growth.
Upgrade Your Air Purifier
Sometimes the filter your HVAC system came with just isn’t up to snuff. Homes located in humid climates may need more powerful air purifiers to keep their HVAC systems free of mold.
If your home could use some extra muscle to combat mold growth, you may need to purchase a MERV filter at an 8 or even higher. The higher your MERV filter number, the better the filter performs and can capture spores at your vents.
Consider a UV Air Purifier
If you have a stubborn mold problem, you may want to consider upgrading your air filters to a UV air purifier.
A UV air purifier is a machine that wields UV light to purify air particles to remove bacteria, viruses, and germs at a much more thorough rate than traditional purifying systems.
However, you must be careful not to buy a UV air purifier that emits ozone, as the EPA says these UV purifiers are actually detrimental to those with respiratory problems.
If you have any of these symptoms, you may want to find a different UV air purifier:
- Sore throat
- Worsening of asthma
- Worsening of lung disease
- General inflammation of throat and airways
When purchasing your UV air purifier, make sure to do your research. If you’re still unsure after that, contact a professional technician for more information.
Where Does Mold Tend to Grow?
Unfortunately, mold can grow anywhere in your HVAC system. But, there are places with a higher mold growth probability. The three areas that have the most likelihood of growing mold are:
- The air conditioner’s indoor unit
- The drain pan
- The HVAC ductwork system
It’s imperative that you allow your nearby heating & cooling company to inspect these three areas if you’re concerned about mold growth.
The Importance of Regular Maintenance
By now you may have noticed a theme: Regular maintenance and cleaning can drastically lower the chances of mold growth in your HVAC system.
Most mold growth occurs due to buildup in your air ducts and vents or when something goes wrong with one of the pieces in your HVAC system (such as a damaged drainpipe or pan).
Not only will routine maintenance eliminate buildup through regular cleaning, but it will also ensure all your air ducts are working correctly, and all your system’s internal components are performing as they should.
It’s important to hire an experienced technician rather than attempt to clean or repair the system yourself. While DIY maintenance may sound like a good idea, in theory, it can often lead to disastrous consequences, in addition to higher repair bills.
Many HVAC systems companies void warranties if inexperienced homeowners tamper with their units, and making the wrong repair can cause further damage to your system.
As a result, it’s imperative for Charleston, SC, homeowners to schedule routine maintenance with nearby heating & cooling company AirMax Heating & Air. We provide exceptional service to all our customers.
Call a Professional Technician Today!
Do you suspect mold growth inside your heating and cooling system? Maybe you or a loved one is living with a respiratory issue and cautious about preventing mold from growing in your HVAC.
For the best mold cleaning and preventative services, call AirMax Heating & Air.
With our team of professional technicians, we’ll clean the mold from your HVAC system and improve the quality of your home’s air in a prompt, efficient manner.
At AirMax Heating & Air, we’re excited to be your nearby heating & cooling company. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment!