Mold in your air ducts can be dangerous. The air that runs through your ducts circulates throughout your entire home, so if you have mold in your ducts, you are breathing in mold particles. If mold has established a colony inside your ducts, it is essential to remove it as quickly as possible.
Some signs that you have mold in your air ducts include: you notice a musty smell throughout your entire home, you get itchy eyes and throat when the AC is switched on, you or other family members are experiencing allergies or headaches indoors.
The best way to figure out if you have mold or not is to look at your intake air vents and air ducts to see if there is mold.
Why you should Consider Removing Mold from your HVAC System and Air Ducts
It is necessary to remove mold from your HVAC system and air ducts because it could cause health problems for you and your family. Removing all mold from your air ducts will improve air quality inside your home and result in fewer adverse reactions.
Mold in your air ducts is worse than having mold in a spot inside your home. This is because you are more likely to breathe it in. Air gets pushed through your ducts, then around your home into each room. You do not want to breathe in mold.
Breathing in mold can cause allergies and asthma attacks. Mold in your air ducts could also cause rashes.
Mold causes negative effects not only on our health but on our pets’ health too.
What Causes Mold in Air Ducts?
Ducts are prone to mold buildup because they are warm and have a high water vapor content. When cold air pushes through your ducts, water droplets will collect.
This is the ideal environment for mold. Your ducts also contain dead skin cells, animal dander, and pollen, providing food for the mold.
More simply put, the humidity and water accumulation in your ducts provides the ideal environment for mold.
Types of Mold in Air Ducts
If you suspect you have mold in your air ducts, you may be wondering what kind it is. Multiple types of mold can be found in air ducts.
- Trichoderma is a type of mold that grows in moist spaces. It is commonly found in air vents and can multiply rapidly. Trichoderma is one of the most common molds found in air vents.
- Fusarium is a mold that grows on water-damaged walls and other surfaces. It can also be found in water-damaged air ducts. Chaetomium is another form of mold that is most likely found on walls but can also grow in air ducts.
- Aspergillus is a mold that has a variety of forms. It can be green, yellow, or white.
- Stachybotrys is a blackish-colored mold that can be found in households. Its black color makes it easy to spot. Stachybotrys is one of the worst molds to find in your ducts because it is toxic and spreads rapidly.
- Mucor is grey and is commonly found in air vents. Mucor mold is not likely to be airborne, but it will still cause allergic reactions.
- Acremonium is white and powdery and grows in damp places such as air ducts. Even though it grows slowly, it is still dangerous. Acremonium can be toxic to your health.
Mold in Air Ducts Health Problems
Mold in your air ducts can cause a variety of health problems. Since the mold is in your vents, it is being blown around your home, causing you to breathe it in. Mold is much more toxic in your vents than anywhere else in your home.
Some health problems include non-severe issues like headaches, itchy eyes, and dry throat. Mold in your air ducts typically causes only mild allergic reactions, such as sneezing. However, just because these health problems are not that bad doesn’t mean you should ignore the mold.
Mold can also cause more severe health problems. These include respiratory issues such as coughing and shortness of breath. Poor air quality also spreads bacteria, meaning you are more at risk for infections.
Existing health problems can also be made worse by the presence of mold in your air ducts. If you have an autoimmune disorder, inhaling mold particles can make your symptoms worse.
To avoid unnecessary health problems, it is important to keep the air you breathe clean and free of toxins. Remove mold, whether it is in your vents or not, as soon as possible.
Mold in Air Ducts Symptoms
If you are experiencing allergies, but you do not have allergies usually, or it is the wrong season, you may suspect it is caused by mold in your air ducts.
Mold in air ducts causes allergic reactions in most people. This includes things like sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, and itchy eyes.
One way to figure out if your allergies are caused by mold is to see if your allergies go away after you spend time outside, or in more severe cases, spend a few days away from home. It is common to have mold in your air ducts to have headaches indoors that go away when you go outdoors.
If you have mold in your air ducts, mold particles will circulate throughout your home. Mold particles in the air are dangerous to breathe in. That’s why coughing and lung irritation are common symptoms of mold in air vents. Mold can also trigger asthma attacks.
How Much does it Cost to Remove Mold from Air Ducts?
The cost of removing mold from air ducts depends on the type of mold and how much mold. The average cost of mold removal is between $30 and $40 per square foot.
Get a few estimates before you decide which professional to go with. You could find a mold removal service for as cheap as $10 per square foot.
