Solving Mold Problems in Your Air Ducts
If there is mold in your ductwork, then there is one question lingering in your mind—what caused the mold to grow in the air ducts. Well, two conditions cause mold to grow in ductwork—warm temperatures and moisture. A humid and warm environment has all the perfect conditions for mold to grow. Humid climate, together with poor ventilation, or anything that causes condensation and traps moisture in the walls of your house, can cause mold to grow in the air ducts.
Several HVAC issues lead to such conditions, thus making the mold to grow in the air ducts.
Some of these issues include:
An Oversized AC Unit
If you have an oversized air conditioning unit for your home, it could cause mold to grow in your ductwork. Large AC units tend to cool smaller spaces very quickly and then turn off before they dehumidify the air—thus causing excess moisture. This moisture, in turn, builds up in your rooms and ultimately in your ductwork. Therefore, whenever you notice mold shortly after installing your AC unit, check to confirm whether you have the right-sized equipment for your current space.
Very Low-Temperature Settings on Your AC Unit
Low Temperatures can also causes mold to grow around the vents. When the warm air in your rooms meets the cold air from the vents, the temperature difference makes the moisture in the air to condense around the vents and the room surfaces. When that moisture continues to build up without getting any chance to dry out, it causes mold growth. HVAC experts refer to this as temperature differential, and it requires only 20 degrees of difference in temperature for moisture for form. In case you don’t notice this for a while, the moisture will find its way to the air ducts, thus causing mold to grow in the air ducts.
If your duct work allows warm air to get in, it also leads to temperature differential, which also ends up causing the same kind of issues. When there is a difference between the warm air in your walls and cold air in your ducts, moisture condenses on the ducts, and this presents the perfect conditions for mold to grow. If that’s the case, you will need a thorough duct cleaning, and the ducts will need to be sealed to prevent the same problem from occurring again.
Signs of Mold Growth in your Air Ducts
Mold growth in air ducts has very adverse health effects, especially if the air ducts supply conditioned air to residential areas. Mold can affect your respiratory system and also cause very uncomfortable irritation. If there is mold growth in your air ducts, your family could have the related physical health issues. So, how do you know that there is mold growth in your air ducts?
The first sign of mold growth in your ductwork is musty unusual odors. Mostly, you will first smell it before even seeing it. Therefore, if you smell a moldy or musty smell, that goes away when you turn off your AC unit, then there is mold in your air ducts.
Mold tends to smell rotten, wet, or stale. Therefore, if you notice that there is a recurring problem, especially in areas with a lot of moisture or poor ventilation, you should consider to have an expert in AC repair Fayetteville NC look into the problem.
The first place to look for signs of mold is around your AC vents, drip pans, and in the air ducts. The condenser coils remove moisture from the air into the drip pans, and if they become clogged, they form the ideal environment for mold growth.You need to understand that mold spreads through tiny pores, which are not visible through naked eyes. This means you will not be able to notice the mold growth in its onset, and by the time you see visible mold, there is a severe infestation. At this point, you will need to seek the services of a professional to assist in mold removal and also to ensure that it doesn’t grow again.
The occupants of your home will start showing specific symptoms whenever you turn your AC unit on. You should watch out for the following symptoms caused by mold in air ducts:
• Irritated feelings in your throat, nose, and eyes. These symptoms get worse when you turn on your AC unit.
• Persistent headaches whenever you are at home—but you are ok when you go outside.
• Allergic symptoms like itchy eyes, runny nose, or rashes
• Nausea, dizziness, or fatigue whenever you are indoors
Reasons Why You Need To Hire a Professional to Remove the Mold in Your Air Ducts
Many people consider hiring a professional to remove the mold in their ductwork to be a needless expense. However, technicians at Honest Air in Fayetteville NC can remove the mold in your ductwork and prevent it from growing again more safely and effectively than you can do on your own.
First, you need to understand that scrubbing the mold using normal cleaners will not remove it. Normal cleaning products usually leave enough mold behind—and it grows back very easily. However, professionals have the right equipment to remove the mold in your ductwork, and also to protect themselves from the chemicals they use during the mold removal. There is also a possibility for you to damage your HVAC system as you try to remove the mold in the ductwork. Professionals, on the other hand, know how to remove the mold and how to handle your HVAC system professionally. They have the proper HVAC training, which means they are familiar with the system, and they know how to clean it without risking to damage it.
Professional HVAC experts use the right mold-growth inhibitor products, which are very effective in preventing mold from growing again. Besides, they know how to properly and safely dispose of the tools they use to avoid contaminating other areas.
So, How Do You Prevent Mold From Growing Again In The Future?
Once you remove all the mold in your ductwork, you need to ensure that it does not grow again. This means you need to get an HVAC preventive and maintenance plan, which will assist you in monitoring any signs of mold growth, as well as keep your AC system in good condition. The plan can inhibit the possible causes of mold by putting into check any conditions that lead to moisture leaks. Also, having a regular maintenance schedule goes a very long way in ensuring that your AC unit is operating smoothly. Periodic duct cleaning is another amazing way to take care of your HVAC unit. Even though this procedure is not part of the routine preventive maintenances, you will need your ducts to be cleaned once you discover that there is mold in your air ducts. Also, you need to consider having regular ductwork cleaning if you live in an area with a humid climate, or if the mold keeps on coming back again.
In case you are still experiencing mold problems, even after following the above steps, you need to look into what is causing humidity in your home and how you can prevent it. Here are some of the things you can do to reduce humid conditions in your home:
• Ensure that the supply and return vents are clean and clear of any obstacles to prevent the condensation that can lead to mold developing in the vents.
• Add more ventilation to the rooms experiencing high humidity like your bathroom and kitchen.
• Check if there are any plumbing leaks in your walls. You might fail to notice slow water leaks, but they can create the perfect environment for mold in your ductwork and also damage your space.
• Consider using a dehumidifier in areas with high humidity like the basement space or pool room. Dehumidifiers help in keeping the air dry, thus preventing mold growth.