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Could Your Air Conditioner Be Making You Sick?

Posted on: May 14, 2015

When we think of air conditioners and indoor air quality we usually think of the air filter being the most important factor in keeping the air healthy. But there is another potential problem that can make the air unhealthy: mold.

Mold in HVAC Systems

Mold is commonly found in varying amounts in home air conditioning systems. When small amounts of mold go undetected they can grow to levels that decrease air quality and lead to health problems.

Some of the health problems caused by mold include:
Sinus congestion and runny nose
Itchy, red, watery eyes
Respiratory problems and difficulty breathing
Throat irritation
Sneezing

Preventing Mold in Air Conditioners

AC drain pans, which hold standing water for long periods of time, are a favorite spot for mold to grow. In addition, pipes that contain bends and curves may hold water from unit operation and lead to mold growth. Often when there is mold growing inside the unit, mold is also visible growing inside air ducts.

While it may be easy to spot mold around your air conditioner, removing it is not as simple as cleaning the surfaces where mold is visible, you must find the source of the problem to prevent mold from growing in the future.

The cause of mold is excess moisture. The interior parts of your HVAC system are ideal places for mold to grow. This is usually a symptom of water leaks and flaws in the unit. A professional HVAC technician can locate the cause of excess the moisture and recommend solutions.

Keep the AC Drain Clean

To avoid dealing with mold issues in the future, examine your condensation drain regularly for clogs. If this drain gets backed up, the standing water can develop bacteria, which may turn into mold. Once you’ve removed the mold from the system, you’ll need to make sure it doesn’t return by regularly maintaining the unit to keep the ducts clean.

Have questions about your air conditioner and mold? Call ABC Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric, we’re here to help.

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