Is There Mold in Your Air Conditioner?

Is There Mold in Your Air Conditioner?

A fairly common household issue is mold in an air conditioner, and the scary part is that it can go undetected for a long time. There are a few telltale signs like musty odors, black dust, and some physical symptoms that can develop like an aggressive cough that won't go away and itchy or irritated skin. Your local team at Einstein’s Plumbing and Heating, Inc. cares about you and your family’s health. So we put together this blog to tell you more about mold in your AC, how to spot it, and when to call for service.

What Causes Mold to Grow in Your Air Conditioner?

Mold needs moisture, darkness, still air and warmth to grow. Your air conditioner can easily provide the perfect environment for mold if parts of the unit malfunction. For example, a clog in the condensate drain can cause water to back up in the unit, inviting mold growth. Additionally, mold can also grow in units that have not been used for a long time.

How Can I Tell if Mold is Growing in My Air Conditioner?

Indications of mold in your air conditioner can be noticeable yet subtle. A key telltale sign of mold presence is a mildew smell, but the source of the mold can be difficult to identify. Is it coming from the kitchen? Is it coming from the carpet? If it is present in your air conditioner, you will usually notice an increase in the odor when your unit is turned on.

Here are some other signs that mold is present in your AC unit:

  • Musty or mildewy odor
  • Black dust accumulating around air vents
  • Visible presence of mold that is black, brown, green, white, pink, yellow or orange in color

Is Mold in an Air Conditioner Dangerous?

If you discover the presence of mold in your air conditioner, that certainly is cause for concern.

The mold on your air conditioner is typically not that scary black mold, but it can still cause respiratory problems and other symptoms, especially for people with mold allergies, asthma, or other health conditions that compromise immunity. Children and the elderly are also more susceptible to the effects of mold.

If you or someone in your home has experienced a recent change in health that there is no apparent explanation for, it may be a good idea to have your HVAC system looked at to see if you have mold growing in your air conditioner or air ducts.

Symptoms to watch out for that may be linked to mold growth in your home include:

  • Aggressive coughing
  • Increased sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Congestion
  • Itchy or irritated skin
  • Sore throat
  • Watery eyes

What to Do if You Find Mold in Your Air Conditioner

Mold on your air conditioner may look similar to mold you would find in any other place of your home. If you find mold growing on your unit, don't panic; you'll just need to clean and remove the mold completely before running your system again. Don't delay, though—the longer you let your air conditioner run with the mold present, the more likely you are to spread the mold spores throughout your home.

Not sure where to get started? It's a good idea to have an HVAC technician take care of it for you. Oftentimes, the mold may be located inside and behind the grill cover where it won't be easy to access. If you spot mold on the exterior of your unit, your HVAC technician will check the inside of your unit as well to ensure that no mold is left behind.

Need Help? Call Einstein's!

Sometimes, the hardest problems to fix are those that we can’t see. Your car needs a wash when dirt builds up on the outside (or inside), and your carpet in the living room needs a deep clean once it’s collected too many footprints, stains, and odors. But problems with our HVAC system are not as visual and don’t normally make themselves known until an important part of the system or the entire system stops working completely.

If you are concerned that your air conditioning unit may be moldy or if you have experienced a musty or mildewy smell coming whenever your air conditioning kicks on, it's time to call in the professionals. Contact¬†Einstein’s Plumbing and Heating, Inc. today for the help you need in Brooklyn. We’re here to help and we love improving the indoor air quality of all homes.

Call us at (718) 215-9664 today!


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