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Why Routine Maintenance Is the Best Way to Keep Mold Out of Your Air Conditioner

Air conditioning makes your home’s interior air healthier and cleaner when it is working correctly, especially once you’ve installed a quality pleated filter or even better a high efficiency filter system that traps as much dust and pollen as possible. Practically any part of your home can become a source of irritating mold spores if moisture is involved, since one of the major tasks of your air conditioning system is to pull out the humidity of your home’s air, there is plenty of moisture present during the summer months. Find out why having your air conditioning system cleaned and maintained at least once a year is the best way to both prevent mold growth and deal with it when it appears.

Why Does Mold Grow?

Most air-to-air air conditioners rely on an evaporator coil, located in or above your indoor air handler or furnace, to cool the home’s air while removing moisture. Of course, that moisture that is removed has to go somewhere. Moisture, a product of the humidity in the indoor air condensing on the cool evaporator coil, should drip into a drain pan and run out of the unit to a nearby drain. If the evaporator coil becomes too dirty multiple issues can arise. First when moisture along with dirt are present there is an increased chance for mold growth on either the coil or in the pan. Second, the flow of the condensation can also be altered causing possible damage to your air handler or furnace. If the condensate drain becomes clogged due to dirt and bacterial growth, moisture may not drain correctly, again causing potential for damage and mold growth.

Mold can also grow in your ductwork, however this is less likely. While spores from the great outdoors can definitely settle in a dusty duct, moisture is not usually present in great enough quantities to sustain mold growth. If mold in your ductwork is an issue it may be time to have your ductwork cleaned by a trusted professional and moisture issues resolved. The addition of an ultra violet light lamp installed in your ductwork can also help keep bacteria or spores from growing back.

How Does Routine Maintenance Help?

First, using a quality pleated furnace filter and checking it regularly will ensure that your system is continually protected, capturing most dirt and dust before it reaches your evaporator coil. Secondly, having a professional thoroughly clean your system annually can catch the early signs of mold before it spreads and becomes a greater issue. Service technicians will inspect Recommend cleaning your indoor coil, drain pan and condensate drain to ensure moisture is correctly draining from your system. Schedule your spring cleaning and inspection so you know your system is clean and any potential issues with your cooling system can be addressed. This way you’re not left without cooling when it’s needed most.

How is Mold Removed?

If you smell a musty odor from your air conditioning unit or the vents inside the house, avoid the temptation to try a DIY cleaning approach. Mold growth is most common on the evaporator coil, and can be easily damaged if improperly cleaned. Using the wrong chemicals may damage the coil of the A/C or fail to clean it affectively. Leave it to the HVAC professionals rather than attempting to handle the problem yourself.

Wondering if your air conditioner has a secret problem growing in it right now? Reach out to us here at Bryant Air Conditioning, Heating, Electrical & Plumbing to schedule a visit from a service technician as soon as possible.