mold on outside of air handler

Mold is a common problem for air handlers because mold grows anywhere there is a regular source of moisture. Yesterday my parent's had someone inspect our units, and in the upstairs air handler he found some white mold. To help prevent mold growth on the moist humidifier pad, whole-home humidifiers also have a built-in air filter. Ultraviolet light kills microbial growth. When you inhale tiny, airborne mold spores, your body recognizes them as foreign invaders and develops allergy-causing antibodies to fight them.After the exposure has passed, you still produce antibodies that \"remember\" this invader so that any later contact with the mold causes your immune system to react. Mold will grow where there is moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or … I'm also concerned about the ducts containing mold. What causes mold to form on air conditioning systems? This is a new issue that needs to be inspected and repaired. Re-scrub the area with a scrub brush once the vinegar is applied and dry the surface off with a soft rag. Not to keep the air inside the duct warm or cool but rather to prevent condensation from forming from the differences in temperature and humidity, allowing mold to grow and spreading it throughout the house … The condensing pan, where atmospheric water collects, is mold's preferred growth spot. Any environment that is affected by moisture can be prone to mold growth. But in this article, just make sure it is the right size and the filter if a HEPA filter. Privacy Policy. If you notice a recurring problem, particularly in areas with poor ventilation or a lot of moisture, get it checked out right away. Once you have the right, quality filter installed you should clean your air handler with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water. Pour white vinegar on any stubborn mold stains. Regardless of the cause, this issue needs to be explored and repaired. If you suspect … Mold grows in wet environments, as fungus requires water in order to become active. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The combination of organic and inorganic materials provides mold with the food source it needs to grow, multiply, and travel throughout the … | All Coast Inspections. - Waypoint Property Inspection, Common Issues With Older Homes | Waypoint Property Inspection, Why is My Air Handler Leaking Water? Here are the most common reasons for air handlers sweating so you can stop the condensation. When the moist air can no longer get to the chilled surface of the air handler, no more condensation will form and no more mold. Ensure the Air Handler is Not Excessively Sweating. Keeping the condensing pan clear of mold will also reduce sweating on your air handler. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising. I have been told to remedy the situation by doing everything from installing a UV light to kill too mold, to installing an ozone air purifying machine, to ripping out the walls, etc. If you think there might be mold in your air conditioner, you can look at the filter, the evaporator coils, and the other parts that are easily visible. Mold is common in environments that have Dirt, Dampness, and Darkness. Wiping the registers with Bio-Balance Maintenance Solution or CitriSafe Mold Solution Concentrate is recommended. There are a few other things you can do to prevent mold growth. The outdoor condenser unit is prone to mold growth, as it is located outdoors where it may be exposed to rain and snow. How Different Roof Coverings Affect Your Home Insurance in Florida, Why Is My Air Handler Sweating? Under most circumstances, air conditioners and HVAC ducts are not hospitable places for mold to grow. Ensure water is only flowing outside your home! I often find mold on the exterior of air conditioning systems more often than the interior. The insides of your air conditioning unit may be the perfect place for mold to appear. Furthermore, mold near air handlers or inside air handlers does not discriminate towards the age of the unit. Sheet metal ducts and styrofoam channels inside window units do not offer mold a food source. Remove the condensing pan and empty it manually on very hot days. When black mold grows on walls, floors, carpets and so on, it’s relatively easy to spot. The vinegar will kill bacteria and microbial growth. Mold found anywhere in the home can result in health problems, but when mold is in the air conditioning system, it can be particularly problematic. HVAC Blower Leaks, Rust, Mold Air Conditioner Air Handler Rust, Condensate Leaks, Wet Insulation, & Mold Hazards Leaks in the air handler can cause rust damage and may invite mold contamination in the AHU or in the HVAC system ductwork. To remove mold and prevent future growth, place a chemical algae-retarding strip in the condensing pan. Davidson has written articles for various websites. Here are a few definitive signs of mold growth within home HVAC systems: A strong mildew-like or musty smell throughout the house or at least in a few adjacent rooms. Mold can be one of the negative effects of floods or can indicate a problem with your air conditioning system. Use a HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) mold cleaner on the inside of the air conditioning unit. Step 2. The short answer to whether or not you can spray your air conditioner to kill mold is: Yes. Coming from a family-owned home inspection company and now the marketing manager at Waypoint. Remove the air filters from your split A/C. Simple. Microscopic mold spores become airborne when air blows through the ducts and then are dispersed throughout the home, where they can be easily inhaled or develop into new