If your mold problem has spread to an out-of-control amount, the costs can add up quickly and can even get into the thousands.
It would help if you still got rid of mold as soon as possible. You don’t want it to spread, costing you more money. The uncontrolled spread of mold could also damage your air ducts, costing you even more money.
If you do decide to hire a professional, get a few estimates before you choose one. Also, get a contract written up that states the total cost before removing the mold to make sure the project doesn’t cost more than you can afford.
Do Homeowners Insurance Cover Mold in Ductwork?
Whether or not homeowners insurance covers mold in ductwork depends on your insurance policy and what caused the mold. If mold is growing in your air ducts because you’re not taking action to remove it, your insurance policy most likely would not cover the mold removal.
Most homeowners insurance will cover mold damage caused by an outside force, such as a pipe bursting. However, if there was no outside force that caused the mold, your insurance policy will probably not cover it. An outside force does not include a water leak that caused mold to grow.
Your insurance policy may cover only some of the costs to repair the mold damage in some instances. Review your insurance policy to see if your insurance will cover mold in your air vents.
How to Remove Mold from Air Ducts
If your mold problem isn’t severe enough to hire a professional, you can deal with the problem on your own. A severe mold problem means the mold covers more than ten square feet.
The first step to removing mold from your air ducts is purchasing or making your cleaning solution. The cleaning solution you choose is vital in effectively getting rid of all traces of mold in your ducts. The cleaning solution that will work best depends on the type of material your ducts are made of.
If you prefer to make your cleaning solution, you can mix household products such as laundry detergent and baking soda. You could also use diluted bleach to get rid of the mold.
If you do not want to make your cleaning solution, you can purchase a commercial mold removal cleaning solution.
After you decide which cleaning solution you will use, you need to get a mold growth inhibitor. You will also need proper gloves, a mask, and safety goggles.
Turn off your heating/cooling before you begin. After you are geared up, and your skin is covered completely, you can start scrubbing the mold with a light brush and your cleaning solution. Make sure you get all traces of the mold. If even a tiny bit is left, it can spread, and you are back to square one.
Once you have scrubbed away all visible traces of mold, use the mold growth inhibitor to prevent it from coming back. This is a necessary step if you don’t want to start the process over a couple of weeks.
How to Prevent Mold Problems in your HVAC System and Air Ducts
If your mold problems keep coming back, it is time for stronger methods. One simple thing you can do is replace your HVAC filters. You can also insulate your air ducts to reduce condensation. Make sure drip pans are dry and do not hold water.
If the above methods did not help, you should check for leaks and seal them. It is important to keep your air ducts dry. Sealing leaks can help keep your ducts dry. Always use a fan to dry areas that got wet while you were cleaning the mold.
Another way to keep your ducts dry and prevent mold is to use a dehumidifier near moldy areas. This can help prevent water buildup and condensation in your ducts. Try to keep low humidity in your home if you are worried about mold in other places.
The last thing you can do to prevent mold problems in your HVAC system and air ducts is to check your ducts frequently. Mold is known to be very persistent. You must keep it under control as early as possible to prevent it from spreading.
Keeping the air inside your home clean is just as important as keeping everything else clean. The air you breathe every day should be free of harmful particles, especially mold.
Ignoring a mold problem will only make things worse. The mold will spread to an unmanageable amount, and you will no longer be able to solve the problem yourself. If you suspect mold in your air ducts, tackle the problem right away.
Even if you think you have gotten rid of the mold, it is still a good idea to check your ducts frequently. One small spot of mold that did not get scrubbed away can spread throughout your ducts, and you will have to clean your ducts all over again. You can also use a mold growth inhibitor to prevent mold growth.
Mold in your air ducts can cause health problems. Typically these health problems are non-severe issues like headaches, itchy eyes, and dry throat. However, if you have a preexisting condition such as asthma or an autoimmune disorder, mold can cause much more severe health problems.
If mold started growing in your ducts because of a leak or because you didn’t remove it when you first noticed it, insurance will determine this as negligence and most likely will not cover mold removal or mold damage repair.
There are plenty of ways to prevent mold in your air ducts. Keep your air ducts as dry as possible by drying the area after you clean it. Also, use a mold growth inhibitor to prevent mold growth. You can also keep a dehumidifier in places that mold grows.
It is crucial to remove mold as soon as you notice it and ensure every trace of it is gone. Clean air that is free of mold and other contaminants will keep you and your family healthy.