Living in a damp region like the Pacific Northwest or the hot and humid Southeast we get to deal with high humidity and moisture in our HVAC systems. Even though our air conditioners do an excellent job removing the high humidity, with time, the damp air combines with debris and dust that passes through the air filter and accumulates inside the blower, air handler, and the duct system. Before you know it, there is a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew in your home.
How do you remove mold from your duct work?
As much as it sounds scary and challenging, you can remove the built up mold from your HVAC system. However, if after reading this guide you still feel uneasy about doing it yourself, we do recommend contacting an air duct cleaning specialist near you. You have the choice of manual or mechanical brushes to loosen the mold. Using blowguns, air whips or air skippers, you can efficiently drive the mold and debris into your collecting devices. I tried using my HEPA filter vacuum to remove the mold from air ducts, and the result was fantastic. It is efficient and safe for your health since no dust particles remain in the air from the vacuum cleaner. And please ensure to wear protective gear so as not to breath the particles that may have been stirred up in the process.
You will have to kill the remaining mold using chemical biocides since you may not access all the nooks and crannies in the HVAC system when cleaning. As you clean, use negative pressure around your work area to prevent mold spores from drifting to other parts of the home. And if your duct is made of insulated fiberglass duct liner or fiberglass board, you need special equipment and techniques to prevent damage to your ducts.
According to mold advisor, the average homeowner may not have the special cleaning equipment lying around or borrow from a neighbor. Due to this, the EPA recommends hiring a certified professional to remove the mold and mildew from your HVAC system. You will want to take this seriously since you can easily damage your HVAC system and end up spending a lot of money in repair costs. Also, the remaining mold can quickly spread into other areas in the home causing health problems to family members.
After removing all the mold and mildew, install strong UV lights in the system to keep mold from growing back. This light makes the dark places unfavorable for mold growth, so you don’t have to worry about this menace for a long time.
Health risks of mold and mildew
Mold and mildew in tiny amounts pose no serious health risk to most of us; however, an increase in mold growth and mildew in the A/C system can cause adverse health effects, and if a member of your family has respiratory problems, then this is a reason for alarm. The common symptoms of mold exposure include nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, headaches, and irritations to the eyes, skin, and throat. Since most of these symptoms are also caused by the seasonal allergies or the common cold, it may be difficult to link them to the mold. Mold Report’s advice is that you should not bother buying a mold test kit since they “just cause fear in the person taking the sample with no real added value.” Instead they encourage you to have your building professionally inspected to help determine the severity of the issue.
Benefits of duct cleaning
Cleaning your air duct system assures you of a better air quality. You may be surprised how unhealthy your air can be from the HVAC. Particles like pollen, mold, mildew and pet dander can contaminate the air you breathe causing health problems.
Significant reduction of allergens in your environment. Checking and cleaning your air ducts regularly will keep allergens in check meaning you will keep breathing clean air.
Does your home have that distinctive mildew odor? Your air ducts may be due for repair or cleaning. No one wants a foul smell at home. Thoroughly cleaning the ducts will eliminate the odor for a fresh-smelling home.
According to Willard Power Vac, keeping your HVAC system clean and fresh will significantly lower your energy bills since the air conditioner and furnace won’t have to work extra hard to ensure you have the right temperature in winters. Keeping them clean allows the systems to work efficiently.