Mold in Your HVAC Unit? Here’s How You Can Prevent It
Mold and mildew can grow with excessive moisture inside your Bay Area home. HVAC system is the main cause for spread of mold spores in the average home. These are a few steps you can take to prevent this from happening:
Maintaining HVAC Systems
You don’t just increase the longevity and improve performance of the HVAC system with annual maintenance, but also prevent mold growth. These are a few maintenance tips for preventing mold from taking over the equipment.
Schedule seasonal preventative maintenance tune ups with a qualified and licensed technician. The air conditioner technician will clean the system to ensure it can control the moisture level within your home.
Inspect all drip pans for making sure they are cleaned on a regular basis. This can help towards preventing buildup of condensation. It also ensures the drainage system doesn’t clog or becomes a feeding ground for mold growth.
Clean the air filters to prevent overloading and blow back of mold and other allergens inside the house. The technician may also recommend using a high efficiency air filter. Filters with a MERV rating of 5 – 13 are equipped to capture mold spores and prevent their spread. You have better protection when you are closer to MERV 13.
Prevent Mold Growth in Ductwork
Air ducts inside a house are a damp, warm and dark environment. They are favorable for mold and mildew growth. Unfortunately, mold spores growing in the ductwork can be quickly picked up by circulating air and cycled in your living areas as well as the HVAC equipment. These are a few measures to prevent mold from growing in the HVAC ducts:
Insulating the Ducts
Ducts run through all uninsulated areas of the home and get affected by cold air surrounding them. Condensation tends to build up when circulating warm air from inside the home comes into contact with a cold metal duct. The condensation remains in the ductwork and becomes a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
You can control the amount of condensation that is produced on the air ducts by insulating them. Insulation also helps in protecting the metal ductwork from exposure to cold temperature in the crawl space, attic and basement. The measure is useful in keeping moisture in the air until it reaches the HVAC system where it is removed and drained away.
Inspecting the Ducts
You should have the ductwork professionally inspected at least once each year or with every preventative maintenance. Licensed and experienced air conditioner technicians will be able to identify malfunctions and duct leaks in the system which may cause moisture in the ductwork. Air surrounding the ductwork tends to have higher humidity levels since it is typically unconditioned.
Moisture can be deposited in the duct system if air leaks inside. This can result in mold issues if not fixed quickly. The technician will identify the leaks and seal them to stop mold development. A major benefit of sealing duct leaks is that conditioned air stays in, which helps in better energy savings and comfort.
Up to 30% heating and cooling is lost in the average home through duct leaks. This can be avoided by sealing the air ducts. During an inspection, the technician will also clean the ductwork. This will remove existing mold spores and combat recurrence.