Mold & Allergens Can Hide in Your Ductwork
Ducts are of sight in most homes but don’t forget about them. They’re vital to your family’s health and the quality of your indoor air.
Ducts are the lungs of your heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, breathing air in and out of your home –- with the potential to infect your family with mold, allergens and other allergy-inducing pests and problems.
Most people don’t realize their home’s indoor air can be two to five times as dirty as the outdoor air in Alabama.
High humidity also is a big factor. When humidity rises, so does the likelihood of mold, mildew and moisture in the system.
So it’s worth your while to pay attention to potential problem areas, which are most common in children’s rooms, laundry rooms, bathrooms and anyplace else where dirt, germs, dampness and humidity congregate.
How To Cure or Prevent Problems
Here are some smart steps to take to minimize the chances of triggering allergies, asthma, runny or itchy noses and sneezing:
- Clean carpets regularly to get rid of dirt, debris and particles.
- Replace HVAC air filters regularly to maximize their ability to capture mites, particles, smoke and other debris in their air.
- Check the ductwork for excessive moisture that breeds fungi, molds and other unhealthy activity. Mold spreads quickly, so you can’t dawdle.
- Consider an anti-microbial coating that will deter mold and bacteria from the HVAC system.
Call Freedom Heating and Cooling (205-444-4444) and we will be glad to eradicate the mold and get your ductwork as clean as a home’s lungs can be. Freedom has the specialized equipment and expertise to do the job efficiently and thoroughly. We also can check the ducts for perforations and installation flaws.
Looking For Mold
Look at the drip pans and vents of your HVAC system. If you see mold in the vents or pans, it’s probably in the ductwork. You also can conduct a nose test and stand near the vents and see if you smell mold. (Mold produces gasses; some are odorless but others smell musty.)
In other cases, you won’t see any signs of mold because it is tucked away deep in the ductwork, where unwanted moisture encourages its growth. That’s why a trained professional should periodically inspect the ductwork, especially if you or your family members have runny noses, itchy, watery eyes and other symptoms.
Cleaning Must Be Thorough
Spores, mold and mildew will grow back if the cleaning isn’t complete. It requires a killing solution and intense cleaning of coils, blowers and hard-to-reach components that may have been contaminated.
It’s also a good idea to replace any vents that may have been in contact with spores, which too often try to return.
Ultraviolet lights are a proven asset for fighting fungal contamination in air-handlers, fiberglass insulation and floors. That’s why they’re so common in hospitals and other health-care facilities.
Germicidal ultraviolet lights are available for residential units as well; they can significantly reduce bacteria and improve the air quality in your home. They usually must be replaced once a year, something that can be done as part of your routine maintenance by Freedom Heating and Cooling.