An air conditioner plays a vital not just in keeping your home cool but also in ensuring optimal indoor air quality. A poorly maintained air conditioning system can actually pollute your home’s air. Perhaps the most significant threat comes in the form of mold, which can quickly grow if conditions inside your system grow too damp.
Airborne mold spores can lead to a wide range of health complaints, with asthma being one of the most common. In fact, studies have estimated that as many as 21% of asthma cases stem from dampness and mold exposure. If you would like to keep such issues at bay, keep reading. This article takes a look at three effective ways to keep mold from infiltrating your air conditioning system.
Keep Your Evaporator Coil Clean
Air conditioner mold growth commonly stems from the evaporator coil, which is responsible for absorbing heat from your home’s air. The temperature difference between the cold coil and the warm air causes the water vapor naturally present in the air to condense on the coil. In itself, such condensation doesn’t pose a huge problem.
Yet over time an evaporator coil accumulates other unwanted substances as well. Dirt, debris, and pet dander gradually build up on the outside of the coil. When such substances become moist from condensation, they often provide the perfect breeding ground for mold.
If an inspection reveals that mold has begun to grow directly on the evaporator coil, you must have this coil professionally cleaned as soon as possible. If the mold has not spread to other parts of the system, you can likely eliminate the problem through this simple solution.
Change Your Air Filter Regularly
While all evaporator coils experience some degree of condensate formation, the key to preventing mold growth is to limit the amount of such condensation. One important yet easily overlooked factor has to do with your air filter. An excessively dirty or clogged air filter causes a greater amount of condensation to form on and around your evaporator coil.
A clogged air filter limits airflow across your evaporator coil. As a result, the coil’s temperature remains much lower than it should. This low temperature causes a greater amount of condensation to form on the coil, often leading to mold growth. Installing a new air filter ensures optimal airflow and limits the likelihood of mold in your system.
Have Your Condensate Line Cleaned
The condensation that forms on an evaporator coil drips down into a metal pan that is installed directly below the coil. This condensate pan has a drain hole at one end, with a special rubber hose that conducts the condensate water safely out of your home. Without this system, water would accumulate in and around your air conditioner, leading to all sorts of moisture-related problems.
Yet mold growth often occurs as the result of a poorly maintained condensate drain system. If the relatively narrow drain tube becomes blocked with debris, water backs up in the condensate pan, often remaining there for long enough for mold to grow. That water may even spill over the edges of the drain pan and lead to mold growth elsewhere.
Condensate drain-line cleaning should be carried out on a regular basis to prevent problems. In addition to mold, algae and other unwanted substances may also proliferate in the moisture caused by a clogged drain line.
For more information about how to keep mold from infiltrating your air conditioning system, contact the HVAC pros at Service 1 Plumbing, Heating & AC, Inc. Call any time of the day or night to request our services.
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