The Hidden Allergen: How to Tell If Mold Is in Your Air Ducts
Most people know that mold loves wet, dark environments. However, this causes us to think of bathrooms, basements, or under the sink. A lesser known residence for mold is in the air duct systems of homes and commercial buildings. The HVAC system is a humid, dark tunnel that can collect water vapors with ease due to the conditions in which it was designed for. Mold colonies in your air ducts can contribute to air pollutants, allergies, and increase your energy bills. When your air ducts are clean the conditioned air can move more efficiently, resulting in lower energy bills.
What is in my air ducts?
While disposable air filters are required with HVAC systems, this tool only helps eliminate around 10% of the debris and pollutants that flood our indoor air. Dust, pet dander, dead skin cells, pollen and even mold can reside in the vents of our homes. All of these can become irritants to our bodies, especially those individuals, human or animal, with breathing problems such as asthma. Mold colonies that breed in these areas cannot be seen by the naked eye until the situation has become severe and grown to the outer tunnel of a vent. Due to the inability to visualize this mold, being vigilant to the first signs that mold is polluting your air system is key for swift remediation.
Early Signs of Mold in Air Ducts
• Allergic response such as irritated or scratchy nose, throat, and eyes when the air is turned on or upon entering the indoors.
• A strong musty or mildew smell. This tends to be in the rooms in which the mold infested vents are located, and the adjacent rooms where the vents are connected.
• You can see mold spots in and around the intake vents or drip pans.
• Physical illnesses arise when you are in the building, such as headaches, dizziness or nausea, that relinquish once you are outdoors.
Preventing Air Duct Mold
• Dry any wet areas surrounding your ventilation systems.
• Limit moisture by monitoring humidity levels.
• Practice proper ventilation.
• Clean drip pans regularly, not allowing water to sit.
• Replace HVAC filters every quarter.
• Have regular mold inspections by a professional.
Waiting until visual signs of mold are prevalent can be a dangerous gamble. The various air pollutants that spread through your home or office building from contaminated vents can cause several physical ailments and allergies that, depending on the person, can become quite severe. HVAC systems are not accessible for cleaning with regular household cleaning supplies. These systems require the use of professional grade equipment to reach in the many vents of your home. Mold spores are also unable to be cleaned using a home vacuum system, or household multi-use cleaners. Imold’s specialized technicians are trained in the most safe and effective cleaning techniques to ensure clean air, and mitigated mold. After our professional cleaning, and proper air conditioner maintenance, your ducts should stay clean for 3-7 years. Call us today to set up an air duct cleaning for your southwest Florida property.