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Controlling mold in your HVAC system

January 28, 2016 4:58 pm

Indoor mold can cause serious problems for homeowners. First, the presence of airborne mold can lead to health problems, triggering allergic reactions with symptoms such as respiratory problems, burning eyes, sore throats and sinus congestion. Second, if it ever makes its way into your walls, roof or floors, mold can also cause some expensive structural damage to your house.

For more information from Health Canada: Reduce humidity, moisture and mold

Sometimes there are things going on in your home’s air system that can contribute to the appearance of mold in your basement, bathroom or other damp spots in your house. Here are a few steps you can take to deal with the presence of mold in an HVAC system:

  1. Lower Humidity Levels With Air Conditioners and Dehumidifiers

    You will want to maintain indoor humidity levels so they do not surpass the 40 percent mark. This may require investing in an air conditioner or dehumidifier, especially for the dampest areas of your home, which can be mold breeding grounds. When buying an air conditioner, make sure that the unit is the right size for your home. If it’s too big, it will be constantly cycling on and off, making it difficult for the system to remove moisture in high-humidity areas. Also make sure that the ducts have well-sealed joints, and that the system is able to manage condensation effectively.

  2. Invest in Annual Maintenance of Your Air Conditioner

    Routine inspections of your HVAC systems can help detect mold and moisture problems. Your heating and cooling professional can check the condensate drains and pans in your air conditioning system to ensure proper drainage. When plugged, they could lead to damaging water leaks and the propagation of mold and algae. The technician can also check that all ducts, insulation and other components of your HVAC system are moisture-free. If any leaks or water damage are found, take care of them immediately.

  3. Get Your Ducts Cleaned

    If you do have moisture problems in your ducts, mold could start growing in there. Take care of the water problem first, because if you don’t, the mold will return. After eliminating the moisture issues, get your ducts cleaned and disinfected in the areas where mold has been found, and then get the rest of the ducting system cleaned to remove any other dust, dirt and debris that may remain in there.