That musty smell in your AC? That just might be mold...
If you've noticed an odd, musty smell coming from your air conditioner, it's time to have it professionally cleaned. This odor is likely a sign that there is mold or mildew in your AC's vents, ducts, or other parts. Mold inside your air conditioner may have already been there for quite some time before you see or smell it, which means that you should consult a professional as soon as you notice it.
Why Is There a Musty Smell Coming From My Air Vents?
The inside of your air conditioner is dark, damp, and has the ideal temperature for mold growth, which makes it a common breeding ground for the fungus. Unfortunately, this also means that running your air conditioner spreads mold by releasing it into your home, which can lead to a variety of health concerns if it is not taken care of within a reasonable amount of time.
When condensation, rain water, and other types of dampness enter your HVAC system, they’re sometimes unable to dry properly, leading to moisture. This is why your AC is not an uncommon place for mold to form.
How Does Mold Get in My Air Conditioner?
Mold spores are constantly floating in the air around you, regardless of whether you are indoors or outdoors. These invisible spores are generally not problematic on their own, but they grow into mold once they find a damp place to land. Your air conditioner is a dark, enclosed space that gets wet from both rain water and its own condensation frequently, which means that it is often unable to fully dry, especially when it is used every day.
Dangers of Mold
Individual mold spores are always present in the air and are not typically harmful, but they can become problematic once they land in a moist area and grow into mold. Severe mold can damage your air conditioner or spread to other parts of your home, such as the wall or window next to it.
But mold is responsible for far more than technical issues. Many people are allergic to mold, especially those who have asthma, and even people who are not can experience a variety of respiratory problems. Mold may be the culprit if someone in your family experiences sudden and unusual respiratory issues.
What Does Mold in Air Vents Smell Like?
The strong, distinct musty smell is often the first sign of mold or mildew that has been growing inside your air conditioner's vents and ducts for quite some time. It is usually much more noticeable while you are actually running your air conditioner, but larger amounts of mold can also be smelled when the AC is not on.
Although the smell alone tends to be enough to convince owners that it's time to clean out the air conditioner, it's also important to remember that only dealing with the smell itself covers up the larger problem. The mold itself also needs to be completely removed, often by a professional, and any necessary repairs should be made to try to prevent the mold from coming back.
What Does Mold in Air Ducts Look Like?
Although there are several different types of mold, the mold you are likely to find in your air ducts is generally a black, green, or brown growth that covers parts of the inside of your air conditioner. This mold can sometimes look similar to dirt or dust, which means it's important to get an expert's opinion on what your next steps should be if you aren't sure.
Can I Spray Lysol in My Home AC Vents?
Lysol may be your favorite multipurpose cleaning solution, but it's not a good idea to use it inside your air conditioner. The ethanol alcohol in Lysol makes it extremely flammable, which means that spraying it near your air conditioner's motor can damage your AC or even cause an explosion or fire. Fortunately, there are several alternative options that do not contain ethanol alcohol or other flammable ingredients that work well for cleaning and deodorizing your home AC vents and ducts.
How Do I Get the Musty Smell Out of My Air Conditioner?
Although you can choose to clean out your air vents and air ducts yourself, it is usually better to have a professional handle to make sure it is done right the first time. Mold does not necessarily need to be present to have your air ducts, air vents, and other HVAC parts cleaned, as every homeowner should occasionally do so to improve the overall quality of the home's air, but it does make the process more challenging.
Air Duct and Vent Cleaning
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends cleaning your entire HVAC system if mold is discovered, rather than only a particular part that contains obvious visible mold, to ensure that the mold is completely gone. Cleaning only part of the system may result in the mold immediately growing back because the appliance's moving air naturally moves mold spores or other contaminants throughout the entire system.
At AdvantaClean, our Air Duct and Vent Cleaning services include your system's filters, coils, grills, blowers, and other parts. This process includes dislodging any dust, dirt, pet hair, mold, mildew, or other contaminants from the crevices of your air conditioner and vacuuming everything out.
Mold removal in your air conditioner or elsewhere in your home is often best left to professionals because it can be unsafe to touch or breathe in, as well as difficult to completely get rid of and keep from coming back. Removing mold from your air conditioner is included as part of our regular Air Duct and Vent Cleaning services when needed, and we also offer mold removal services and restoration for the rest of your home.
At AdvantaClean, we are always here to help you deal with mold in your air conditioner or anywhere else in your home. Contact us today to learn more about our Air Duct and Vent Cleaning services or to schedule a service appointment!