Do Air Conditioners Kill Mold?


Your air conditioners can do several things––keep your home’s indoor air cooler than outdoor temperatures, help to keep indoor airborne allergens at bay, and help to your home’s humidity low. But one thing it cannot do is kill mold. It can help prevent growth, but once it exists, your air conditioner cannot kill it. If you find mold exists somewhere in your HVAC system, particularly in your air conditioner or ductwork, call Western Sales and Service for assistance. We can guide you on ridding your home of the growth and help maintain your HVAC system to prevent it from recurring.

How Does Mold Occur?

Mold needs a damp, humid environment to breed. That means water is part of its equation. Remove the water, and the furry fungus can’t live. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mold already exists in all homes, even in your Birmingham, AL home. But in most cases, it exists on such a small scale that it’s not noticeable or a health risk. It’s when that damp, humid environment is introduced that growth occurs. This mold-ideal environment can be introduced because of an unknown or ignored leak somewhere in your home or high humidity. Air with over 70 percent humidity is a definite breeding ground for mold. Once the fungus begins to grow, the spores can travel through your home’s air causing allergen issues. A small leak in your HVAC system or ignored air conditioner drains and pans, evaporator coils, or air handlers could very well be an origin of growth.

How Can My Air Conditioner Prevent Mold?

As already mentioned, mold thrives in damp, humid environments. Your air conditioner is designed to help dehumidify your home, removing excess moisture and preventing harmful matter from growing. So, keeping your air conditioner running in humid weather and situations is a proactive step to take. Stale air also encourages growth. Running your air conditioner provides proper ventilation and airflow in your home, thereby preventing the fungus from developing. If you decide to leave your home during high temperatures or high humidity for more than a few days, it’s advisable to leave your air conditioner running with the fan set to “on,” though you may be tempted to save a little energy and turn it off. The tradeoff is well worth the amount of energy you would have saved.

What Do I Do If I Spot Mold?

Even if you take the proper precautions against mold in your home, you may still come across some, maybe on your air conditioner itself. What should you do? There are times you can clean it yourself, when there’s just a small amount. But sometimes you need a professional, as the spores can be a health risk. It’s not uncommon for HVAC air handlers, evaporator coils, and condensation pans to have fungal growth. A professional, like ours at Western Sales and Services, can take care of that mold during a regular air conditioner maintenance visit and explain how to avoid its recurrence. Call and speak to one of our certified experts at 205-787-8674 with any questions your may have, or request service online. Also, you can visit the U.S. EPA site to learn all about mold.

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