Mold & Your Air Conditioner: What You Need to Know

Mold can flourish in many places, including in your air conditioner. Fungi that grows within the unit circulates spores throughout your home, but is preventable with the right maintenance. Use this guide from your Orange County mold inspectors to ensure your a/c system remains mold-free. 

Why Mold Grows in Air Conditioners

Mold typically develops in air conditioners when the unit hasn’t been used in awhile, such as over the winter. The fungi can also start growing in the system when it cannot drain correctly, a problem usually due to drainage components clogged with dirt and debris. Water remains within the appliance as a result, which provides a dark, damp environment for mold to flourish. Air conditioning units that are installed incorrectly and do not allow efficient drainage also make it easy for mold to grow.

Types of Mold That Grow in Air Conditioners 

Stachybotrys chartarum, or toxic black mold, is among the species that flourish in air conditioners. The greenish-black mold is one of the most dangerous strains since it produces mycotoxins, which when inhaled in high amounts can cause mycotoxicosis, or mold poisoning. Among the most common reactions to toxic black mold include headaches, aches and pains, nosebleeds, memory loss, and mood changes. 

Other types of mold that reproduce within air conditioning units include Cladosporium and Aspergillus, which, like black mold, can trigger allergic reactions. Cladosporium also looks greenish black, and can make asthma symptoms worse and cause other symptoms including sneezing, coughing, postnasal drip, and wheezing. Aspergillus allergic reactions can involve fever and chills, wheezing, headaches, and even coughing up blood. The mold is often pale yellow. 

Signs of A/C Mold & What to Do

If mold is growing in your air conditioner, you’ll notice musty odors when the system’s running. Allergic reactions will likely worsen among household members, and you might even see fungal patches around the drip pan, evaporator coils, and vents. 

Turn the unit off immediately to prevent mold spores from circulating further, and take the system apart according to manufacturer instructions for cleaning purposes. Use a white vinegar-based cleaner to eliminate mold from each part, and wear protective gear to avoid inhaling spores, such as a dust mask. You might need mold removal services from your Orange County experts if the infestation is severe. 
Contact Mold Masters for mold inspection and removal services in Orange County. 

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