Molds are generally known as the organisms which are neither plants nor animals. Air conditioners are considered to be the most common areas that serve as spawning grounds for mold to grow.
The ducts and vents that help the airflow to every part of your room. It is really easy for mold to grow anytime because of the nature of the air conditioners. Air conditioners usually ensure a high amount of moisture in the air, which makes the environment damp daily.
Molds can be hazardous and are reasons for severe health problems. Air duct mold is particularly dangerous for children, pets, and unhealthy people who have a weakened immune system.
The main activity of molds is to break down decaying organic matter such as dead plants, leaves, or dead animals. No matter how perfect your climate is in your home, your air ducts are the ideal host to produce a wide variety of mold strains.
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How to detect Mold in Air Ducts?
There are few signs and symptoms that can help you to detect the attendance of mold in Air Ducts. In addition to discovering the mold, you need to look for the following signs and symptoms:
- Black dust: If you see black dust around the air conditioning vents, there is a higher possibility that black mold is growing inside of it. This black duct is not a very easy task to wipe off. Black mold is very toxic. When you see this around your air conditioning, you should immediately contact a professional to get it checked.
- Smell: Smell is one of the main symptoms of the mold in your air ducts. Black mold does have a distinctive musty odor. When you experience a musty smell in your room, the chances are that you have mold in your air conditioner.If you keep it without any care, the odor can become worse and extremely unpleasant for you to live there anymore. Apart from the bad smell, black mold is extremely dangerous for your health too.
- Moisture: Mold in your air conditioner also adds moisture inside your home, enabling further growth of the mold and bacteria.
- Itchy eyes: You may also feel some physical disorders if mold left untreated. Some of the physical problems, including itchy eyes, can be an excellent example of mold in your room.
- Nausea: Try to notice if you feel different when your air conditioner is turned on. However, if you keep feeling nauseous when your air conditioning is on, it is a sign of mold growth inside your AC vents. This nausea can go at an extreme level and cause headaches, dizziness, and or unexplained fatigue. If you can feel any of these signs, it may be why the right amount of mold has already grown inside your air conditioning system.
- Difficulty breathing or itchy throat: Nausea or headaches are not the only physical problems that you can face for the growth of mold in your air conditioning system. Mold in your vents also the cause of breathing difficulties and a scratchy throat. However, if you or any of your family members suffer from breathing difficulties, you may suspect it is due to the growth of mold in the air conditioning system.
You can suspect a mold infestation within the central air conditioning system when you experience some of these signs. When you suspect the mold infestation, you should immediately ask for professional help.
What causes mold to grow in air ducts?
Typically, a warm location with high water vapor content is mostly the reason to build up the mold within the ducts. However, water vapor can be formed within the duct system when the cold air passes through. When there is high vapor water content remains over the outside environment, the water droplets generally collect rather than evaporating. This ensures the most conducive environment for mold growth.
However, dirt, pollen, dust, dead skin cells, and animal dander usually supply the nutrition to molds in the duct with adequate water supplies, which ensures the growth of molds in the air ducts.
9 Types of Mold in Air Duct
Following 9 types of molds can be found in your air ducts-
- Acremonium: It is one of the most common forms of molds that can be found in your air ducts. Acremonium is mostly a toxigenic mold that tends to grow over time. Acremonium generally grows in a damp or a wet place where water has a close connection.
- Alternaria: Alternaria is also a common type of mold that looks greenish or brownish velvet-like texture. Alternaria typically grows in any area where water needs to be supplied or running through for an ample amount of time, which is why it is rarer to find in air ducts or vents.
- Aspergillus: Aspergillus generally grows in different colors. The most common ones are green, white, or yellow.
- Chaetomium: Chaetomium usually appears as a brown substance with a cotton-like texture. Chaetomium’s color tends to change over time, which is why it becomes harder to distinguish it from other molds. Chaetomium mostly grows on walls. It can also grow in air ducts or vents.
- Fusarium: Fusarium is a type of mold that tends to grow on walls and surfaces that have been damaged by water flow. It can also be found in the air ducts if there has been water damaged caused to them.
