What Role Does Your Home's HVAC System Play In Mold Control?

Nobody likes to discover potentially dangerous black mold in their home. Although mold spores are present in nearly any home, they require the correct combination of conditions to take hold. Severe mold issues often develop due to hidden plumbing leaks, but this isn't the only source of excess moisture in a home.

Surprisingly, issues with your home's HVAC equipment can also lead to ongoing mold problems. Thorough mold remediation will often involve addressing these problems to remove the existing mold and prevent it from returning.

Understanding HVAC's Role in Mold Growth

Mold spores need the right temperature and moisture conditions to take hold and grow. Most homes are too dry for mold to take up residence for long, which is why you aren't fighting an endless battle against mold on your walls and furniture. Mold can rapidly proliferate when it finds the right conditions, however, which is why old cheese or bread can often find itself covered in unappetizing visitors.

Your HVAC system plays a critical role in maintaining your home's humidity, and thus it's crucial for inhibiting mold growth. In the humid summer, moisture condenses onto your evaporator coils, reducing household humidity as air circulates through your ductwork. When functioning correctly, your air conditioner should cause your ducts to be an unattractive place for aspiring mold colonies.

Unfortunately, many air conditioning problems can have the opposite effect. Air conditioners that short cycle or blowers that run for too long can prevent moisture from draining from the evaporator. Instead of removing humidity from the air, your HVAC system distributes it throughout your home. This extra humidity helps mold spores take up residence in your home and even inside your HVAC ductwork.

Addressing HVAC Problems Alongside Mold Removal

If you know your home has an existing mold problem, then evaluating your HVAC system must be a part of the remediation process. To ensure that your air conditioner does not contribute to future issues, you should perform a thorough inspection of both your ductwork and your AC system components. In most cases, you should consider having your ducts cleaned to ensure that no mold is present and that any existing mold is removed.

You will also want to inspect your evaporator coils, drainage pan, and blower unit. Since moisture builds up on the evaporator coils as part of your air conditioner's regular operation, anything that inhibits proper drainage can create an environment for mold growth. As your blower pushes air over the coils, it may also be distributing spores into your ductwork and vents.

A detailed inspection of your home's HVAC system may seem like another expense on top of already-costly mold remediation, but it's an essential step. By addressing any problems you find, you'll ensure that excess AC humidity doesn't cause your mold to return in the future.

For more information about mold removal, contact a local professional.

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