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Why Is There Black Mold in Air Conditioner? (Explained)

Stachybotrys chartarum or black mold are not the common molds. They are known as fatal as they cause various hypersensitive issues reducing the immune system. Moreover, they spread rapidly. It’s really a concerning matter if you find black mold in the house.

Reasons of black mold in the air conditioner:

The carbon particles found inside the air conditioner, the damp window, and filter attract black mold to build up inside it. The humid air and the temperature inside it is also favorable to them. Moreover, if the vents, air, and gaskets remain unclean for long there is a high risk of building mold.

Molds are hardy organisms that will find a way into places that offer them a cozy atmosphere. In an air conditioner, heated air enters the machine and departs to produce cool air while damp air is continuously circulated. As a result, the filter, ac window, and gasket are always damp. 

Because of the moisture they hold, these areas are perfect for the growth of mold. In addition to the dust that was left behind, incorrect conditioner cleaning may have allowed mold to establish a home there. 

Since uncleaned carbon in the dust supplies nutrition for their survival, the carbon particles found inside the air conditioner are a source for the molds. An air conditioner becoming molded and continuing to live there depends on all of these elements. 

Besides, since the air conditioner is always in contact with the outside environment, mold can easily enter through this. Sometimes, airborne spores from the outside feel their way inside through the humidity and land on the air conditioner. 

Later, in a suitable environment, these spores develop into the corresponding types of mold.

A suitable environment inside: 

Mold growth is better at AC temperatures because molds require a specific temperature to survive. 

When they find themselves inside an air conditioner, which constantly circulates humid air by sucking in hot air, they are able to obtain the appropriate humidity as there are always temperature fluctuations in the air that they may rely on for their growth. 

Therefore, there is a good risk that the air conditioner’s condenser or gasket will mold. 

AC window that isn’t clean: 

Molds typically flourish in places where there is a lot of dust or dirty materials. They live there and obtain the essentials they need to survive and make a home there. 

As there is a constant buildup of gasses in the air conditioner, additional elements such as nitrogen and carbon-based particles are also necessary for their survival. This gives them a simple way to obtain food. 

Lack of sunlight: 

Darkness is one of the favorable places for mold to grow. So, they search these kinds of places where they don’t get to  reach the sunlight and can build up well. The reason is, sunlight is actually fatal to them. 

The direct sunlight emits a kind of photon that is harmful to them. As the room that has the air conditioner typically gets less sunlight, molds find it optimistic and start to build up. 

Signs of black mold in the air conditioner:

Black molds can show some clear signs that they are present in the house; they are: 

A damp smell:  

The dump, stale, rotten kind of smell all over the room is initially the first sign of the black molds. The reason is the black molds or any other molds produce distinct odor as their byproduct. 

However, the smell is more acute than any other mold if it is the dangerous black mold. In fact, when the air conditioner is turned on, you’ll experience a stronger smell than when the air conditioner is off. 

Visible black spots around the air vents or wall: 

It’s a clear sign of black molds growing inside the air conditioner if you notice visible black spots around the air vents. The spots will spread day by day and cover a large area which indicates black molds are spreading in your house. 

The spots normally have a wet and slimy texture and it will be harmful to touch the spots with bare hands. 

Allergies and headache: 

As the spores are light they can be found in air and can come into contact with the body. The spores can make you face allergies, headaches or nausea. 

Is black mold in the air conditioner dangerous?

It’s a matter of great concern if the air conditioner is infected by black mold. It’s typically the Stachybotrys chartarum which is referred as black mold because of its black spots and dangerous effects. 

It is actually not like other household molds, rather it’s a more harmful one among others. They are normally attracted to wet and damp areas and the places that are dirty. If they once started to grow, they can spread all over the house and can cause various hazardous diseases. 

Though black mold doesn’t cause any life threatening diseases, it can harm you a lot. 

The molds spread and build up by their spores. These spores are very light in weight and can be spread by air. So, the mold infected area has thousands of spores. If these spores come into contact with the body, one can face severe allergies, have red spots and a burning sensation. 

