Mold can easily grow in places that are rich in organic material and moisture. It also thrives best in temperatures that fall between 32 and 120 degrees. This makes your HVAC system the most ideal breeding ground for mold.
When mold enters your ventilation system, deadly spores can spread around your home in just seconds. What’s worse is that air ducting is not really a common place for homeowners to check for mold, making this problem even more dangerous because the mold in HVAC systems can go unnoticed, unlike the obvious mold seen in the sink or the shower.
That said, an HVAC repair and maintenance service will be necessary if the problem gets out of hand. Don’t let “mold food” build-up in your HVAC system – here are important tips to prevent mold growing in your HVAC ducts.
1. Use an HVAC Mold Inhibitor
Look for mold inhibitors that are HVAC-approved and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered. This solution has to be applied to all components of your system in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Examine Air Intakes and Ducts
Check air intakes and ducts close to places where organic materials build up, as they can transport all sorts of contaminants in your HVAC system. Clear out spaces below air intakes by removing standing water, cleaning bird droppings, and moving away dumpsters. You need to pay special attention to ducting in the crawlspace or attic, as leaks, broken joints, or unsealed fittings can draw in contaminants from these spaces.
3. Dry it All Out
HVAC ducts in your system are prone to excessive amounts of moisture, so it’s important to have your unit checked to see which ducts are affected the most. Once you see where the problem lies, be sure to clean and fix ducts. It’s also essential to replace components that have been damaged by water.
Take note of standing water in the crawlspace or ducting that’s in contact with damp soil, as this can also lead to mold growth.
4. Fix Any Leaks
Does your HVAC system drain properly? If not, then you may need to schedule a visit from your trusted HVAC repair technician. They can inspect the problem and fix the damage for you. Additionally, they can seal off the system’s ducts and pipes, to ensure that mold doesn’t spread to the rest of the system while it’s being fixed.
5. Check Indoor Plants for Mold
Do you have plants at home? If yes, then you might want to check them as well. The soil in the plants is ideal for mold growth, especially if the plants that need to be frequently watered are always damp. Don’t worry; you don’t need to get rid of your beloved plants! You can add oils to the soil to inhibit the growth of mold.
If you’re planning to get new plants instead, consider ones like cacti that don’t require as much water. Those plants give you the peace of mind knowing you’re not inviting a lot of moisture into your home.
6. Regularly Replace Air Filters
Generally, filters should be replaced at least once every month. Air filters that are not replaced regularly can seriously damage your system. Dirty and wet air filters become less effective in trapping mold spores and all sorts of contaminants.
If the filters aren’t regularly changed, these particles will then continue to affect your HVAC system, a problem that will eventually require HVAC repair.