With the cold season around the corner, the majority of Frisco, TX, homeowners are preparing to retire their air conditioners and ramp up the heat. Part of this preparation involves checking the air ducts for contaminants and cleaning them. One of the more concerning contaminants is mold, which thrives in hot and humid conditions.
The humidity of the summer can lead to the development of mold in your air ducts, which spreads quickly to the rest of the house and compromises the health of your family. The good news is that a good air duct cleaning service can help. Keep reading to learn more.
What Causes Mold to Grow in Air Ducts?
Dirt and mold spores are constantly circulating through your home when the air conditioner is running. However, mold only starts growing when there is consistent dampness in the air ducts. The moisture mixes with organic and inorganic debris, creating the perfect food source mold needs to grow, multiply, and spread throughout your home. But where do the moisture and condensation come from?
- Roof leaks can soak the air ducts in your attic every time it rains
- A plumbing leak can let water into the air ducts and create the perfect environment for mold to thrive
- Condensation may occur in the ductwork as cooler air is piped through the vents during the winter months
An oversized AC unit may not be able to remove all the humidity from your Frisco, TX home. As a result, the humidity may condense in the air ducts and become a breeding ground for mold strains.
If your bathroom is not adequately vented, the stream produced when you take hot showers can collect in the ducts and create an environment where mold thrives.
Types of Mold in Air Ducts
Different types of mold can grow in your HVAC system. Understanding how they present themselves is key to knowing the proper way to address the problem. Our air duct cleaning services can eliminate different types of mold from your HVAC system, including:
Acremonium is one of the most popular types of mold found in air ducts. It forms over many months or years and can produce toxins. It takes on the form of a white powdery appearance. It rarely infects humans but can have adverse effects when mixed with other types of mold – pneumonia, endocarditis, and subcutaneous infections. However, consider hiring a duct cleaning service, to keep this mold at bay.
Alternaria is one of the more common allergens in humans. It usually has a velvet-like texture and a greenish or yellowish color. It occurs when there is condensation or a leak in the air ducts. The presence of Alternaria causes a variety of allergic symptoms and can sometimes lead to asthma. Getting regular duct cleaning services can eliminate this mold and prevent associated respiratory problems.
Aspergillus is a very diverse type of mold in appearance, making it quite difficult to distinguish completely. It mostly appears in yellow, white, and green and is hard to spot by the untrained eye. However, a duct cleaning service professional in Frisco, TX, can easily pick it out. Most people breathe in Aspergillus spores without getting sick. However, there is an increased risk of allergic reactions, lung infections, and infections in other organs among individuals with a weakened immune system.
Chaetomium is a highly destructive mold that spreads quickly, making it difficult to contain. Its fungi species grow in colonies and take on an initial white cotton-like appearance. The color changes to green, olive, or brown color. The mold produces myotoxins that can cause carcinogenic and teratogenic effects in humans. It appears in HVAC systems with a leak, and an experienced air duct cleaning service can eradicate it from your vents.
Commonly known as a “soil mold,” Fusarium is a type of mold that usually grows outdoors. However, you may also find it in your home if the HVAC system has a leak. It varies greatly in appearance, with the most common colors being brown, white, and yellow. It can also take on different textures and consistencies, making it difficult to identify. While relatively harmless, exposure to Fusarium can cause considerable harm to individuals with a compromised immune system, hence the need to hire a professional air duct cleaning service to stay safe.
Mucor takes on a fluffy, white appearance and is one of the most toxic molds that can grow in your air ducts. Symptoms of exposure vary depending on where the spores land. Immunocompromised individuals may experience respiratory issues and should seek immediate treatment. Scheduling regular duct cleaning service can help limit the health hazards caused by mucor.
Stachybotrys is easy to spot because it takes on black color. It is quite toxic, and individuals exposed to its spores experience nasal irritation, coughing, wheezing, congestion, dyspnea, and chest tightness. Other symptoms of Stachybotrys infection include lightheadedness, headaches, and mental fatigue. Importantly, do not attempt to clean or eliminate this mold by yourself, as you will expose yourself to the above health hazards. An air duct cleaning service professional in Frisco, TX, is best placed to handle it to prevent further spreading.
Trichoderma only grows in places that are constantly wet or moist. This is why it is common in air ducts. Its spores multiply quickly, making them a persistent threat in your Frisco, TX home. It takes on a grey, greenish, or white color. Hiring a regular air duct cleaning service can ensure that your vents don’t possess the right conditions for Trichoderma to grow and spread.
Ulocladium is a rare type of mold that appears brown, grey, or black. Its texture resembles that of cotton, suede, or wool. Ulocladium can cause a lot of damage to the respiratory system and compromise the immune system, hence the need for immediate treatment. It’s also extremely hard to get rid of, which is why you should enlist the help of a professional duct cleaning service.
What Are the Signs of Mold in Air Ducts?
Knowing the signs of mold infestation empowers you to get air duct cleaning service early before it spreads. Contact One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas duct cleaning professionals to prevent the following signs of mold in your air ducts and enjoy quality indoor air.
