Your HVAC unit cannot go unmaintained for months, and if not maintained, surely it will attract mold or dust. Once mold takes root, removing the substance becomes a big challenge. But it will take far more time and effort than a basic maintenance routine, which is why you have to make HVAC and thermostat maintenance a priority.
Everyone knows where dust in an AC comes from, but they don’t understand how an HVAC accumulates mold. They don’t realize that every home has mold spores. If you can’t see mold, the spores haven’t sprouted yet. This is a good thing, but those spores can still sprout.
Mold is attracted to moisture. And unfortunately, HVAC units are prominent sources of moisture. The first time you did maintenance, you probably noticed the condenser and evaporator coils. If moisture doesn’t condense on these components, water can leak because of poor drainage.
But that is not the only problem. Mold is attracted to organisms like food, wood, and leaves. A well-maintained HVAC unit does not provide a conducive environment for mold to thrive.
Is Mold Or Dust In Air Conditioners Dangerous?
The information above placed a lot of emphasis on mold, even though AC units are also susceptible to dust. But that is only because mold is more dangerous than dust. It can trigger deadly reactions in people with allergies.
Coughing, wheezing, rashes, throat discomfort, and itchy eyes are just a few of the common symptoms of mold exposure. If left untreated, mold can do lasting damage to the human body.
How Do You Know That You Have Mold or Dust in AC Vents?
Mold cannot hide, not for long. It emits a musty odor that may begin in one corner before spreading to the rest of the house. Dust is the same. If the concentration is high enough, you will smell it.
Even if you don’t know the scent of mold and dust, you will feel it. These substances irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. If you have allergies, they will act up. Your eyes will water for no apparent reason, and rashes will form. The other inhabitants of your house will complain about nausea, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, etc. You cannot always blame all these symptoms on dust and mold.
How To Remove Mold Or Dust In An Air Conditioner?
You have to tackle mold or dust in an air conditioner as early as possible before it does permanent damage to your health. These and many more are easy steps on how to remove mold or dust in an air conditioner:
The filter is the first component most people change during HVAC maintenance, and for a good reason. The filter captures pollutants, which is why it routinely accumulates layers of dust and dirt. Changing the filter will drastically reduce the amount of dust and mold in your AC unit. Ensure that you do this regularly and if you think the filter can survive for a few more months, use a vacuum to clean it.
f the filter is particularly dirty, rinse it with water and mild detergent. Some people soak their dirty filters in a mixture of water and vinegar. Whatever you choose, make sure the air cleaner is dry before you put it back. Otherwise, it will attract mold.
2). General Cleaning
Clean every part of the HVAC you can see and safely reach. If you already changed the filter, more than likely, you also removed the front body grille. The grille is a great place to start. You can also unscrew the cover at the back. Remove as much dirt as possible with a vacuum. Wipe all the visible mold away. If it doesn’t budge, scrub the stubborn sections with a commercial mold cleaner.
3). Window Units
Window units are vulnerable to condensation and moisture leaks. Check the seals and make sure their integrity isn’t compromised. More importantly, the window units have to fit the window securely. Otherwise, moisture from outside is more likely to invade your home.
Some window units possess functions that capture and eliminate condensed moisture. In the absence of such a feature, tilt the window AC depending on its orientation, so the condensation may drain out.
Are the drains clear? Whole house HVAC systems require a drain that guides moisture out of the house. If debris or leftovers from last night’s swiggy clogs the vents and drains, your home may flood and flooding attracts mold. In addition, smaller HVAC units have grates that can also clog. Therefore, unblock them to encourage proper airflow.
Most technicians you consult will emphasize the importance of a vacuum. To remove mold, you need mild detergents and commercial cleaners. In some cases, you have to scrub diligently to eliminate stubborn infestations.
But you can dislodge dust with a vacuum. Water mixtures and cleaners are problematic because they introduce moisture. Naturally, you can wipe the water away, but you cannot guarantee that the HVAC is dry.
A single pocket of moisture in the unit can encourage mold to form. For that reason, if possible, avoid water mixtures. If the vacuum is inadequate, wipe the AC with a dry or damp cloth. If you have to use water, give the HVAC 24 hours to dry before you reinstall it.
Some AC units are beyond repair. If your infestation is so widespread that more than a third of the AC’s components are affected, get a new one. You can remove all the visible mold, but you won’t eliminate the spores, at least not all of them. Instead, the remnants will sprout in days, weeks, and even months to come, allowing a new infestation to take root.
Don’t take this decision alone. Hence, call your local air conditioning maintenance Phoenix technician. A thorough investigation will determine whether or not the HVAC can be saved. While the cost of replacing some air conditioners is substantial, it is better than keeping a potent source of mold and dust in your house.
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