How Mold in Air Ducts Affects Air Quality
Something that’ll make you cringe? Mold.
Not only is it gross, it’s actually extremely common and can be found somewhere in most homes. Mold can be described as fungus, typically found in warm, damp areas. Experts have estimated that there could be over 300 thousand different species of mold, but the exact number is unknown. This being said, mold is extremely common, but can affect your health when not taken care of.
Humidity in the air provides the right amount of moisture for mold to grow, especially in your homes air ducts or HVAC system. Outside air is brought in and essentially recycled through your HVAC system to either heat or cool your home. Particles from the outside air mixed with a little moisture are the perfect recipe for some good old ole fashioned air duct mold.
The EPA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, suggests that you should have your air ducts cleaned if there are ever signs of visible mold in or near your air ducts. Unfortunately though, many areas of your HVAC system that have mold may not be immediately visible. American Duct Cleaning of Kansas City recommends annual cleaning and maintenance of your HVAC system to avoid any health hazards that could be associated with mold in air ducts.
Mildew or must are common terms used to describe the smell of mold, while the color has been described as a variety of colors from white, yellow, or pink, to brown, black, green, or grey. Usually the smell can trigger the existence of mold before it is seen.
Mold has been associated with coughing, sneezing, and congestion, as it has a negative effect on the air quality in your house. Mold can also cause irritation to your eyes, nose, and throat. If you suspect a mold problem in your home, it should be addressed by a professional immediately. Mold in the air ducts can be hazardous to those living in the home, as everyone in the household is exposed to the mold and bacteria. Some more serious signs of toxic mold poisoning can include headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and even asthma.
Because we spend so much of our time inside our homes, it should be a priority to have good indoor air quality.
Our lungs never sleep.
We spend 24 hours a day inhaling and exhaling. While we can’t control the outside pollution, we can control the air quality inside our homes. Just like water, you wouldn’t want to drink it if it was brown.
On top of mold, the air inside our homes can carry a number of pollutants like carbon monoxide, lead and asbestos. Common sources of such pollutants can be our pets, beauty products, fireplaces and stoves, tobacco smoke, and more.
Air duct mold cleaning should be done by a professional to ensure it is done properly. The EPA requires specific protective gear to get the job done. Mold tests can be done by taking samples of the inside air and a variety of other evaluations to determine the extent of the mold problem.
Mold Prevention Tips for Air Ducts
There are a few things that you can do to prevent the growth of mold in your air ducts.
- Replace your home’s air filter.
American Duct Cleaning recommends replacing your home’s air filter every three months. Air filter replacement is probably the cheapest and easiest possible way to control indoor air quality. Depending on the size of your HVAC system, air filter replacements are available for as low as $15.00 to $50.00 and generally come even cheaper in packs of 2-3 or in bulk.
- Insulate your air ducts.
Insulation reduces the amount of condensation produced inside the air ducts and will better prevent air duct mold. A proper filtration system will prevent mold from spreading to other areas. Because it is almost impossible to avoid mold in your home completely, it is important to learn how to work with it. A professional can help determine the source of the mold and either seal the leak or replace the contaminated area.
- Run a dehumidifier.
A dehumidifier will lower the humidity levels in your home, allowing moisture to evaporate rather than collect and condensate.
- Get an Air Duct Inspection.
Of course, regular inspections of your HVAC system and indoor air quality, along with professional air duct cleaning will help prevent the growth and spreading of mold in your home as well.
If your home has had any previous water damage or flooding, there is a good chance mold is now present. If so, it is important to ensure this mold does not spread to other parts of your home. Other common areas inside your home for mold growth include underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks, behind the walls that house plumbing, around the air-conditioning units, and in smaller bathrooms where humidity levels become high when in-use.
If a musty smell or mildew is lurking around in your home, call a professional air duct cleaning service today. If you have children with allergies or pets and feel that the air quality inside your home could be improved, then it probably can.
Ready to make your home healthy again? American Air Duct Cleaning offers free estimates on mold duct cleaning, air duct cleaning, and dryer vent service.