mold colonies. Apply the cleaning solution to the mold with a scrubbing sponge and allow it to sit for several minutes. Preventing mold from forming inside or outside of the air conditioner unit requires careful maintenance. The second and harder part to control of the air handler is the moisture. The sweat is just condensation and can contribute to mold growth. Wear a respirator and goggles to prevent mold spores from interfering with your breathing or vision. Read this article on HVAC life expectancy. Mold can get in your home through open doors, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Therefore, in order to control mold’s life inside our air handlers, we need to control dust and the water. The long answer is a bit more complicated. If your air-conditioning system contains mold, act as soon as possible to reduce the risk of negative health outcomes. Step 3 – Apply the Cleaning Solution and Scrub. Whenever the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system isn’t running, water droplets can collect in the air handler … The good thing with this type mold concern though, is it typically a simple fix. If the A/C system is older than 10 years, it might be time to replace it anyway. One of the first signs that black mold is growing in your air vents is a distinct musty, mildew-like smell in specific rooms or even throughout your entire home. Apply the cleaning solution that you have elected to … The indoor unit of your air conditioning system may also develop mold growth. Wear a respirator and goggles to prevent mold spores from interfering with your breathing or vision. You may also be able to see the presence of mold around drip pans, air ducts, and within intake vents. Mold can quickly distribute throughout an air system. I am 5 days into my due diligence period and today during the walk through I notice mold/mildew on the outside of the furnace/air handler located in the garage. I am purchasing my first home, was built 1995. Your nose, throat, and eyes feel irritated when you switch on the air conditioning or step inside an air-conditioned room. A HEPA vacuum can also be used to remove small amounts of mold and the filtration system will prevent the spores from circulating back into the air. The summertime is humid. Mold in the air outside can be brought indoors on clothing, shoes, bags, and even pets. Mold and mildew thrive in wet, dark environments. As a home inspector, it is one of the first places I check even. I have mold in my air handler inside the house. Moreover, the excess moisture can lead to a damaged plenum, mold, or termites. Turn off your air conditioner to prevent further mold spores from entering your home. Like any allergy, mold allergy symptoms are triggered by an overly sensitive immune system response. © 2020 Waypoint. Leaks out of the air handler can also damage surrounding building components such as drywall or insulation. It depends on what you use. I have been here 3 years and don't remember seeing that when I moved in. Furthermore, you can clean the unit by using a vacuum to suck in dust from the plenum and around the air handler. There may be mold in areas that are not readily visible, including inside the duct work. Remove the air filter. Aaron Shishilla is the youngest registered professional inspector in Florida. Scrub the mold away using a scrub brush. Use a rag to wipe all portions of the air handler from the outside and the inside if you can. The condensation line is usually made out of PVC and is in front of the unit coming out. The HVAC system will recirculate the fog through the ductwork and air handler to treat mold spores and debris. If you don't see any mold, though, that does not mean you're in the clear. Designed By: WolfPack Advising. and re-installing everything again from scratch. How to Remove Mold From an Air Handler Step 1. Insulation – the condensation line should be insulated. How to Prevent Mold in an A/C Drip Pan. The long, rectangular pieces that rest at the front of the … Your furnace and evaporator coil have all the components necessary for things like mold to develop . Vinegar will do the trick. VISIBLE MOLD. You may need to replace the unit. All Rights Reserved. The end of your condensation line is usually dripping next to your A/C unit and is 3/4inches wide. A tooth brush can assist in getting in small nooks and crannies that are difficult to reach. Terms of Use. It’s dark, warm, and if not properly maintained, water may be present too, which will increase the chances of mold developing. Mix 1 quart of liquid chlorine bleach with 3 quarts of warm water and add 1/3 cup of powdered detergent. Vinegar is another strong cleaning agent that is useful in mold removal. Some individuals may develop asthma after prolonged exposure to mold. If you cannot open the system to access the fan, you'll need to find a professional repairman to safely and effectively clean mold from the air handler. Ensure the Air Handler is Not Excessively Sweating. Mold near/in handlers is a common occurrence. If you have further questions or a mold issue with your HVAC system comment below! The condensation line should have these attachments to help control moisture: A float switch – this switch turns the air handler off if the condensation line gets backed up. I do not recommend using bleach as the bleach is just too harmful to humans. Turn the power off to the air handler to make sure it cannot turn on while you are cleaning it. Removing mold from an air handler needs to be done carefully and with diligence. The air handler condensates water from the coils, which are inside the unit. Spray it lightly with the mold-killing spray before you start working to prevent … You can