Could you imagine even one summer day in your home without an air conditioner? We rely on these systems pretty heavily here in the Lake Worth area, so to be told something is wrong with your air conditioner can be pretty frustrating—especially if you’re told that problem is mold.
Fortunately, we are the team to turn to if mold is the issue, as we are one of the very few HVAC companies in the area who are licensed in mold remediation. But, we’re guessing you’d like to know what causes this problem and even more, how to prevent it. Read on to learn more!
What Causes Mold?
Essentially, moisture. Moisture is the leading cause of mold growth and development. Air conditioners do naturally dehumidify the air in your home, a bit. But given the excessive moisture we deal with, this may not do you much good. And where moisture goes, mold follows. What else causes mold growth in an air conditioner?
- Lack of System Use: True, it’s very rare that we do not use our air conditioners, but for the brief but chilly winters we sometimes have, you may turn off your system for a while, which allows moisture to settle and mold to build up in the unit and ductwork.
- Lack of AC Maintenance: Repairs to an air conditioner can cost a good deal of money, but this doesn’t mean you should ignore your cooling system until it shuts down completely. A technician should inspect your air conditioner at least once a year to clean it, make adjustments, and change the air filter (though, this should be changed every 1-3 months by the homeowner!)
- Dust Buildup: Dust is an inevitable part of life—a natural consequence of gunk in the air settling on surfaces—with one of those surfaces being the ductwork of your HVAC system. Unfortunately, dust feeds mold, which thrives off of moisture but also organic matter.
There are a few ways you can prevent mold growth from occurring inside your air conditioner!
- By Keeping the System Clean: Be sure to schedule annual maintenance for your air conditioner (or biannual, if you have a heat pump) to have the interior components of your system professionally and thoroughly cleaned. In between these sessions though, you can clean the outside of the unit carefully.
- Upgrade an Aging Air Conditioner: If your air conditioner is older than 15 years old, it is more susceptible to problems—including moisture problems that lead to the growth of mold. Consider having your system and ductwork assessed to see if you would benefit from an upgrade.
- Install UV Germicidal Lights: These are installed directly into the ductwork of your HVAC system. They are completely harmless to people and pets, but effectively destroy micro-organisms. That is, mold, mildew, and other bacteria. They’re also referred to as a UV air purifier, because that’s essentially what they do—they purify the air leaving your ductwork and entering your home through room vents.