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How to Get Rid of Mold in Your AC Unit

by krystle
house on the edge of building

Mold in the AC Unit

Mold can show up almost anywhere in the home, including your AC unit. Once it invades your ductwork, mold spores are more easily spread throughout the entire house, which could make people sick if left to grow and proliferate.


There are quite a few things that can cause mold to develop in a home. A leaking roof, broken or leaking pipes, high humidity and poorly ventilated bathrooms are just a few examples of conditions that can cause mold.

With air conditioners, condensation is a byproduct of daily operation. Air conditioners are built with proper condensation drainage. When the drainage system is overloaded or not functioning properly, your air conditioning unit itself could be the cause of mold developing in your system and the ducts.

If you think there could be mold present in any part of your HVAC system, you’ll want to get it taken care of as soon as possible. Mold grows and spreads quickly, so the problem will literally become worse every day.

Let’s look at a few ways to address mold in your HVAC system.

Diagnosing the Mold Issue

If mold has infiltrated your duct system, one of the first signs will be a musty smell that spreads throughout the house. In this case, you’ll want to grab a flashlight and check for signs of mild in the ductwork.

The easiest way to do this is removing the air conditioning air filter. This will give you enough room to get your head up there and take a look. Be sure to wear eye protection and a respirator, as breathing in mold spores can create a health hazard.

If you don’t see signs of mold with your naked eye, it’s a good idea to call in a professional to do some tests. Whether you choose to hire an air conditioning contractor or certified mold tester, the contractor will have the specialized equipment needed to make a safe diagnosis.

Remove the Mold From Your HVAC System

Mold can be removed from AC systems and ductwork in a variety of ways. Mechanical or manual brushes are used to dislodge mold and air guns to blow the mold out once it has been scrubbed from the vents. A vacuum with a HEPA filter is sometimes effective in removing mold.

In more serious cases, chemical treatment could be needed once the larger instances of mold are removed. This will help eliminate that musty odor and help prevent the mold from returning.

Can You Do the Job Yourself?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, It’s not a good idea to try to handle any type of mold issue without professional help. Most homeowners don’t have access to the specialized equipment necessary to properly and safely remove mold.

Accessing all parts of an HVAC system’s ductwork is impossible for the vast majority of homeowners. If ducts are not properly cleaned, they can be damaged easily. Furthermore, if even a little bit of mold is left behind, it can quickly spread, rendering all that effort useless.


There’s also the issue of safety. Mold spores can cause serious health problems. This is especially true if you dislodge these spores while trying to clean your vents without the proper safety rated facemask.

Should You Hire a Mold Removal Company or HVAC Contractor?

In most cases, it’s always a good idea to hire a mold removal contractor. However, when it comes to your HVAC system, it’s a little different.

A good HVAC contractor will have the specialized tools and equipment needed to properly clean out ducts without causing any damage. These professionals know how a central air conditioning unit functions and how to properly clean and maintain every element.

Many licensed, bonded and insured air conditioning repair contractors are also certified to safely handle and remove mold, making such companies the perfect choice for mold removal.

Finding the Right Professional

When looking for a professional HVAC technician, it’s important to narrow your search to only licensed, bonded and insured contractors. This will ensure the company you choose to work with has the expertise to get the job done right and will stand behind the quality of their work. Always hire a reputable contractor.

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1 comment

Kris Dye January 11, 2017 - 12:36 pm

Great post krystle! I probably should have done some researching before I let my husband fix it. We had water damage recently and thought he could fix it. 72 long hours later we ended up hiring a licensed removal company. They finished the job and my husband learned a thing or two about mold removal :)


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