There are many ways that mold can enter a structure, but one of the most common cases you hear of it lingering in the news is through the air system. Yes, the HVAC system that causes you to live in comfort no matter what the season can also be responsible for mold growth in your home or business.
Every building has a certain level of humidity. That humidity condenses in ductwork, and it creates the perfect environment for mold to grow because of all the dust and dander that travels through the system. Mold also likes heat (above 70 degrees Fahrenheit), which means it thrives in the winter when the heat is travelling through the ductwork.
Unfortunately, your ductwork is enclosed and typically installed within walls and ceilings. This means you must detect mold via other means than vision. Not only that, but early mold growth will not be visible.
Other ways to detect mold are:
- Smell: If you have mold growing in your ductwork, you will eventually smell it. It is a damp, earthy smell that you probably already associate with mold.
- Irritation: If you are getting a cough, runny nose, or other respiratory issues when you are home, you may have mold. Mycotoxins in mold can cause allergic reactions and respiratory issues for people who are sensitive to it.
- Visual: Although you cannot see inside of your ductwork, it does have vents. If you have A LOT of mold, it will eventually be visible around the edges of the vents.
There are household remedies and homemade cleaners that you can make to combat mold, but they are ineffective if not mixed and applied properly. This can allow mold to continue growing after you think the problem is resolved. It is also why professional mold removal is recommended when dealing with HVAC mold. Not only will professionals test to find out what type of mold problem you have, but they will remove it thoroughly and safely.
HVAC systems don’t actually cause mold. Mold is everywhere! It comes in from the outside on your shoes and clothing, and it is very difficult to keep a mold-free environment. However, mold isn’t a problem until it is allowed to grow, and HVAC systems provide the perfect environment for mold growth.