HVAC mold is often both unseen as well as unsuspected. Unless you’re aware of the potential signs and symptoms — decreased heating and cooling performance, higher monthly bills, hidden water damage and even puzzling allergy symptoms — HVAC mold may continue to grow inside components of your cooling and heating system, not to mention spread to other areas of the house.
To trigger active growth, mold spores only require a minimum amount of moisture, plus a dark environment with some source of organic food available; even household dust will do the job. Specific conditions in the system that often trigger HVAC mold growth include:
- Condensation that frequently occurs inside indoor evaporator coil passageways.
- Standing water in the condensate drip pan underneath the indoor air handler.
- Moisture inside ductwork due to elevated indoor humidity.
- A mold-friendly temperature, which happens to be similar to a household’s typical temperature range.
Preventing HVAC Mold
Prevention is far more preferable than dealing with mold after it’s already established itself in your home. Here are four things you can do to prevent active mold inside your heating and cooling system:
- Install a new air filter every month during the air-conditioning season and every other month while the furnace is running. For the best filtration efficiency and effective spore control, buy pleated cotton or polyester filters with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) above 8.
- Get professional preventative maintenance during both the heating and cooling seasons. A qualified HVAC service tech will perform a list of maintenance procedures that support maximum system performance and efficiency. The procedures include cleaning AC coils, checking ductwork for signs of moisture and mold growth, and inspecting the condensate drain system.
- Keep humidity low. To prevent HVAC mold growth, maintain indoor humidity levels at 50% or less. If necessary, consider installing a whole-house dehumidifier to ensure continuous humidity control.
Ask the professionals at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing about professional service to identify and eliminate HVAC mold in your home.