Tips For Keeping Mold Spores Out Of Your HVAC System

Make sure to get annual maintenance on your HVAC systems to uphold your warranties.

Tips For Keeping Mold Spores Out Of Your HVAC System

Tips For Keeping Mold Spores Out Of Your HVAC System

14 March 2017
, Articles

If you have an HVAC system with mold inside the ducts, then spores will be forced into your home when the heating or cooling system turns on. This can cause respiratory issues for individuals who have allergy or asthma concerns. Mold can and should be cleaned out of the ductwork with the assistance of an HVAC cleaning service. Once the cleaning is completed, there are several things you should do to keep the mold at bay.

Clean With Disinfectants

Mold spores are extremely difficult to completely eradicate. Most homes have fairly high mold spore counts even though they are relatively clean. In fact, about 75% of all homes that go through air quality tests have mold spore counts just below 1,200 spores per cubic meter of air. This is a fairly large number considering it is referring to the vast majority of homes. If there are normally thousands of spores in your house, then it makes sense that it can be difficult to get rid of them completely. 

Some of these spores will inevitably cling the moist surfaces inside your HVAC system. When the blower turns on, many of the spores can be forced up through the ducts and into your house. To reduce this concern, make sure to clean both the inside parts of the system and the outside ones with a disinfectant. 

You should look for a disinfectant specifically designed for use with HVAC systems. Also, one that is EPA registered is a good choice to keep your home and the outside environment safe. Specifically, certain chemicals can cause respiratory issues, especially when they are heated and then blown into your home. Multipurpose disinfectant cleaners that contain ingredients that kill fungi, viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms are best. The cleaning solutions should also contain deodorizers, especially if the mold and mildew smells remain. 

When disinfecting, remove the cover from the HVAC system and soak several cotton cloths with the disinfectant. Wipe down the outside of the blower, the heat exchanger, the circulating fan, and the heat shield. Also, wipe down the inside casing of the unit as well as the draft hood and any other non-electrical part that you see. Once the disinfection is completed, lightly wipe down all parts with a mildew inhibitor. This will keep new mold spores from attaching to the inside of the HVAC system. 

When you complete the cleaning, just make sure not to spray your disinfectant or your inhibitor in the system. This can directly affect the way the electrical starter, pilot light, and burners work. 

Add A New Filter

Air filters can remove most of the mold spores that move through the air in your HVAC system. However, you will need to make sure that you purchase a filter that has holes that are small enough to collect the majority of the spores. Some filters allow them to slide right through. This is especially the case if you have purchased and installed an air filter that allows for greater air flow through the system. You should instead buy a disposable air filter that is in the mid-range when it comes to its MERV rating. While mold spores are small, they are fairly large when compared to other types of contaminants. This means that a mid-range one will collect mold while allowing a good amount of air flow through. Just make sure to throw out and replace the filter every few months. This way you can throw the spores right in the trash and start fresh with a new filter.

If you live in an extremely wet area, then the simple air filter may not be enough to keep mold spores out of your system. In this case, you should add another filter to the system. Specifically, it should be placed on the air intake part of the heater that pulls air into the fan and then up into the blower. A wide vent may sit on the outside of the HVAC system itself, or you may notice an outdoor vent that helps with bringing air from the outside of your house and into the heater. 

Investigate your system, locate the vent, and purchase another filter in the appropriate size for the area. The same type of filter with a mid-range MERV rating will work well. 

For more information, contact an HVAC cleaning service like Rizzo Heating & Air Conditioning.

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It's More Important Than You Think

I used to routinely get calls from HVAC contractors in my area offering annual maintenance contracts. As soon they would identify themselves, I would quickly say no thank you and hang up. After all, my heating and cooling system was working fine. Why would I spend money on services I clearly didn't need? Boy was I wrong! A few years ago, my AC unit suddenly stopped working. I called my HVAC contractor to have it repaired and assumed that my warranty would pick up the bill. That was until I learned my warranty was voided due to a lack of maintenance. Out of nowhere, my decision to ignore those maintenance calls was about to cost me more than a $1,000. I know there are others out there like me. It is my hope that this site will provide them with the knowledge they need to avoid the mistakes I made.