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Is There Mildew in My Air Conditioner?

When you turn on your air conditioner and notice a moldy smell coming from it, you probably have some immediate questions. What can you do to solve the problem? Is this a problem that you need to address right away, or is it something that will go away on its own?

The Cause of the Smell

First, you need to know is what’s causing the smell: mold spores. Exposure to mold spores can impact your health in several ways, and the symptoms get much worse if you have allergies. Many people experience congestion, a sore throat, and a dry cough, and you might also suffer from red or watery eyes. If your air conditioner has mold spores, you need a prompt solution to protect the air quality in your home because the problem will not go away on its own.

How Air Conditioners Get Mold

It’s now time to explore why air conditioners get mold, which will give you an idea of how to solve the problem. To grow, mold needs darkness, moisture, and a food source, such as dust. Under the right circumstances, your AC system can supply all three.

Your air conditioner’s evaporator coil produces condensation during the cooling process. That condensation is supposed to drip down into a drain pan. From there, the moisture drains out through a condensate drain line--as long as everything is functioning correctly. If your air conditioner is dirty, and if something clogs the drain line, mold can start to grow in the drain pan and on the evaporator coil.

Mold growth can also take place inside dirty air ducts. If the interior of your air ducts is dusty, and if there are enough leaks in the ductwork to allow humidity inside, this can create the perfect breeding ground for mold spores.

Preventing and Fighting Mold Growth

The best way to prevent mold and other growth inside your air conditioner is to get it serviced once a year, preferably during spring, after sitting idle throughout the winter. If a technician does discover mold in your AC system, they will be able to clean it for you.

To prevent or eradicate mold in your air ducts, you will need to get your ductwork professionally cleaned. HVAC contractors have the necessary equipment to thoroughly clean various types of ductwork and areas that would be next to impossible for you to reach on your own.

At Rescue Air Heating and Cooling, our dedicated team has the equipment and expertise to provide you with reliable HVAC system maintenance, repairs, and replacements. For service you can count on, give us a call at (972) 201-3253.