Mold Awareness Month reminds us that toxic mold growth can be an issue in any home. Dormant mold spores exist everywhere in nature, including inside the cleanest, most sanitary residences. If triggered by exposure to moisture, however, dormant spores spawn active mold growth that releases millions of airborne microscopic reproductive spores into the indoor environment. Occupants susceptible to the toxins carried by these microorganisms may experience allergic reactions or even chronic illness.

The Air Conditioner-Mold Connection

The link between your central A/C and potential mold contamination is two-fold. Moisture sources inside the unit that may trigger mold growth include both the indoor evaporator coil and the condensate drip pan.

  • As the evaporator coil extracts water vapor from indoor air, dormant mold spores in the system airflow may contact moisture remaining on coil surfaces—particularly if the coil is dirty. Dormant spores activated by moisture spawn active mold growth inside coil passageways, releasing additional spores into the system airflow.
  • The condensate drip pan beneath the indoor air handler catches dripping condensation and diverts into a line connected to the household drain. If the drain line is sluggish due to clogs, however, warm stagnant water accumulating in the drip pan forms a perfect environment for active mold growth.

Mold in the Ducts

Dormant mold spores drawn into HVAC ductwork may be triggered by moisture sources like high household humidity in the airflow or water intrusion from an external origin such as a roof leak. As hidden mold flourishes in the dark interior of ductwork, it contiually releases active mold spores into living spaces.

Professional Mold Treatment

  • Coil inspection and cleaning as a part of a regular scheduled maintenance tune up by a qualified HVAC technician can eliminate mold growth from the evaporator coil. Resolving drain issues and installing time-release biocide tablets in the drip pan helps prevent mold recurrence.
  • A professional duct inspection can confirm if any issues are present with the ductwork and steps can be taken to resolve the issue.

September is Mold Awareness Month and a good time to contact the professionals at Jackson & Sons about an HVAC maintenance tune up.