Black Mold in Air Conditioner

“Do air conditioners with black mold pose a health risk? Yes, in a nutshell. Air conditioners are especially dangerous places for black mold to grow in your home. Unfortunately, the spread of Black Mold in Air Conditioner is very rapid.”  


Black Mold in Air Conditioner


If you have black mold in air conditioner, you will immediately get it to reach your home’s air ducts. A danger is associated with black mold, so getting rid of it as soon as possible is important. Our tools and experience are perfect for the job. Black mold can be extremely dangerous in your home, as our experts know. Cleaning your air conditioner and protecting indoor air quality are essential to our mold removal services. For mold remediation services, call our HVAC experts.  


What is black mold?

Moisture, humidity, and dirt make perfect conditions for black mold to thrive. Black mold, or Stachybotrys Chartarum, can grow in wet, humid, leaky, and flood-damaged environments. There are various types of materials that toxic mold thrives on, including:

  • The lint
  • Plaster of Paris
  • The paper
  • Board of fiber
  • The dust

Air conditioners collect dust and debris as they cool your home. If your home’s indoor air quality is not properly maintained, it can suffer.  


How can black mold impact your health?

Even healthy adults can become sick from mold, even if they are not children, older adults, or people with compromised respiratory systems. Mold spores, which are invisible and small, are very easy to inhale when exposed to black mold. Mold spores can irritate your lungs and throat, resulting in health issues such as:

  • Breathing problems
  • Asthma
  • Eyes, nose, and throat irritation
  • Vomiting
  • Experiencing vomiting
  • Irritated skin or rashes
  • Cough that persists
  • Problems with focusing our attention

It is possible to develop pneumonia, sinusitis, bronchitis, or asthma attacks from exposure to black mold. Exposure to black mold can cause symptoms like the common cold or food poisoning. We should check symptoms of black mold immediately if they persist for more than a few days.  


How can we detect mold in air conditioners?

In case you suspect mold is growing in your air conditioner, here are some signs to watch out for:

  • Musty smell. Mold spores give off a musty smell. If your house has a central AC unit, you might notice a musty smell without any discernible source or visible mold growth.

The room where your window air conditioner sits might have this smell if you have one or more. A musty smell from an air vent can detect mold in your air conditioner while running.

  • Health symptoms when AC goes on. There are a variety of negative reactions that mold can cause, including allergic reactions and respiratory issues. Mold may cause these symptoms when your AC is running or if you or someone in your family exhibits them only at that time.
  • Visible signs. If your home has central air conditioning, your AC unit and the air vents may be inspected visually, depending on their location. Look for the familiar black or green-black patchy mold spots, sometimes fuzzy.

Since mold spores are microscopic, their source may be hidden from view. Even if you don’t see mold, it could still lurk beneath the surface.

  • Professional inspection. If you suspect mold in your air conditioner, it is best to hire a professional mold inspector. These professionals can detect mold in your air conditioner, ventilation system, and home.


Causes of Black Mold in Air Conditioner

It is a fungus that produces mold. Fungi need to grow in oxygen, water, and organic matter. An air conditioner circulates air, and its cooling coils tend to create condensation, so it is sure to meet the first two mold growth criteria.

Mold also thrives in dark spaces in ductwork and air conditioners. It needs organic material, like dust and debris, to grow.  


What are the types of ACs prone to mold growth?

There are several types of air conditioners you can use to cool your house:

  • A/C units for windows
  • Portable AC units that stand alone
  • Units that can hang on the wall
  • A central air conditioner

Each air conditioner may develop mold, but the process for detecting and removing mold differs slightly.

  • Mold in window AC units. In most cases, AC units fitted to a window can be inspected and removed fairly easily. Safety equipment and care should always take place when handling household mold, depending on your skill level and confidence.
  • Mold in free-standing AC units. The popularity of free-standing air conditioners. Air and humidity escape through a window opening, as in window-mounted units. Because these units move easily, you might feel comfortable handling and disposing of a moldy unit.

Nevertheless, free-standing units should be handled with caution if mold is suspected.

  • Mold in wall-mounted AC units. It is possible to install an AC unit directly into a wall. Unlike window air conditioners, these systems do not connect to a home’s ductwork and serve only one room.

Inspections, cleanings, or replacements then take place. However, since they are permanent fixtures, they may be more difficult to manage than free-standing or window-based AC units.

  • Mold in central air conditioners. The challenge is even greater when mold appears in central air conditioners. The equipment is usually larger and might live in an inaccessible location.

Moreover, the ventilation system attached to them is susceptible to mold development. Due to their size and complexity, replacing central air systems is rarely feasible. In these cases, professional mold remediation is necessary.  


In air conditioners, what kind of mold grows?

Millions of mold types exist. These types of mold most commonly infest A/C units and ductwork:

  • Aspergillus: An allergic fungus that causes illnesses in people with weakened immune systems.
  • Cladosporium: A common mold with a green-to-black appearance, capable of triggering allergic reactions and worsening asthma.
  • Stachybotrys chartarum: The black mold or toxic mold produces poisonous mycotoxins, making it an especially dangerous species.


