Your air conditioner may seem like an efficient and easy way to cool your home, but it could actually contribute to poor indoor air quality. As air passes through your AC unit, it can carry dust particles and organic matter such as hair, pet dander, skin cells etc. These particles may collect in the drip pan of the AC and lead to mold growth in its condensate drain clogging it and contributing to respiratory issues like coughing, sneezing and watery eyes.
Air conditioning units can also foster mildew growth, spreading its spores throughout your home through vents, ductwork and interior AC components. This may happen if your AC is used inconsistently or there are leaks that allow too much moisture into the system causing leakage issues that lead to an excess of moisture entering.
An unpleasant musty odor is one of the telltale signs that your air conditioner has developed mold, often described as earthy or musty smelling and sometimes even making the entire house smell musty. If this odor becomes noticeable it’s important to act swiftly in order to eliminate the source before it spreads further.
As soon as you turn off and open up the grille cover for your air conditioner, this will prevent mold spores and musty smell from spreading throughout your home while you clean.
After disconnecting the AC unit from its source, inspect it visually. Take note of any brown, black or greenish spots that might appear fuzzy – pull out the filter and check for brown stains on brown paper bags; look out for powdery gray or white spots which could indicate mildew growth; use a flashlight to inspect for powdery gray or white stains that indicate mildew growth on ceiling tiles or floors – these may indicate issues within your unit itself.
If mold remains invisible to you, try making a bleach solution using several gallons of water and half a cup of household bleach. Soak a scrubbing sponge in this solution and wipe down all interior surfaces of your AC unit – including coils and drip pan. Bleach will kill any remaining mold spores and eliminate musty odors.
Though tossing out an air conditioner that still functions is not ideal, it may provide an effective solution for minor mildew and mold issues that do not pose serious threats to health. However, for more serious problems like a clogged air conditioner or filter that’s spreading spores throughout your home, contacting an experienced air conditioning maintenance provider is usually the best course of action. Professional mold testers can conduct individual tests in your home to confirm whether there’s a serious mold issue and identify its type. Once confirmed, these experts can then recommend appropriate treatment solutions such as professional air conditioning maintenance or full mold removal processes, dehumidification services and regular cleanings as potential preventative measures against future issues with mold growth.