Mold in the home can be dangerous. In fact, certain types of mold can trigger illnesses in people. Unfortunately, mold often grows in places not visible to you, such as in the home’s duct work.
Knowing the signs that mold may be present in your ducts gives you the opportunity to hire a professional air duct cleaner to inspect and clean the ducts, which removes any mold that may be present.
Here are three signs mold may be present in your ducts and how to deal with it.
1. A Strong Musty or Mildew-Like Scent
If mold is present in your home, you may notice a strong musty or mildew-like scent when your air conditioner or heater begins to run. This smell is often stronger near the vent where the mold is growing.
You might smell this scent only in one room or one part of the home. If the mold is left to thrive, it can take over your entire duct system.
If things progress that far, you may smell a musty or mildew-like scent throughout your entire home when your heating or cooling system kicks on.
2. Signs of Mold Around the Vents or Home
The second sign that mold may be present in your ducts is signs of mold around the vents or around your home. If there is mold in your ducts, the air flowing through the ducts may loosen the spores and push them around your vents.
If you see black, green, brown, or yellow growth, it may be mold. Furniture and cabinetry can also be affected, so if these surfaces feel damp, your HVAC system or duct work may be the culprit.
3. Unexplained Illnesses or Allergy-Like Symptoms
Are family members experiencing unexplained illnesses in your home? Do you suffer from seemingly unexplained allergy symptoms, and your physician can’t pinpoint a culprit? Mold may be the issue.
Some of the most common health issues related to mold exposure include:
● Persistent headaches or dizziness
● Low energy levels or chronic fatigue
● Runny or stuffy nose, often with post-nasal drip
● Coughing or sneezing
● Itchy eyes, nose, throat, or skin and rashes
While the above symptoms can occur as a result of mold growth anywhere in your home, your ductwork may be a primary culprit. If you begin to have any unexplained illnesses, and it correlates with your air conditioner or heating turning on, there may be mold in your duct work.
To work on alleviating your symptoms, schedule a duct cleaning appointment to rid your HVAC system of mold. Additionally, consider testing the remainder of your home for mold, and consider getting blood tests from your doctor to determine if you’re suffering from mold toxicity
HVAC Mold Removal Tips
Mold removal from your HVAC system can be time-consuming. Even with proper cleaning, any missed spores can reinfest your system, so it is recommended to call a professional for a thorough and advanced cleaning.
If you insist on doing it yourself, it’s critical that you do the following.
Use the Right Cleaning Methods & Products
Finding the proper cleaning solution is the most crucial step that will directly affect the system and your home in removing mold. The cleaning agent will either foster it or eradicate it, so you need to be cautious, especially if you are choosing this as a DIY project.
Wear Protective Gear
Start by wearing the appropriate protective gear, including eyewear, coveralls, rubber gloves, and masks, because this can help prevent mold spores and allergens from accessing you.
Turn Off Your System
Turn off the HVAC system to shut down access for the drip pan, cooling and heating units, ducts, and drip pan to prevent spreading spores and cleaning solution fumes.
Scrub the Area
When you identify the affected spot, scrub the moldy area with a light brush or rag. Use an approved cleaning solution, and apply it generously to affected surfaces. Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes, then use disposable towels to remove any excess residue.
Repeat for highly infested areas and dispose of rags in an airtight bag
HVAC Mold Prevention Tips
Mold infestations can be challenging to manage, and not eradicating them can create much larger problems and expenses.
If you have been experiencing recurring mold problems, a few prevention measures include:
● Regularly replacing HVAC system filters
● Insulating the air ducts for reduced condensation
● Cleaning your drip pans regularly
● Invest in a dehumidifier and keep it near problem areas
● Get a scheduled inspection completed by a professional
If you notice one or more of the signs listed above, you may have mold present in your home’s air ducts. If you are in the greater Twin Cities area, Dust Doctors can help you with all of your duct cleaning needs, including mold removal. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.
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