- Mucor: Mucor is the most common type of mold that mostly grows in the air ducts and air vents. Mucor needs to be treated at the earliest, as it can be a potential threat to your environment and health.
- Stachybotrys: It is a type of mold that can be found in households and appeared as a blackish-like substance. Stachybotrys can grow rapidly and cause severe damage to your home appliances. This can be incredibly easy to detect if it grows in your air ducts and vents.
- Trichoderma: Trichoderma is the most common form of mold that can grow in your air ducts and vents. Trichoderma generally grows in specific places that are constantly wet or moist. Trichoderma typically looks like spores.
- Ulocladium: Ulocladium is one of the most dangerous types of mold that can grow in your air ducts. Ulocladium is generally seen growing over the corners of bathrooms and kitchens. This is one of the hardest types of mold to get rid of. If you detect the attendance of Ulocladium, you should immediately contact a professional to get rid of it.
How do you get rid of mold in air ducts?
When you suspect mold in air ducts, you need to find ways to remove them. However, the followings are some of the steps that can help you to get rid of mold in your air ducts-
- First, you need to turn off the heating/ cooling vents.
- When you reach the spot, you should scrub the moldy areas thoroughly with a wet rag or with a light brush.
- You now need to keep repeating the process for a visibly extensive mold infestation.
- You should dispose of the cloths in airtight trash bags. You should use six mil or thicker trash bags for discarding them.
When you complete cleaning the visible mold, it is necessary to make sure that it never comes back. For ensuring this, you need to look for EPA registered mold growth inhibitors for this process. These will stop mold growing again after the cleanup. You need to keep that in mind; without the implication of inhibitors, the fungus will be more likely to return to the same area within a couple of weeks. The process involves more time and needs extra care.
However, it is also a process that involves high health risks. Experts often recommend that you leave the task of how to get rid of mold in air ducts to professionals who do have the appropriate equipment to ensure the safety of health during the process.
Why do you need professionals to get rid of mold in your air ducts?
Professionals have adequate knowledge and skills to perform the task better. Professionals know the use of chemicals when they start cleaning. However, you can also accidentally damage your HVAC system when you perform the job. Professionals are trained to perform the HVAC system; therefore, your HVAC system will be safe from any damage.
How much does it cost to remove mold from air ducts?
Companies usually offer a super low price on air duct cleaning, which can cause more problems. The costs can be between $300 and $500, with the price affected by other factors such as the size of the room, the number of ducts, and configuration. However, the average price for air duct cleaning is $35 per vent. So, if you have a total of 10 vents, your total cost would be $350. A legitimate air duct cleaning takes typically three to four hours to complete.
The Importance of Removing Mold from Air Ducts
The importance of removing mold from the air ducts is enormous. Molds are generally the cause of the different types of health problems, such as headaches, nausea, and fatigue. Molds also create a terrible smell in your living room. Your room’s air may not be too friendly than outside if you see molds grow in your air ducts. Ideally, to keep yourself safe from different health problems, you should give extra care to remove mold from your air ducts.
How to Stop Mold from Growing on Air Ducts?
Sometimes home remedies are not enough to stop growing mold on your air ducts. The following precautions can work well if you want to stop growing mold in your air ducts-
- You should replace the HVAC system filters.
- Don’t forget to clean the drip pans regularly. However, the collection of water in the drip pan can help molds to regrow. Therefore, you clean them regularly.
- You should seal condensation and leaks. Make sure to keep the entire duct system dry. You need to be careful while approving the use of sealants. The EPA generally does not recommend using sealants except for situations where other alternatives are unviable.
- You should invest in a quality dehumidifier and turn it on near the moldy areas. This will help in the faster evaporation of water from the ductwork and prevent further growth of molds.
- You should check the ducts regularly. If possible, get a professional to inspect your HVAC system to see any growth of mold.
You should always keep your eyes on to check whether molds are growing in your air ducts or vents. It is always recommended to check the air conditioners to stop mold growing in your air ducts or vents. However, if you find the attendance of mold in your air ducts or vents, you need to identify the type of mold that has grown. Sometimes, home remedies are not too effective to completely eradicate the mold from your air ducts or vents; therefore, you may need to call a professional for a deep treatment.