The presence of mold is one of a homeowner’s biggest worries. Not only because of potential damages, but also the resilient nature of mold which makes it hard to eradicate. ‘Is mold in HVAC dangerous?’ is a common question homeowners ask concerning the health of their family and HVAC unit.

Mold is seriously hazardous to both proper HVAC function and respiratory health of family members. Furthermore, parts of the HVAC system are dark, humid, and can accumulate dust from improper filter maintenance. All of these factors are ideal for encouraging mold development inside the HVAC system. Once mold is established within the ductwork, it could be circulated with the air throughout the home. This potentially leads to your family members breathing in air that harmfully affects their health. Which is why being able to quickly identify the signs of mold in an HVAC system is considerably vital. Here are 3 simple ways on how to check for mold in HVAC system.

Signs of Mold in HVAC System

  • Visual Evidence: From clogged drainage lines or pooling water to black dust near vents, it’s essential for homeowners to be looking for unusual developments. Whether it’s inspecting the drainage line or the air filter, immediately clean or replace anything that is moldy or dusty. Vent registers, ductwork, evaporator coils, and the drip pans are important places to visually check for mold as well. However, even if you don’t see mold, it may be growing in places harder to see such as deep within the ductwork.
  • Weird Odors: Have you noticed an unusual smell throughout your house? A strong mildew smell that seems to be coming from the vents can mean there’s mold in HVAC ducts. Here is a quick way to check if the smell is moldy ducts. First, turn off the system for 10-20 mins and try to gage if the smell disappears or becomes fainter. After you turn the system back on, if the smell comes back stronger, there’s a food change of mold in HVAC ducts. fainter.
  • Weird Odors: Have you noticed an unusual smell throughout your house? A strong mildew smell that seems to be coming from the vents can mean there’s mold in HVAC ducts. Here is an quick way to check if the smell is moldy ducts:
  • Strange Allergy or Sinus Symptoms: Unusual changes in health can also be a sign of mold, especially when staying inside. Breathing in mold doesn’t affect everyone the same, those with allergies or respiratory problems will be more sensitive. Others may only have a headache while inside the house or have itchy, watery eyes from the mold spores floating in the air. Common symptoms of mold include:
    • Persistent headaches or dizziness
    • Lethargic or chronic fatique
    • Runny or stuffy nose
    • Coughing or sneezing
    • Itchy eyes, nose, or throat
    • Scratchy skin or rashes

Preventing Mold in Air Conditioner

Unfortunately, mold spores are a constant presence that infiltrates the home from outside. Meaning, it’s incredibly difficult to prevent mold in air conditioners. However, there are steps homeowners can take to discourage the conditions that cause mold.

  • Regular filter maintenance and using the right type of filter helps protect the system from mold spores and dust that can act as food for mold. 
  • Integrate an air purifier with a UV light (such as the IWaveR Air Purifier) into the HVAC system to catch any particles that the filter misses. 
  • Routinely check for any pooling or water leaks around the evaporator coils, drip pan, and drainage hose
  • Set up an annual AC inspection with Satterlee to ensure there’s no signs of mold growing in your system. Homeowners can consult with our professionals about a variety of concerns! From determining if they need to seal and insulate air ducts to benefiting from a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels.

Satterlee AC Inspection

If you suspect anything could be wrong with your HVAC unit, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! Performing a regular AC inspection will ensure your unit is ready for the summer temperatures and operating efficiently.