How to Clean Black Mold Out of an Air Conditioner 

When you have an issue with your air conditioner, call TropiCool, Westerville, OH’s leading experts in HVAC repair and maintenance at (614) 412-0750.

If there are two words guaranteed to make any homeowner cringe, they are “black mold.” Most mold spores are toxic and can cause illness, but black mold, in particular, can be especially dangerous to people with respiratory illnesses. One spot where homeowners often find mold is in the cooling system, so the AC maintenance experts in Westerville are here to show you how to clean black mold out of an air conditioner and preserve your family’s health. 

Why Mold Grows in Air Conditioners 

Mold requires three things to grow: moisture, a food source, and warm temperatures. The typical air conditioning unit or window air conditioner offers all three. Mold spores feed on dust on the coils and other components, which tend to stay warm as they pull heat from your home, a process that creates condensation to give the fungus the moisture it needs to thrive. 

Not all air conditioners develop mold. Regular cleaning and maintenance can keep the spores at bay and prevent black mold from growing inside your equipment. 

Signs of Mold in the Air Conditioner 

If you have black mold in the air conditioner, you will probably know it before long, even before you see it. 

Some of the most common signs of black mold include:

  • A musty odor from the vents or the window air conditioner whenever it’s running 
  • An increase in respiratory symptoms like coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, or trouble breathing 
  • Black or green fuzzy patches on or inside the air conditioning unit or on the walls and windows surrounding it

As soon as you suspect a mold problem, take steps to get rid of it to avoid serious health complications.

How to Clean Black Mold Out of an Air Conditioner 

If you find mold in a central air conditioning unit, call a professional to remediate the problem. It’s not always easy to find mold inside the unit (for example, when it grows on the evaporator coils), but a pro can identify the issue and perform a professional cleaning. You’d be more likely to notice black mold around the unit or air ducts, which also require professional attention.

If you use a window unit, it’s easy to eliminate the problem when you know how to clean black mold out of an air conditioner. Follow these steps:

  1. Remove the vent cover and soak it in warm soapy water for about 5 minutes, then let it air dry. 
  2. Clean the filter.
  3. Clean dust inside the unit using compressed air and a microfiber cloth; eliminating dust takes away the mold spores’ food supply.
  4. Wash the blades and duct opening with warm water and mild detergent. Even if you can’t see the mold, microscopic spores may be present, so clean every surface. Allow them to dry.
  5. Mix one cup of bleach with a gallon of water, then apply the solution to the blades, duct opening, and vent. Allow these to dry completely.
  6. Replace the filter and vent cover

Remember to wear long sleeves and pants, protective eyewear, and a mask when cleaning mold to avoid breathing in the spores. Open the windows for an hour or two after finishing the job to increase ventilation.

Preventing Black Mold in Air Conditioners 

Once you deal with black mold in your air conditioner, you probably won’t want to ever do it again. To avoid recurring issues, take steps to keep mold from growing, like:

  • Changing the filter regularly (every one to three months) to prevent dust buildup on the coils
  • Scheduling regular professional maintenance and cleaning
  • Addressing leaks or other issues promptly to avoid excess moisture 
  • Keeping the area around the outdoor unit clear of debris that could encourage mold growth 
  • Using a dehumidifier to reduce indoor humidity, improve air quality, and stop mold in its tracks

Keep an eye on your air conditioner throughout the season, and take action at the first sign of mold. 

Get Fast Help When You Have Air Conditioner Trouble 

Whenever anything goes wrong with your air conditioner, you can trust that the reliable pros from Tropicool are standing by to provide fast, expert repairs. Whether the AC has stopped making cold air or you need advice on how to clean black mold out of an air conditioner (and keep it out), we’re ready to help.Call (614) 412-0750 when you need AC repairs or service in the Westerville, OH, area, and see how Tropicool will get you feeling cool and comfortable again in no time. 

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