In fact, the person can face persistent headaches and nausea. Children and elderly people can mourn greatly. Respiratory problems, asthma are common among them because of this mold. 

How to properly clean it?

Molds can grow there until the gasket or filters are cleansed since the environment within a dirty air conditioner filter or window is perfect for them. 

Molds are drawn to and persist in unclean materials that are sometimes accumulated in blocked filters because they adore this type of material. There may be various explanations, but they all primarily revolve around this reason of the ac getting molded. 

Additionally, it can be dangerous for health. So, you need to take steps to clean them well and to get rid of the mold permanently. 

To clean the mold, you have to put gloves, high-efficiency pharmaceutical masks, and glasses otherwise it may highly affect your skin, respiratory system and eyes. Also, it is better to remove the vent cover to clean it well. 

Now follow the given techniques to easily ward off this dangerous mold:

Laundry detergent:

You can easily clean the molds by using the usual laundry detergent. It can penetrate well in the moldy areas and ward off all the mold spores. However, you need to give it some time, almost 15-20 minutes and then rinse it well using a brush. 

Phenol solution:

To clean the filter, manually unlock the upper filter portion of the air conditioner. Grab a clean cloth and disinfect it by dipping it in a phenol solution, hot water, bleach, or other cleaning agent. 

Apply the solution frequently by spritzing it on with a spray bottle, or simply wipe off all of the corners with a cloth. Phenol works great as an insecticide and helps to make the filter mold-free. 

White vinegar solution:

White vinegar works efficiently to clean the mold and absorb the musty, rotten kind of smell. With white vinegar you can add detergent in 1:1 ratio or bleach in 2:1 ratio. 

The solution will work as a great insecticide and reduce the mold strike to a great extent. 

Prevention and solution:

Molds can swiftly infiltrate and proliferate in an air-conditioned environment. Mold must be kept out of the air conditioner in your home if you want it to operate correctly every day. To prevent the hard mold from spreading, a number of steps must be taken. 

The most preferable preventive action is to raise standards of quality by cleaning. It’s also critical to look for damage inside the AC routine foundation.

 Additionally, the filter has a high chance of developing mold because it collects all the dust and air, so cleaning the filter’s dust is also important to keep it clean. 

Apply some strong bleaching solutions to a cotton cloth and rub it over the surfaces of the air conditioning areas on a regular basis. Additionally, utilizing certain disinfectant sprays will limit the development of mold.

Vent cleaning as a preventive foundation:

The most efficient approach to stopping the growth of mold within an air conditioner is to clean the air vent on a daily or weekly basis. To clean it, use a potent disinfectant. 

Spray it around the air vent, or rub the area with a soft cotton cloth.

Cleaning up the obstructed water inside the air conditioner:

Checking for leaks in the condenser or filter on the inside of the air conditioner is necessary to make it mold-free. 

For the air conditioner to perform well, try to keep it clean on a weekly basis and, if necessary, get it inspected every two or three months. Try washing the blocked filter with hot water; if necessary, add detergent for further cleaning power.

Change the air conditioner’s filter:

The filter of the air conditioner should be replaced with a fresh one after frequent usage since it removes all the dust and is most likely to encourage the formation of mold. 

If replacement is not an option, keeping it clean should be an attempt. As a preventative measure, look for any perforations in the air conditioner’s filter that might be a source of mold. 

Ensure proper air:

To get rid of mold, proper air circulation is a must. It ensures drying the place well and thus mold doesn’t attract the place. Keep the windows open so that the air can flow all over the room well and make sure the sunlight is reaching the home. 

In fact, to eradicate the musty, rotten smell from the house, sun exposure and air flow helps really well. 

Final thoughts

The dirty and damp ac filter and gasket are always mold’s favorite place to grow. Also, the temperature is humid and they find it optimistic. However, it’s really concerning if mold starts to grow as it can cause various hazardous diseases. So, preventing steps has to be taken to get rid of them.