Mold in your Air Conditioner
We depend on our air conditioning system her in Austin and ventilation is vital for healthy indoor air quality. Many may not realize the importance of the removal of stale air and mold. If mold build up in the air conditioning, it can have a negative effect on the quality of life and the health of the occupants. Mold and other allergens have the ability to aggravate allergies, irritate asthma, and cause headaches and dizziness.
Mechanical and Natural Ventilation
Homes have ventilation system in two basic ways — mechanical and natural ventilation. All forms of mechanical ventilation involve a way to obtain fresh air and an exhaust fan; an example of mechanical ventilation would be an air conditioner. Natural ventilation can be as simple as opening a window or creating cross-ventilation by opening windows at opposite sides of a home. Unlike open windows, air conditioners create a closed environment, and there are not large fluctuations in temperature. Air conditioners, also, have filters to prevent certain materials from circulating through the home. In addition to cooling the air, the process dehumidifies it.
Humidity and a Home
Moisture is frequently present in the air. Water vapor, or humidity, is most prevalent during the summer months. We kept windows closed most of the time in homes, this causes a buildup of humidity and — consequently — moisture. This moisture can damage some possessions and create an environment for mold to grow. A humidity level of 55% — which it may not seem like a lot — is high enough for the growth of mold. However, moisture control — such as an air conditioner or dehumidifier — dries the air, creating an inhospitable environment for the fungus.
An Air Conditioner as a Dehumidifier
An air conditioner normally acts as a dehumidifier. It takes in warm, fresh air and blows it over the cooling coil; the moisture condenses on the cooling coil and cool, then it pushes dry air into the home. The pan and drain coil withdraws the condensed water and deposits it outside of the home. However, a coil problem — such as it being clogged or dirty — will make water collect inside of the pan.
In addition to moisture collecting in the pan, it can accumulate at the vents of an air conditioner. This accumulation is a reason for large amounts of moisture in the air. It is from the mixing of warm and cold air: the cold air created by the air conditioner meets the warm air and surface of the vent.
The Growth of Mold
A damp environment and the accumulation of water in an air conditioner creates a hospitable environment for the fungus. Condensation on vents of the air conditioner and the backup of condensation in the pan are prime sites for mold growth. Eradicating mold from an air conditioner is vital, as mold spores spread around a home through the HVAC unit and ductwork.
Air Conditioner Maintenance for Avoiding Mold
The systems that are designed to maintain a pleasant temperature in a home can create a nightmare if they are not maintained and cleaned properly. To avoid mold in an air conditioner, it is key that an HVAC system be in good repair.
If possible, it is easier to avoid the growth of mold altogether than to clean a unit once mold is present. Water accumulation and — consequently — mold can be avoided by being proactive. People should inspect drain pans and coils at least once in every four months. If they are clogged, we should repair those accordingly and cleaned with the appropriate solution; biocide tablets are effective against the growth of mold in drains pans. It may be necessary to flush a drain line to remove a blockage.
As well as maintaining drains, we should change the filter of air conditioner, at least, every two months to remove food sources for fungus. A self-adjusting fan control can lower the chance of mold, as well. This type of fan control has a humidity sensor, which will alert the fan to operate according to how much humidity is in the air; this is useful because it removes a greater amount of moisture from the home.
Properly maintaining an air conditioner may seem difficult, but correct care before the problem starts is easier than dealing with a mold remediation process.