Black mold in AC

Black mold in AC units is particularly problematic due to its tendency to cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions. Black mold also produces mycotoxins, which are poisonous to humans. Air conditioners circulate air, which leads to the spread of black mold spores throughout your home. After these spores have taken root in the house, they can spread to many parts: walls, ceilings, carpets, etc. Therefore, detecting and eradicating black mold infestations as soon as possible is extremely important.  


Is it good to clean the air conditioner if we see mold?

  • The best option is often to dispose of window units safely and replace free-standing ones, particularly if they are smaller and less expensive. In cases of significant mold buildup, replacing the AC unit may be more cost-effective than removing the mold.

If the old unit is being inspected or removed, use gloves, a face mask, and goggles to avoid mold exposure.

  • Hire an expert. There’s no point in throwing out a functional air conditioner when an expert can make it safer and more economical. It will be the only viable solution to drop mold from all associated vents and ductwork, as well as the AC unit in most central air conditioners.

Even with no ductwork, built-in wall units still need on-site mold remediation, even if there is no ductwork. You don’t want mold from your wall unit to spread throughout your home. If you want to protect your home, you should hire an expert.

  • Self-clean. Depending on how small the unit is, you may be able to clean it yourself if it is not connected to a ventilation system. If you are considering this, consider using gloves, goggles, and a mask when inspecting the unit.

Check inside the unit: Does the mold cover less than a third? Do you have enough visibility into the unit to detect mold? Can you access and clean only certain parts of the air conditioner? Don’t attempt to clean it yourself if the answer to these questions is “no.”  


The best time to clean your AC.

Your AC will most likely develop mold after going unused for a while. When you don’t use your air conditioner for several months, mold will likely develop. During summer, you may turn your unit on again, so you should inspect it before that happens.  


The best time to clean your AC.


If the system functions properly, your home should be free of mold particles. Symptoms of this include headaches, sore throats, and respiratory problems.  


Get the right supplies.

It is important to have everything you will need before getting started. When you’re halfway through a project, you want to spend time with the store to get something. You will need the following items:

  • Mask for the face
  • Eye protection
  • The gloves
  • The water
  • Using bleach
  • Detergent for laundry
  • Bucket of 5 gallons
  • Dish soap with a mild pH
  • Brush for cleaning
  • Shirts
  • Attached vacuum cleaner
  • The screwdriver

After getting everything, you need to clean your AC unit so everyone can see it. Good ventilation in the space would help, so open a few nearby windows.  


Put on your safety gear.

Wear all the safety gear before exploring the AC. Included in this are gloves, eyewear, and masks.  


The first step in cleaning your AC is to turn it off.

Your first step in cleaning your AC is to turn it off. Doing this will prevent mold spores from spreading around your house further. For a visual inspection of the unit, unplug it and unplug the power cord. You will need a flashlight if you find mold further down the system. It is important to watch for mold signs like green, black, and brown streaks. Faint stains may appear occasionally. As well as mildew, this looks white or powdery gray; watch out for stains caused by mildew.  


Remove the front panel.

Taking off the front panel will allow you to access the interior. Regardless of their design, the majority of AC units have similar panels. After unscrewing the panel, pull it out with your nut driver. Please dispose of your washable filters and replace them with pleated disposable filters. When washable filters get dirty, they never get clean again. It is a good habit to replace the air filter whenever it needs to be replaced.  


The vacuum cleaner is best for cleaning up dirt.

It is possible to clean hard-to-reach places with most vacuum cleaner attachments. It would help if you used the attachment to remove as much debris and dirt as possible. You must rotate the unit to reach certain components prone to dust accumulation. Cleaning the evaporator coils and blower motors is necessary. To remove the mold, you can easily wipe down the unit.  


Check for any damaged parts.

Despite your goal of eliminating mold, you should take advantage of this opportunity to determine whether you need any new components. It is important to check for bent parts, such as flattened fins. Check that you have the correct coils and are not yet to be too crooked. If you have any issues, fix them promptly. Installation requires the assistance of a specialist. Your fingers must be within a suitable distance of the various components of an AC due to the many intricate parts within.  


Mix the solution

The mold is now ready for your attention. Make a cleaning solution with one tablespoon of mild dish soap, 12 cups of bleach, and 3 gallons of hot water. The 5-gallon bucket needs to mix with all of this.  


Scrub the moldy areas of the AC

You should soak the solution with a sponge, brush, or cloth and rub it on the affected areas. It would help if you used the same solution to clean your front grille. Scrub down the area even if no mold is present to prevent it from growing again. Wait at least 10 minutes before using the solution. To clean the AC, dampen a cloth with water and wipe it down. You can repeat the scrubbing steps until the mold is no longer visible on the unit.  


Let the unit dry and reassemble

The unit needs to dry completely before you put it back together. Give yourself time to complete this process, which can take up to 24 hours. Therefore, you should do this before it gets hot outside since you won’t be able to use your AC. Upon drying, replace the grille with your new, clean filter and reassemble the unit. By plugging it back in, you can enjoy clean, cold air all summer long.  


Contact a professional

You can do some AC work by yourself. The experts should handle other projects, however. You can reach us with any HVAC-related questions through our online form. Our experienced employees will be able to visit your home soon to determine the nature of the problem and recommend the best course of action.