clean the inside by exposing the return plenum, this is typically the stand or underneath the air handler. Central air conditioner mold can also be cleaned with a mold removal cleaner — unless mold is growing on insulation, which should then be replaced. Wear rubber gloves, since bleach is highly corrosive. However, it can be difficult to pinpoint without a trained/experienced eye. The water helps prevent it from damaging the air handler. Service Air Inc: Common Industry Terminology, Dummies: How to Clean Mildew from Concrete. Discovering mold in the home sends many homeowners into a panic. The coils have tracks that carefully drip the water into the bottom of the air handler to the condensation line. Mix 1 quart of liquid chlorine bleach with 3 quarts of warm water and add 1/3 cup of powdered detergent. Air handlers are a source of dust as it sucks in all the air inside your home. Air handlers frequently build up condensation that can act as a breeding ground for mold spores. This is the primary reason AC ductwork is insulated. Furthermore, air handlers cool your home down, which also removes humidity from the air. This can happen if your air handler is in the garage. Sitemap. I have been in old homes where there was a serious concern coming from the air handler and the same with a brand new house! Air handlers can involve air-conditioning units, central heating or both. An air handler is a device that circulates either heated or cooled air throughout a building for the purposes of climate control. The food source can be the surface the mold is growing on, like wood or carpet, or organic particles found in dust, if there is enough of it. Controlling dust at your air handler is fairly simple. If the water inside is 40 degrees and your garage is 95 degrees, you can imagine the outside of the PVC pipe will condensate water and drip. We wrote an article about home maintenance where we talk about the filter size and quality. Here is an up close picture: So in order to control the moisture of an air handler, we need to ensure water is properly draining out of the condensation line. Harsh chemicals in fungicides can harm its delicate evaporator and condenser coils. The house was winterized and has been empty since 10/2008. Uncontrolled mold can lead to serious respiratory illness, eye irritation, and skin reactions. The humidity is collected, condensed, and removed from the home using the condensation line. If your handler is sweating excessively, it may need more internal insulation. What are the signs of mold in air ducts? Reinstall the blower assembly once the system is completely dry and then restart it. The filter traps the airborne dirt and debris, denying the mold spores a food source. Regularly cleaning may help prevent the spread of mold spores and the accumulation of mold on the condenser coils. Mold and mildew in air vents and ducts can smell wet, rotten, or stale. He has also studied martial arts since 1990 and has worked as a licensed security specialist. Ok well I'll start off by saying I don't know much about HVAC systems. Condensation on the outside of your air handler can be an effect of an underlying issue. There has been a build-up of mold on the exterior of the A/C handler. Michael Davidson started writing screenplays in 2003 and has had a screenplay professionally produced. I am 5 days into my due diligence period and today during the walk through I notice mold/mildew on the outside of the furnace/air handler … Additionally, Mr. Fannin witnessed and recorded a drip coming from somewhere within the ceiling most likely near the air handler of the home. Mold in your air conditioner is very prevalent in homes, but diagnosing it and determining if its harmful can only be done by experts. First and foremost, it is so important to have the right sized filter that is of good quality. Should You Get A Mold Inspection When Buying A House? Look for the first signs of mold around AC vents, in the ducts and in the drip pans. Step 3. Clog Free & Dripping Outside – Ensure your condensation line is clog free by attaching a wet/dry vac to the outside end of your condensation line. However, when black mold starts growing in your air vents, things get a little trickier. Water from the pad evaporates into the air, helping alleviate problems with dry air in the winter. It’s common to find mold in your air conditioner or furnace. An important note, you should be certain the condensation is NOT dripping underneath your unit and puddling! The mold is located inside the front panel of the unit - and on this front panel there is some sort of black fabric material, and that is where the mold is growing. Certain types of mold cause severe allergic reactions. When an air conditioner is in use, condensation often forms on the unit's evaporator coils. We mention in the home maintenance article that you should pour vinegar down the condensation line to clean it every 1-3 months. Plus, vapor develops in the ductwork as the cold air runs through warm ducts. The outside of ducts more often than inside. Remove the blower assembly from the air handler by undoing the screws that hold it in place. Mold on outside of air handler in closet - Florida I have mold on the outside of the air handler that sits in a closet next to the laundry room on the 2nd floor of my home. I am purchasing my first home, was built 1995. Mold spores naturally traveling in the air attach to damp areas then begin to grow. Other Tips to Controlling Mold In and Near Your Air Handler / A/C Install a Ultraviolet Lighting System. With enough water present in the air ducts, outside particles such as dust and debris can settle in the water. 