How to fix Mould in air conditioner

It's universally known that mould is a health hazard. So, the idea of having mould constantly circulated around a room you live or sleep in is far from desirable. Unfortunately, it's all too common when an air conditioner isn't looked after - or serviced - properly or regularly.

An air conditioner that isn't maintained adequately, may push mould spores into a room, exposing you and your loved ones to them. Once these mould spores are circulating around a room, it's very likely that you will breathe them in.

For most people, this scenario sounds horrifying. Breathing in mould can have devastating health effects and cause a number of health problems. To ensure that your air conditioner is mould-free and clean, we've broken down how mould accumulates in an air conditioner, and how to avoid it.

Why mould is dangerous

There is a number of ways that mould can be dangerous to one's health. The most common is the irritation caused by mould. Mould can cause coughing, wheezing, a sore throat and eye irritation. This can be particularly bad for people who have mould allergies or are immunocompromised, these spores can cause severe infections and life-threatening diseases.

The tiny particles - known as mould spores - can infiltrate into someone's lungs and cause very serious conditions. Some conditions that can be caused by mould spores include coughing, sneezing, sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma attacks, and other respiratory problems.

Furthermore, a type of mould that's commonly known as 'black mould' (its scientific name is stachybotrys chartarum) is especially dangerous. This type of mould is very irritating to the human lungs and respiratory system. Breathing in black mould can increase the risk of asthma, allergies and even depression.

Signs of mould spores in your air conditioner

It's not always blindingly obvious if there's mould in your air conditioner, but the following symptoms may signal that your air conditioner is mouldy.

A musty smell

If you have noticed a musty smell coming from your air conditioner when you switch it on then this may suggest that your system is mouldy. The smell of mould is very distinguished, if you're not familiar with exactly how it smells, it's commonly described as an "earthy" smell.

Visible mould on the fan wheel or grilles

You can try and inspect your air conditioner for signs of mould by taking a close look at the fan wheel on a wall mount split (gently prise open the flap on the front and shine a torch in) or on a ducted system check the supply air grilles. If you can detect tiny black spots around, then there's a good chance your system is mouldy.

Allergic reactions

If you find yourself sneezing or coughing when you fire up your air conditioner, or you commonly wake up with an irritated throat after sleeping a night with the AC blasting, it's a symptom that you shouldn't ignore. This irritation could be caused by mould spores that have entered your respiratory system.

How to prevent mould in your air conditioner

Regularly clean air filters. Filters collect dust and debris and stop them from circulating around a room. However, when a filter is full it can block airflow, leading to pools of water. These pools of water can breed mould.

If you've ever had mould in your air-con before, you should be especially careful about ensuring that it doesn't come back. Even if mould was previously removed, microscopic spores may remain deep in the air conditioner, and can slowly reproduce.

How a technician can help

As we mentioned earlier, mould spores are microscopic and their tiny size means that it's very common to miss a few spores when removing mould from an air conditioning system. If any spores are left, they can breed and multiply, meaning that the mould will gradually come back again.

Air conditioning technicians are very experienced in removing mould and will ensure that the mould is 100% removed.

The amount of time that it will take a technician to fully remove mould from an AC system will depend on the type of system that is installed. The process is usually quick, but if there is extensive mould throughout an entire house, it can take days to fully remove it.


How often should I have my air conditioning unit serviced in order to avoid mould?

It's a good idea to have your air conditioner serviced at least annually. At each service, a technician can keep an eye out for early signs of mould. When mould is spotted early, it is much easier and cheaper to treat.

When we carry out each service we determine whether a higher frequency of servicing is needed. Here are some of the circumstances which could dictate higher frequency of servicing: high usage - as in a commercial setting, a dusty environment - such as near a busy road or a construction site

Not only will servicing help you avoid the accumulation of mould, but it will also keep your air conditioner in good shape. A regular service will ensure that your air conditioner is running well, and will help avoid breakdowns in the long run. Regular air conditioning servicing is proven to prolong the life of your air conditioner unit.

I've noticed black marks around my air conditioner grilles, is this definitely mould?

The answer is more than likely yes. If these marks are dirt, they'll disappear periodically, however, if they are mould they will be a dark, spotty stain around the grille.
Do I need to replace my entire unit if I find mould in the air conditioner?

Not necessarily, many units can be successfully cleaned and an experienced technician can ensure that every particle is killed and removed.

Our technicians can do a home visit to determine your particular problem. From here, they can supply quotes about the cost of removing the mould.

Time to call the experts?

If you are still having issues - it's time to call in the experts. Our Brisbane-based air conditioning repairs team are on hand to give you the assistance you need. Call us on 07 3283 5566 or fill out a quick quote to get your air con back up and running!

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