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Preventing Mold in Your AC Duct System

man opening ac vent with drill

Florida homes are constantly battling the heavy rains, high humidity, and warm climate that create the perfect place for mold to grow. However, while it is easy to keep mold from our indoor surfaces like floors and tables, there is one place that often gets overlooked when considering mold prevention: AC ducts.

Preventing mold growth in your AC system and air ducts is not difficult, but many homeowners overlook air ducts when doing their home maintenance. This can impact your health, your indoor air quality, and your HVAC system. This month, we’re looking at a few tricks that every Florida resident can use to fight this unseen foe!

What Causes Mold Growth?

Mold and mildew can take root anywhere that there is humidity, warmth, and something for the mold to eat. Mold spores are present everywhere, indoors and outdoors, and it’s important to remember that you’ll never be able to fully get rid of mold and mildew. However, mold requires moisture to start growing, and that’s usually the cause of colonies in your home.

When you have mold growing inside your ducts, it’s caused by one thing: you have moisture accumulation in the ductwork. Moisture can come from condensation, poor airflow, or breaks in the duct lining. Without removing the cause of the moisture, you’ll see the return of your problem even with regular cleaning.

Cleaning Vents on Your Own

dirty and dusty air conditioning vent

Most of the time, we do not recommend cleaning the ductwork or taking down vents to scrub at sneaky colonies. However, you can wash away mold spores and specks when they are present outside of the system.

Isolated colonies of spores can appear in spots throughout your house, and these are easier to take care of than infestations. Sometimes vents in storage rooms or bathrooms can start building up mold, mildew, grime, and dust, which can lead to bad odors and mold growth around the vent. Be sure to scrub the vents regularly and air out the room, especially after a shower.

Tips to Keep Away Microbes & Mildew

ventilation ducts in attic of home with hvac technician

The key to stop mold from appearing in the first place is to combat moisture in the house. In Florida, this can be pretty difficult, but there are a few ways that you can keep your air ducts sparkling and clean!

  • Replace Air Filters – Clogged and dirty air filters can block air flow and allow spores to accumulate in the HVAC system. Not only can coils and internal parts become home to colonies, but air filters can let mold fester in the ducts.
  • Make Sure Ducts are Insulated – Either new ducts or replacing the insulation on your duct system can make sure that there is nowhere for mold to get into the HVAC set-up from the attic. Good insulation also reduces condensation throughout the tubes, eliminating more opportunity for moisture!
  • Invest in a Dehumidifier – As a full-service HVAC company, we love all kinds of devices for improving indoor air quality. That includes dehumidifiers! In the summer and rainy months, dehumidifiers can help combat mold all over your house when set up properly. Putting a dehumidifier in a room with a mold problem will help your home as well as the duct system!
  • Use an Air Scrubber – Beyond dehumidifiers, there are other IAQ devices that can control the presence of mold in your home. An air scrubber or a UV light goes beyond mold – they also work against allergens, bacteria, dust, and more. Take the next step in breathing better by having an air scrubber installed.

All of these tactics focus on getting rid of problematic moisture and preventing mold from appearing on your ducts or HVAC components. Sealed ducts, low humidity, and regular inspection can be the difference between a musty home and a spotless one!

Taking Care of Mold By Taking Care of Your AC Unit

man with petri dish of mold for testing

Paying attention to mold problems in your HVAC system will help you reduce allergens in your home, prevent mold remediation, and keep colonies from spreading through your house. If you think that you have a mold problem, want to get your ducts checked, or would like to install an air scrubber or UV light, it’s time to call a professional HVAC company near you. Indoor air quality is a big concern for many families and homeowners, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep mold from taking root in your air ducts with these tips from Cool Rays AC.

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