How to Prevent and Respond to Mold Growth in Your Air Ducts
The HVAC system plays an important role in your home, business, or commercial building. It allows you to heat or cool the property to your desire by distributing air throughout the space. But this can be problematic if your air ducts aren’t clean.
Dust, dirt, and other debris can accumulate in your air ducts and will be distributed into the air. Even worse, mold can develop in air ducts as well. This is worse than mold developing in your bathroom or on walls and ceilings, because if mold colonies form in your air ducts, then the mold will be distributed into the air throughout the property. Mold in air ducts, however, can be prevented. It isn’t something you’ll have to deal with if you take the necessary measures to prevent its growth.
Continue reading to learn about how mold forms in air ducts, how you can prevent mold in your air ducts and HVAC system, and what you can do if there is mold in your building’s air ducts.
How Does Mold Form in Air Ducts?
Mold thrives in humid environments with excess moisture, and it also helps if it has an organic food source. As such, if there’s water vapor in your air ducts, then mold may form inside, using dirt, dust, and other debris as its food source. Water vapor can develop when cool air passes through the system and ducts and if water vapor outside of the ducts forms water droplets.
How Do I Know If There’s Mold in My HVAC System?
Unlike mold growth on walls and ceilings, you likely cannot see mold growth in your HVAC system. In some cases, the mold might be growing on the vents and near the air ducts where it is visible, but this isn’t always the case. However, mold produces a musty smell. So, if you suspect mold in the HVAC system, then be wary of such odors.
Another sign of mold growth is allergies and irritations. Mold is known to cause some people to have allergic reactions. Knowing this, if your HVAC system is distributing mold into your home or building, then people are inhaling it, which may cause health issues. Pay attention to your respiratory functions when the air conditioning or heat is being used. If you experience watery eyes, a runny nose, rashes, or irritations to your eye, nose, or throat, then your HVAC system might be infested with mold.
Other symptoms you can experience because of mold include headaches, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue.
How Can I Prevent Mold Growth in My Property’s Air Ducts?
Proper maintenance is one way you can prevent mold from growing in your building’s air ducts. Have your HVAC system inspected regularly to ensure it remains in working condition. Make sure you change your HVAC system’s filters on a regular basis to ensure it can properly filter out any mold, dust, dirt, and other debris instead of allowing it to enter the system.
The drip pans for your HVAC system must also be cleaned regularly, because the accumulation of water will encourage mold growth. Similarly, if you notice any leaks or condensation problems, get those issues resolved immediately to prevent excessive water. One thing you can do to reduce condensation in the air ducts is insulate them.
Getting a dehumidifier is recommended for areas more prone to mold. By using a dehumidifier, you can control the moisture in the air and prevent mold from developing not only in your air ducts and HVAC system but in your general property, too.
How Do I Respond to Mold in My Air Ducts and HVAC System?
If you believe you have mold in your HVAC system and air ducts, then you should get this problem addressed immediately. You do not want to worsen the mold problem, or any mold-induced health problems people may be experiencing. If there is a mold problem in the air ducts, stop using your HVAC system, and do not use it again until the mold issue has been fixed. Otherwise, using your HVAC system to heat or cool your property will just allow the mold to continue spreading.
To know for sure if you’re dealing with mold, you might want to have a mold test done. Sometimes, what you think is mold ends up just being dust or dirt, so it can be a good idea to hire a mold inspector.
When it comes to cleaning the mold, don’t do it yourself. If done incorrectly, the mold problem can be worsened. You also don’t want to expose yourself to the fungus and put yourself at further risk of suffering from health issues.
Instead, seek help from a professional mold removal and remediation service. It’s best to have professional technicians conduct mold removal, because they have the proper training, knowledge, and equipment to effectively eliminate mold. They also know how to prevent the mold from reappearing, working to locate and address the source of it.