Mold is everywhere. Even the cleanest home has mold spores just waiting for the right temperature and humidity to grow on wallpaper, sheetrock and baseboards. The St. Petersburg, FL, climate is ideal for mold growth, and it only takes one long weekend without air conditioning to let mold proliferate in your home. The good news is that mold only grows where moisture collects; without water, mold spores are nothing but harmless household dust that your ventilation system filters from the air.
Your HVAC system is key to eliminating mold growth and preventing new spores from taking hold. Your heater and air conditioner wring humidity from the air and make your home less hospitable for spores. Filtration removes the number of spores in your home, reducing growth even when you turn off the air conditioner. Despite its mold-fighting power, though, your HVAC system also has areas that are susceptible to mold growth. Condensation in ducts, standing water in drip pans and moisture near vents can provide a home for mold. Regular air conditioning maintenance keeps your ventilation system clean and fully functional.
To keep your air conditioner on your side in the fight against mold, use a two-step approach. The first step is removal and reduction of existing mold; the second is regular AC service and inspections to limit future growth.
HVAC Mold Removal: Search and Destroy
Visible mold and mildew isn’t just an eyesore; it’s also a spore factory. Like any living thing, mold reproduces, causing more problems the longer it grows unchecked. Porous surfaces, including stucco, plasterboard and wallpaper, are havens for mold. When possible, remove and replace them. If removal isn’t practical, a mixture of household bleach and water is an effective mold killer. When using a bleach solution, follow all safety precautions and never mix it with other cleaning supplies.
Not all mold colonies are easily visible on walls and ceilings. Mold can also grow in damp attic insulation or under sinks where a slow leak gives the organisms a water supply. Inspect your home thoroughly for any areas in which moisture collects, including refrigerator drip pans, water heaters and insulation near ductwork that can trap condensation. Remove and replace insulation contaminated with mold.
Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips
After ridding your home of mold growth, keep your home dry and clean to prevent its recurrence. Your air conditioner is a vital tool in your mold defense strategy; it takes moisture out of the air and removes one of the things mold needs to thrive.
- Your AC service can put you on a regular duct and vent cleaning schedule. This process reduces the number of mold spores in your home and can help allergy sufferers breathe easier.
- Prevent mold growth when you’re away from home for shorter trips by keeping your air conditioning running. Set your thermostat higher to save on energy, but let your AC unit do its job of keeping the Florida humidity under control while you’re away from home.
- Check coils and drip pans occasionally to make sure no moisture collects to provide a home for mold.
- Problems with your AC unit can lead to bigger problems with mold down the road, so call your air conditioner repair service quickly when you notice loss of cooling, freezing coils or other concerns.
Turn to Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. for any of your heating and air conditioning service and repair needs.