When was the last time you took a gander at your air ducts? Or, if you have a window unit, when was the last time you assess your air conditioning unit? If you don’t even remember the last time this important task was done, then it is time to clear the matter up by cleaning your vents or hiring a professional HVAC dealer for help. Don’t think it is necessary, then let’s see the health effects that can arise from mold in the system.
Here are five health risks when your air conditioner has mold:
1. Triggering Allergies
Are you sensitive to mold?
If you are unsure, then be sure to determine if your allergies are triggered whenever the window air conditioner or your central air system has been activated. Some people are more sensitive to mold than others, and it becomes quickly apparent when the A/C is on, which is frustrating because who can handle the summer heat?
When old forms in your units, then it will spread throughout your home every time it is turned on.
2. Releasing Toxic Compounds
While some will say that a small volume of mold in A/C is not that bad, some experts say that if you have a certain strain of mold then you are in danger. Why? Because specific types of mold will release mycotoxins that can eventually lead to bleeding in the lung and pneumonia. It turns out that children and seniors are more susceptible to these mycotoxins than your average adult.
3. Experiencing Cold Symptoms
No, don’t worry. You are not catching a cold. Do you know what it is? It is the mold in your unit. It’s true.
You might have noticed by now that whenever the mold is turned and emits indoor air pollutants that you can start feeling all the symptoms of a cold:
- Eye irritation
- Sore throat
- Nasal stuffiness
Should you feel this on a regular basis, then it might be time to give your HVAC or A/C unit a good clean.
4. Suffering from Skin Irritation
There is no doubt that you should be really concerned about mold affecting your internal organs. However, you should be just as worried if the mold is beginning to impact the largest organ in your body: your skin.
A common reaction that people report from coming into contact with mold is dermatitis, which is skin inflammation that comes in many forms.
Here is what you will experience:
- Reddened skin
- Itchy rash
- Swollen skin
- Blisters that will form a crust and flake off.
It isn’t fatal, but why should you have to live with that just to cool down?
5. Developing Asthma in Kids
New studies have found that there is a link between early mold exposure and the development of asthma in children who are more likely to be genetically susceptive to having asthma.
It is no picnic having asthma, especially when you’re a child, because it limits your life in numerous ways, from being unable to exercise to having a puffer at all times.
So, now that you are aware of the mold in air conditioner health risks, you need to know how to prevent it from happening.
Here are three preventive tips:
6. Keep Your Air Ducts Clean
Your air ducts will gather a lot of dirt, dust, and all other harmful effects from your environment. The simple solution is to keep your air ducts clean. This can be difficult, but it is certainly doable.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Clean supply and return air registers.
- Vacuum the ducts as much as possible – and go as deep as you can.
- Clean the grilles in your ceiling.
7. Change HVAC Filters
If you want to avoid mold in air conditioner health risks, there are two things you can do. First, replace your HVAC filters or have them cleaned. The former is a superior option to the ladder, but if you’re short on cash, then this is a reasonable solution, too.
8. Leave It On
If you do not have a mold problem yet, then there is one thing you can do: keep your air conditioner on because it will prevent mold from happening. It cannot kill mold, but this strategy will ensure that it does not form and produce a series of health problems. Just be sure that you leave your A/C on at a comfortable temperature so you don’t freeze and be forced to shut it off.
You must leave it on so you can stop mold in its tracks. Bonus tip: Hire an HVAC professional to ensure your system will last for years to come.
With the summer temperatures heating up each passing year, we need an air conditioner to survive the June-to-September months. This is especially true if you have young kids around, particularly babies. You may be apprehensive to do so if you know that mold is passing through your home. But you don’t need to worry if you get it removed either with these methods or by hiring a professional.
Don’t let the dog days of summer get you down. Keep cool and breathe fresh air.