If you live in a hot and humid climate, you would have often noticed a white or black powder-like substance growing inside wardrobes and cabinets. Similarly, if you don’t clean the refrigerator, you would encounter the same growth in and around surfaces where moisture gathers. This growth is mold and mildew. Both are things of grave concern as they can wreak havoc with your health and possessions. The need of the time is to ensure regular duct cleaning.
Knowing fully well that both mold and mildew are harmful, we decided to educate you about their presence in your residential and commercial building. One place that provides them the best breeding ground and yet we are entirely unaware of is the ductwork.
What Grows In The Ducts?
The biggest thing of concern that grows in the ducts is mold and mildew. Where mildew is not very dangerous, it can still spoil your belongings by leaving white and often challenging to clean patches. Often people get confused between the two terms and use them interchangeably. Let us take this opportunity to understand the difference between the two.
1. Mildew – Mildew is the gray, white, or yellow substance that grows on the surface in moist and warm areas. To the naked eye, it appears fluffy, and to touch, it is soft and powdery.
2. Mold – Mold is a green or black substance that grows under moist and wet surfaces. Texture-wise it appears fuzzy and slimy.
Of the two, mold is a more dangerous one. It is because the mold spores are extremely light in weight and can travel a great distance with circulating air. Hence, the chances are pretty high that it has already gained a foothold elsewhere in the building. Nonetheless, both have the capacity to disrupt your life to varying degrees.
Why Does Mold Grow In The Ducts?
In order to spread mold needs only two things:
The interior environment in the ductwork fulfills both these conditions. The cool air that travels through the ducts leaves behind moisture. In case your ducts have cracks and holes, the moisture content increases within. Poor insulation and mixing of untreated air provide the perfect warm environment for its proliferation. The build-ups inside the ducts further complicate the situation.
Signs Of Mold Infestation
One of the obvious signs of mold infestation is the black powder-like substance coming out of the vents. Nevertheless, the mold spills out of the ducts once it has spread its tentacles inside the ducts. You don’t have to necessarily wait for so long to identify the existence of mold. Here are a few other signs that you should be on the lookout for:
1. Wet Or Rotten Smell – Mold and mildew have a distinctive rotten smell. This smell is often the first sign of trouble. When the air passes through ducts, it picks up this repulsive smell and circulates it throughout the house. When you come in from outside, the difference in odor will be marked and easy to recognize. Though there could be other reasons for the rotten smell, you cannot rule out mold existence.
2. Wet Spots And Dampness – Wet spots and dampness mean moisture, and if it is summer, it will naturally be hot where the cold air cannot reach. Therefore, both conditions for the existence of mold and mildew are met. As we said, mold spores can travel great distances, so they can find their way inside the ducts even. If anywhere in the house you have seen wet spots or dampness on the floor or the walls, which is persistent, you should beware. Firstly, don’t let such issues slide. If, for some reason, they do, be ready for mold infestation.
3. Symptoms Of Ill Health When AC Runs – If the family members, including the pet, show symptoms of irritation when the AC runs, it can be an indication of mold in ducts. The signs of irritation include nausea, headache, difficulty in breathing, etc. Those times when the air conditioner is not working, or they are outside the home, these signs or symptoms vanish.
What To Do When You Suspect Mold Growth In Ducts
When you suspect mold growth, what is the next step? Well, the next step is to call in professional duct cleaners. Most people would not know how to look for duct cleaners. Good news is in store for you. Almost all HVAC cleaners, worth their weight in salt, offer duct cleaning services. Hence, contact your HVAC contractor; most probably, they too would provide the same. In case they don’t, they can always recommend you one.
When you suspect mold growth in your ductwork, duct cleaning becomes essential. It is the only way to get rid of the mold and all that dwells inside the ducts. The important thing is to contact the right set of people for the job. Your HVAC contractor can help with that.
Duct Cleaning Is A Job For Professionals
Air duct cleaning is a job that can be done only by professionals. They have huge truck-mounted, industrial-grade vacuum cleaners that are powerful and can reach deep within the ducts. The regular household vacuum cleaners lack this ability. Also, the ducts are fragile and need careful handling. The professional cleaners are well-versed in this respect also and will not cause any damage.
To Sum Up
If your ducts have not been cleaned in your recent memory, it requires duct cleaning. Not only do mold colonies find a conducive environment inside to perpetuate but also pests, critters, dust, dander, and other pathogens thrive inside. Duct cleaning is essential every couple of years to make your complete home a safe haven.
Residents of West Palm Beach, Florida, have nothing to worry about, for your friendly neighborhood HVAC contractor Aztil Air Conditioning does it all. In addition to HVAC installation, repairs, and maintenance, we also do air duct cleaning. If you were wondering whom to contact, you need not look any further. Our offices are open 24/7, so just pick up your phone at any time and give us a call at +1-888-729-8452 to book an appointment.