How To Prevent Mold From Growing In Your Air Conditioner

Close up of exterior HVAC fan unit showing how to prevent mold

Summer is in full swing here in Georgia, and with summer highs comes sweltering humidity. Humidity promotes the growth of mold, and that mold can grow in unexpected places. Mold can grow anywhere, even your air conditioner!

It’s not intuitive, as the air conditioner is a cold place and mold prefers warm, wet places. But your air conditioner may very well have mold growing in it, and you might not even know it! How do you know if you have mold in your AC, and how do you prevent it from growing? Here are our tips.

How To Tell If Mold Is In Your Air Conditioner

Mold gets in your air conditioner usually during the winter and spring, when your AC unit isn’t used as much. It grows when the weather gets a little warmer: warm enough for mold growth, but not so warm that you want to use your AC.

You can tell that mold is in your air conditioner if you turn it on and you get a musty smell from your vents. This is the telltale sign. You could have mold growing in other places, too, but if it’s connected to cold air blowing through your vents, then you know the mold is growing in your AC unit.

If you have mold in your AC, you may be able to clean some of it out if it’s in the cabinet or the grille. But, mold in your air conditioner unit may require you to replace the unit. Saving on a new unit is not worth the potential health effects of mold. So how do you keep mold from growing in your air conditioner?

Tips To Prevent Mold From Growing In Your Air Conditioner

Replace your air filter regularly.

This one’s a given, but replacing your air filter at regular intervals will prevent mold from getting into your AC unit. Mold spores are literally everywhere: you can’t escape them. But, you can prevent them from growing in places you don’t want to. Air filters do a good job of cleaning the air that passes through your AC. Recently, there was an incident where someone didn't change their filter for 2 years! What will happen If you will do the same? Read our blog on What Happens When You Don’t Change The AC Filter.

Check the air intake vents for garbage, animal excrement, and standing water.

The places where air enters your HVAC system are not places you want mold to be. This is how mold goes into your air conditioner unit and starts growing. If you don’t know where your intake areas are, look outside the home for a vent with a screen on it. Remove any garbage, excrement, standing water, or any other organic material from the area around the intake vent.

Inspect your HVAC system for moisture.

Mold needs moisture to grow, and if there is any moisture present in your HVAC system, it may be causing mold growth that makes its way to your AC unit.

Check the furnace, the AC unit, and the ducts for any moisture that may be present. If there’s moisture, you may have an issue with your home’s humidity or a problem with your HVAC system. Get an HVAC professional to check it out for you.