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What To Do About a Moldy Air Conditioner

During the summer months, your home relies on your cooling system. Air conditioners are what many people use to cool their homes, as they can do the job effectively and are easy to install. Despite their effectiveness, air conditioners are prone to be overtaken by mold.

A moldy air conditioner can be a problem in your home for a variety of reasons, one being that it significantly affects the air quality you and your family are breathing. It can also be the cause of an unpleasant smell throughout your home, and when left for too long, it can even be attributed to health problems. For those reasons alone, taking action as quickly as possible to fix your moldy air conditioner is the best thing to do.

Professionals like our staff at Entek can assist you in purchasing a new air conditioner if your previous one is unsalvageable, but there are a few things that can be done before that needs to happen. Learning more about how mold affects your air conditioner and what you can do to reduce it can provide a safer environment for you and your loved ones.

Here are a few things that can help you if you have a moldy air conditioner in your home.

What Causes an Air Conditioner to Become Moldy?


Though it’s naturally occurring, the repercussions of a moldy air conditioner are enough to make you spring into action and look for a solution. If you’re having an issue with mold in your air conditioner, educating yourself about the causes of it can be a helpful first step. Knowing exactly how mold comes to grow in your air conditioner can help you to prevent it from happening again or help you catch it before it becomes a bigger issue.

Mold spores are in everyone’s home and usually don’t cause much of a problem. It’s when they are in an environment where they can feed and grow that they become an issue. Air conditioners are the perfect environment for mold spores to grow because they have the things they need to live, such as a moist environment and a food source. Mold can feed off the dust, which the air conditioner traps from the air. When filters aren’t changed very often, that excess dust provides even more nutrients for the mold and allows it to continue to thrive in your unit. Inspecting your unit often and changing your filters regularly are both good ways to prevent mold from occurring.

Know the Signs

Being mindful of the signs of a moldy air conditioner can be another way to find a solution more quickly. Often, mold cannot be seen upon first glance. Being aware of the symptoms and signs of mold can help you to recognize it sooner.

One of the most common signs of a moldy air conditioner is the smell. If you’ve noticed a musty smell coming out of a specific room and you’ve already taken action to clean the room itself, it might be because of mold. Another sign of mold in your air conditioner can be seen through your and your family’s health. Black mold specifically is known to create health issues like difficulty breathing, rashes, chronic cough, among other things. If you or your family members have been suffering through these types of health concerns and there doesn’t seem to be a cause, mold may be the issue.

Inspect the Unit

Giving your air conditioner a visual inspection may help you to find the source of your problems. Sometimes, mold is visible, and it can be seen just by getting a little closer to the unit. You may even be able to see the source of the mold by taking out the air filter or inspecting the drip pan. Looking around your unit, and even smelling the unit, can often point you in the right direction and give you a better idea of what action you should take next.

You can also contact a professional to come take a look at your unit. If you have an air conditioner that requires ductwork, a professional will be able to access it much more easily than you can. A professional’s help can also help you to pinpoint the mold sooner and provide a solution that will clear up your air quality much quicker.

Attempt Cleaning

Depending on the severity of the mold in your air conditioner, you may be able to clean it yourself. Know that this will take more than just a quick wipe down and that you should be wearing proper safety gear to protect yourself. Non-porous gloves, goggles, and a face mask are just a few items that could protect you during this process.

Depending on the type of air conditioner you have, you may need a few tools to access certain areas. Taking out the filter will allow you a small amount of access, but there is a good chance that the mold is hiding further in the unit.

If you suspect there is mold in your central air system, such as in the ductwork, then you’ll need to contact a professional. Taking apart ductwork on your own can be dangerous and can potentially damage your system. A professional, such as our staff art Entek, will be able to access the ductwork safely and properly clean your ducts.

Replace the Unit

No one wants to have to get rid of their unit, but if mold has overtaken it, and if the mold cannot be removed entirely, replacing the unit is the best option. Even leaving a little bit of mold in your air conditioner can allow it to grow enough to create an issue again. It also leaves you and your family subject to breathing in contaminated air. Replacing the unit doesn’t have to be a hassle if you have the right help from knowledgeable experts.Entek offers a large variety of home heating and cooling products. You can choose to purchase an air conditioning unit that’s similar to your old one or you can get information on a different type of cooling system that may be a better fit for your home. Entek has air conditioning products that can produce increased efficiency while also contributing to a lower energy bill for your home. To learn more about available products or to schedule a cleaning for your air conditioner, contact Entek today.

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