How to Prevent HVAC Mold at Home Before It Even Starts

In the warm, humid climate of South Florida, HVAC mold is a real threat, but it’s also easy to avoid with proper routine maintenance.

Good Maintenance Prevents HVAC Mold

The first step in prevention is keeping mold spores out of your system. An air filter with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) of 7 or higher traps most mold spores before they can enter your system. Remember to replace the filter on schedule—usually once every month to three months depending on the filter type. A clogged filter is not only overloaded with mold spores, but it can also collect moisture, encouraging mold instead of preventing it.

During the cooling season, inspect your AC condensate pan monthly. If there’s no standing water, wipe down the pan with a mild dish soap or a 10% bleach solution to prevent mold. If you find standing water, your drain line is clogged with algae. Remove the water with a sponge or a wet-dry vacuum. Next, remove the cap from the outdoor end of the drainpipe and clean it with a wet-dry vacuum or a wire brush.

Keep all your supply air grates and return grilles open and unblocked to allow good airflow through your system.

Upgrades Lower HVAC Mold Risk Even More

Insulating your ducts not only improves your system’s energy efficiency, it also discourages HVAC mold by reducing the amount of condensation in the ducts. Aim for an insulation level of at least R-6, which you can typically get from 2-inch-thick fiberglass duct wrap.

If you’ve had mold issues before, consider having a UV light installed in the air handler and/or ductwork. These lights kill mold spores the same way sunshine does.

Managing your indoor humidity levels prevents mold growth inside your HVAC system and elsewhere in your home. A dehumidifier can help control the humidity your AC can’t handle alone, keeping you more comfortable while reducing the risk of mold.

For more tips on preventing HVAC mold, contact us at NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating anywhere in Martin, Palm Beach, or Indian River County.

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