Where there is warmth and moisture, there is often mold. This means it is not uncommon for homeowners to encounter mold in their air conditioners and in the associated ductwork in the summer. Air conditioners generate condensation, so there's your moisture. Summer brings heat all on its own, so there's your warmth. But what should you do if you discover mold in your AC system? Take a look.
Clean the condensate drain pan and condensate drain line.
If you look to the side of the indoor component of your air conditioner — the evaporator coil — you should see a clear hose that leads either to a drain or to a pump. This is known as the condensate drain line. It is a common source of mold growth as it is always moist. The pan into which the condensation empties before flowing into this condensate drain tube is also a common site for mold growth. Cleaning both of these components is an important step in the mold fighting process.
You can clean these components on your own if you're patient and have the time! Mix a bleach water solution, and pour it into the condensate drain pan. (Use about 2 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of bleach.) This mixture will sit in the pan and kill mold, and it will then get pumped through the line and kill more mold. If the pump does not turn on or water does not flow through the line, you have a bigger issue — likely a clogged line or a broken pump — and should contact an HVAC contractor to take care of it.
Change your air filter.
If there has been mold in the system for a while, you can bet some of the spores have collected in the filter. Change the filter now, even if it's not due yet, so these spores don't keep getting recirculated. This is an important step to keep the mold from coming back.
Call an HVAC service if the mold persists.
If the mold comes back, or if you notice it in areas other than the condensate drain pan and line, then contact an HVAC service. There may be an internal leak in your AC unit, or mold may be growing in the ducts. Both of these issues need to be handled by the pros.
Don't let mold grow unchecked in your AC unit! Talk to an HVAC contractor if you have any additional questions or concerns regarding HVAC repair.