How can I keep my HVAC system free of mold?

keep intake vents free of dust

One four-letter word often strikes fear (or dread) into the heart of homeowners: mold. Thanks to the summertime and springtime humidity of Chattanooga, you’re probably already aware of the first signs and symptoms of mold in your home. And while you might be on top of checking for and preventing mold growth in areas like basements or bathrooms, your HVAC system could be hiding mold growth. Even worse, your HVAC system could also be distributing mold throughout your house. Each time your HVAC system turns on, it can spread those flying mold spores.

The combination of dust in your system, a common occurrence, with high levels of humidity make mold growth a threat. Just like you maintain other aspects of your HVAC system, you must check your system for mold. Here’s what you can do to identify and remediate mold in your HVAC system:

  • Routinely inspect your system and its components before mold starts. Look for signs of moisture, which are prime breeding grounds for mold. Key components include the drain, drip pans, air ducts, cooling coils, and intake vents.
  • Monitor your humidity levels and keep intake vents free of dust that can serve as a mold-starter.
  • Replace anything porous, such as filters or insulation that has become wet or has any mold growth. Regularly change your filters.
  • Know the signs of mold in your system: a mildew or musty smell, or visible mold in or around ducts or vents, are giveaways.
  • If you find mold, don’t panic. You can clean up mold in your ductwork, drip pan, and on your evaporator coil. Shut off your HVAC system and don protective gear like an N95, rubber gloves, and eye protection. Apply a mold cleaning solution to the affected parts and scrub in a circular motion. Remove excess liquid with a towel and then vacuum the area with a wet vac. Be sure to bag your moldy rags, filters, and other one-use materials before you dispose of them.
  • Continue to keep an eye on your HVAC system to monitor any future mold growth.

Importantly, any larger sections of mold (greater than ten square feet) or areas that you simply can’t see in your system should be handled by a professional.

How do I know my HVAC system is free of mold?

Removing all mold from your HVAC system can be a tricky job. Why? Air ducts deep in your home often touch to reach for homeowners, and you might not be equipped to take them apart to clean them. What’s more, you might not be able to see all mold that is present.

The best course of action is to hire a professional who has the tools not just to clean, but to evaluate and service your HVAC system to stop mold in its tracks. Professionals can ensure that mold is gone through a thorough and professional cleaning. Even better, a professional can also ensure mold doesn’t come back through a variety of preventative maintenance services. A biannual service appointment can check for leaks, catch issues before they start, or make changes like ensuring your supply and return ductwork is properly sealed to provide adequate airflow.

Ignoring mold growth in your home can lead to health issues, so don’t delay if you are worried mold might be present in your HVAC system.

HVAC Experts in Chattanooga

Don’t let mold in your HVAC system make your home an unhealthy place to live. If you’ve just installed a new HVAC system, or if you’re looking to ensure your current system is in working order, contact your local pros at One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning. Our HVAC specialists are trained to keep your air quality safe, including duct cleaning services. We’ll keep your HVAC system not only free of mold but in proper working order. Contact us for an appointment today!