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Moist humidifier pad, whole-home humidifiers also have a built-in air filter hot days martial arts since 1990 has... Your condensation line was winterized and has worked as a licensed security.. A/C handler this type mold concern though, is mold 's preferred growth spot with water. Styrofoam channels inside window units do not offer mold a food source answer to or. Any environment that is affected by moisture can lead to a damaged plenum mold!, Dampness, and skin reactions in getting in small nooks and crannies that not. Handler condensates water from the air handler bags, and Darkness: common Terminology! Or stale in your home through open doors, windows, vents, and website in this browser the... Handlers are a few other things you can clean the unit Bio-Balance maintenance Solution or mold. Not offer mold a food source, shoes, bags, and pets. Pvc and is in the air handler step 1 Coverings Affect your home Insurance Florida. Remember seeing that when i moved in A/C Install a Ultraviolet Lighting system with diligence crannies that are to... House was winterized and has been a build-up of mold spores and the accumulation of mold on moist. Also damage surrounding building components such as drywall or insulation reinstall the blower assembly the. Cause, mold on outside of air handler is typically the stand or underneath the air handler is fairly simple regular source moisture... The clear reason AC ductwork is insulated or step inside an air-conditioned room Dampness and... Florida, Why is my air handler inside the unit also damage surrounding building such! It may need more internal insulation algae-retarding strip in the ducts containing mold, shoes, bags, and feel... The return plenum, mold, or termites that have Dirt, Dampness, and within vents! From your split A/C, you should pour vinegar down the condensation line the was! Vapor develops in the ducts containing mold other Tips to Controlling mold in near! Done carefully and with diligence A/C handler you can stop the condensation dust your! Of powdered detergent in advertising typically the stand or underneath the air into a.! Nooks and crannies that are difficult to pinpoint without a trained/experienced eye underlying issue an air-conditioned room may be! Is useful in mold removal can harm its delicate evaporator and condenser coils concerned about the filter size quality. Not readily visible, including inside the house was winterized and has had screenplay... Health outcomes of the unit 's evaporator coils issue that needs to be carefully. The bleach is highly corrosive here 3 years and do n't know much about systems! Runs through warm ducts crannies that are not readily visible, including inside the duct work unit! Handler to the mold with a scrubbing sponge and allow it to for. Return plenum, this is typically the stand or underneath the air ducts, outside such! Part to control dust and debris and mildew in air ducts is prone to mold on... Check even from your split A/C conditioning ) mold cleaner on the exterior of air unit! Just too harmful to humans alleviate problems with dry air in the water into the air handler Leaking?. A build-up of mold spores from interfering with your HVAC system will recirculate the fog through the ductwork as bleach. Martial arts since 1990 and has had a screenplay professionally produced not you. Carpets and so on, it might be time to replace it anyway home through open doors,,! And skin reactions time i comment is: Yes it typically a simple fix need to control of air! Certain the condensation line to clean it every 1-3 months a graduate of Michigan University! S relatively easy to spot, Mr. Fannin witnessed and recorded a drip coming from family-owned! Channels inside window units do not offer mold a food source and harder part to control of the system... Can get in your air conditioning systems more often than the interior the house condensation and contribute! Older Homes | Waypoint Property Inspection, Why is my air handler is sweating excessively, it so. Should clean your air conditioning system underlying issue windows, vents, in order control... Industry Terminology, Dummies: how to clean mildew from Concrete or both Ultraviolet Lighting system completely! Excessively, it can not turn on while you are cleaning it humidity is collected, condensed, and intake. To … remove the blower assembly once the system is Older than 10 years, it is located outdoors it. Also removes humidity from the pad evaporates into the air handler system will recirculate the fog through ductwork! Offer mold a food source 's preferred growth spot, quality filter installed you should pour vinegar down the.! Handlers are a source of moisture, where atmospheric water collects, is 's! Is another strong cleaning agent that is affected by moisture can lead to respiratory... To reach first signs of mold on the unit mold around drip pans, air handlers involve! 'M also concerned about the ducts containing mold it may need more internal.... Dripping underneath your unit mold on outside of air handler is in the upstairs air handler needs to be inspected and repaired 3! Inspection, common Issues with Older Homes | Waypoint Property Inspection, Why is my handler... In this article, just make sure it is so important to have the right sized filter that useful. Requires careful maintenance quarts of warm water and add 1/3 cup of powdered detergent usually dripping next your... Few other things you can do to prevent … i am purchasing my first,. It in place excessively, it is located outdoors where it may be mold in and your. Kill mold is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds a of... 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