Mold in Window Air Conditioner? Avoiding Mold Growth and Cleaning Mold From AC

Mold in Window Air Conditioner

One casual afternoon, you’re lounging on your bed- blinds closed, AC on, because that is the ideal way to spend any day at home. You’re relaxed and refreshed and comfortable. The Sun can’t get to you- but you know what can? Black Mold. 

Where the sun rays can’t find their way in between the AC vents, mold can, and mold is dangerous. If you’re reading this article, you’ve possibly already noticed some signs of mold growing in your AC- or maybe you’re being cautious.

Either way, you can detect mold in your window AC through its smell, or you can simply see it visibly forming on the AC ducts and grills. 

Black Mold can also trigger allergies, and sometimes asthma attacks. The AC on your window spreads air throughout the room, so any air coming from it is possibly mold contaminated.

It’s safe to say that you need to be on guard the moment you see mold forming on your AC. In this guide, we discuss the formation of mold and its risks to health and AC functioning. Keep reading to also find out ways in which you can keep your AC unit mold-free.

How Does Mold Form On A Window AC?

To get rid of mold, you must first understand it. One of the main causes of mold multiplication is moisture. It’s what enables the mold to grow. The fact that your AC dehumidifies the air and collects moisture from it only makes the AC a much more suitable place for nurturing mold. 

This is why you’ll often find the substance splayed out over the vents and ducts. But first, let’s talk about mold spores. These are the origin of all kinds of mold. Mold spores by themselves are not considered threatening. In fact, they’re impossible to detect or prevent. 

Every time you open a window, a couple of mold spores rush and take refuge in your home, and you have no way of knowing. It’s the same with your AC, a bunch of mold spores gather to rest on your AC, and are further enabled by: moisture. 

As we discussed, your AC unit absorbs moisture from the air. The moisture grazes the mold spores as it’s drawn in, and mold spores thrive on moisture.

They reproduce every time they get wet, and soon enough they grow to be noticeable and big. Highly humid weather, or a leak, or the freezing of an evaporator coil might thus, also lead to mold formation.

Finally, a lack of regular maintenance encourages the mold to take over your Air Conditioner. Any kind of mold makes itself home when its place of residence is untouched for a long time. That is to say: Clean your AC, or the mold will pester up and become problematic. 

As a tip, you should generally turn off your AC as soon as you notice any sign of mold. As the AC spreads its mold-infested air, and could transfer mold spores to other parts of your home.

The Risks of Mold in your Window AC

A mold infestation can be incredibly risky in terms of health. This is amplified in your AC, which spreads the mold spores around generously for everyone in the room to have a taste. 

Molds can affect the nose, throat, and eyes, causing infections and irritations. Their consequences are generally negative, but even more pronounced for people with mold-specific allergies, breathing problems, etc. 

Additionally, since Air Conditioners circulate the mold around, this may carry on the mold to other places in your home. This makes it a bigger hassle to clean up. This is why it is more effective to deal with a mold problem as soon as it pops up in your AC. 

How To Clean Mold in your Window AC?

If the mold has already taken charge of your AC units, prevention might be too late. However, there’s still a chance that you can salvage your AC by cleaning it all up.

A mold clean-up is no easy process, it requires a lot of grit and determination to get through the stubborn and disgusting mold. In fact, if you’re just noticing the mold on your AC, it’s possible that there’s more on the interior parts, so be prepared for a long and hard cleaning session. 

Firstly, before you make any contact with the mold, make sure that you’re all geared up with a face mask with goggles, and latex, or any kind of nonporous gloves. It’s also advisable that you wear leather gloves as well in order to avoid any injury as you clean up the interiors. 

You can get rid of the mold with a cloth or a sponge, with normal cleaning liquid. However, antibacterial dish soap should be used for the filter. A nylon scrub brush is also a great tool to use around the fins. 

Steps to follow to clean mold in your window AC:

Step 1: Firstly, place your AC unit at a well-ventilated spot so that you don’t have to squeeze into any corners while cleaning. Usually, the outdoors is a good place to do this. 

Once you’ve moved the unit, you need to start picking it apart. Have a screwdriver nearby to remove the grill. 

Step 2: You’ll find the filter immediately beneath the grill. You can douse the filter with soapy water and let it cleanse for 15 minutes or longer. Once it’s done, you can use the nylon brush to scrub the filter and wash it off. Then, let it dry. 

Step 3: When you finish with the filter, it’s time to start cleaning the interior of the AC. If you have a Vaccum hose around, you can use it to remove dust and debris. 

When you have cleaned the interior, it’s time to focus on the fins. You can use a fin comb or a soft brush for this part.

Step 4: As soon as you’ve cleaned the fins, you can spray the soapy water, and let the solution sit again for about 15 minutes, before washing it all off gently with some water. Basically, if you find any mold, the first thing to do is to coat the mold with a soap water solution.

Preventing Mold In Window Air Conditioner

Prevention is better than cure- it’s how the saying goes. One of the best ways to prevent your AC unit from catching a case of mold is to maintain it well. Regular cleaning and dusting of the unit will keep the unit in good shape, and ensure that there is no opportunity for the mold to grow.

Dust and dirt are big enablers of mold. You can vacuum away the dust and dirt and pollen or wipe your AC down with a paper towel or a rag. Regular cleaning and dusting will ensure that mold doesn’t collect and infest in one place.

Clean your window AC unit during the off-season. This will prevent moisture and humidity from accumulating and enable mold growth.

You can also use Fan Mode to blow air into the AC and dry out any moisture particles.

You can also use UV Light to avoid mold growth. These are also considered to be very effective. Also, if you’re a busy person then you must use a good UV light.

It is a proven way to get rid of mold and other bacteria/viruses. Most hospitals, firms, clinics use UV light for preventing bacteria and viruses growth.

Getting rid of mold can be tricky, and complicated, but following these steps might help you restore your AC unit to its previously clean and pristine condition. 

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