Does an Air Conditioner Kill Mold?

Bucket of cleaning supplies.

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 keep your home’s humidity low. But one thing it cannot do is kill mold. It can help prevent mold, but once it exists, your air conditioner cannot kill it. BlueAir can maintain your HVAC system to minimize the conditions in which mold would thrive.

How Does Mold Occur?

Mold needs a damp, humid environment to breed. That means water is part of mold’s equation. Remove the water, and mold can’t live. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mold already exists in all homes, even in your Austin, TX, 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 mold grows. 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 mold begins to grow, the spores can travel through your home’s air ducts 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 mold. Contact us at BlueAir if you would like us to check your system to see if it is good working condition. We also offer several preventative maintenance plans to check your system on a regular basis.

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 mold’s growth. So keeping your air conditioner running in humid weather and situations is a proactive step to take. Mold also likes stale air. Running your air conditioner provides proper ventilation and airflow in your home, thereby preventing mold’s growth again. 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 set at a relatively high temperature, say 80 degrees, though you may be tempted to save a little energy and turn it off. The tradeoff in preventing damage in your home 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 mold yourself, when there’s just a small amount. But sometimes you need a professional, as mold spores can be a health risk. The State of Texas regulates persons conducting mold assessment and providing remediation services to ensure they are properly trained and licensed, and are following minimum standards that protect the health of workers and building occupants. Contact a licensed Mold Assessor and Remediator to inspect your property, collect and analyze mold samples, and develop a mold management or remediation plan. Also, you can visit the U.S. EPA site (www.EPA.gov/mold) to learn all about mold.

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