Musty Odor When Running the HVAC
Mold gives off a musty odor that’s more noticeable when you’re running the air conditioner. The smell is usually stronger around the vent with mold growth. You may notice that the odor is contained in a certain room. If left unattended, the mold will spread to other parts of the HVAC. The musty odor will be detectable from every point in your house.
Illness and Allergy Symptoms
If you or your family are experiencing irritation in the throat, nose, and eyes when the HVAC is running, you may have a mold issue in the air ducts. Mold spores are microscopic and undetectable by the naked human eyes. They spread quickly through the house and exposure to them can lead to health problems. Some of the symptoms you might experience when you breathe in air contaminated with mold include;
- Congested nose
- Chest tightness
- Skin rashes
In more severe situations, mold exposure can cause nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, and more. People with pre-existing respiratory conditions may experience more severe symptoms. Knowing this, don’t use your HVAC until it’s been tested and cleaned by a duct cleaning service professional.
Sometimes the most obvious sign of mold in your air ducts is seeing it accumulate elsewhere. You might find the fungus growing around the air ducts and vents. This occurs when air moving through the HVAC pushes mold spores towards the vents and other parts of the duct system. The fungus will usually appear black, green, or white depending on the specific strain.
Mold Inside the Air Conditioner or Furnace
The same conditions that promote the growth of mold in the air ducts are also present in the air conditioner and furnace. The mold in the air ducts can spread through the ductwork and eventually settle in these appliances. The drain pan and evaporator coil are constantly covered in condensation that allows mold spores to flourish and multiply. Most furnace components can see mold growth as it heats and humidifies the air inside.
How Can I Keep Mold from Growing in the Air Ducts?
Your HVAC system may be one of the perfect spawning grounds for stubborn mold, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take action to control and prevent mold infestation. Here are some of our top tips for keeping mold from growing in the air ducts.
Keep Furniture Away from the Vents
You should ensure that nothing, especially furniture, blocks the vents. Any blockage can result in poor air circulation. Stagnant air combined with dark light conditions brings about condensation, creating an environment that encourages mold growth inside the air ducts. This is why you must keep furniture, drapes, and other items away from the vents.
Keep the Air Ducts Clean
Investing in a regular air duct cleaning service can keep mold from growing. On the other hand, neglecting this task can cause the buildup of materials that impact the air quality inside your house, such as mold. Call One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas for our air duct cleaning service today.
Keep Moisture at Bay
High moisture levels encourage the growth of mold in the air ducts. A dehumidifier can
help keep the humidity levels in your home balanced. Invest in a whole-home dehumidifier rather than a portable dehumidifier for best results. While a portable dehumidifier only tackles humidity in a limited area, a whole-house dehumidifier works together with the HVAC system to control moisture levels throughout the house. By preventing mold, a dehumidifier will help keep health issues like asthma, allergies, and respiratory infections at bay.
Have Our Technicians Install the Right HVAC System for Your Home
Oversized HVAC units create more moisture, increasing the risk of mold infestation in the air ducts. That’s why it’s essential to ensure that your HVAC system is properly sized for your home. One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas offers free in-home estimates on new air conditioners and heating systems. Our professionals will match you to the right HVAC system for your Frisco, TX, home and comfort needs.
Use Quality Air Filters
Besides hiring regular duct cleaning services, having quality air filters from the onset is key. Air filters play a vital role in keeping allergens like mold spores at bay. You should ensure they are replaced every three months and cleaned every two weeks. When choosing an air filter, ensure that it’s the right size to enjoy the full effectiveness the HVAC system can provide. A high-efficiency rating is also good because it means it won’t let contaminants through. If you aren’t sure about where to start when choosing an air filter, contact us for help.
Look Out for Leaks
Leaks around the air ducts are among the leading causes of mold in your HVAC system. Therefore, it’s essential that you check for any leaks in your Frisco, TX home and seal them promptly. Leaks in your air conditioner and furnace are also concerning. You should have an HVAC professional address them as soon as possible.
Check the Air Duct System Regularly
The problem with mold growing in the HVAC system is that it’s not easy to detect until the infestation has spread. The air ducts are closed, and, as such, you can’t see what’s happening inside. When changing or cleaning the air filters, take a quick look inside the air ducts and see if you can spot any signs of mold. Dry any wet areas immediately to keep mold from growing. You can also install mold growth inhibitor products like UV-C lights and air ionization purifiers to kill harmful allergens inside the air ducts. Better still, contact our duct cleaning service professionals to check your air duct system.
Schedule Regular HVAC Tune-Ups
Regular HVAC maintenance tune-ups can ensure that your system stays clean and can control moisture levels in your efficiently. In addition to regular tune-ups, our team can provide air duct cleaning service to ensure that the system is free of clogs that may accelerate mold growth. We can inspect the drip pans and clean them to prevent condensation buildup.
One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas Knows How to Prevent Mold in HVAC Systems
Mold can be a challenge, even for professionals. Its accumulation can compromise indoor air quality and put the health of your loved ones at risk. The best chance you have of living in a mold-free home is getting professional help. Our air duct cleaning service can help keep these issues at bay. Contact One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas today to learn more about our duct cleaning and how we can optimize your HVAC system for your comfort needs.