February 1st, 2012
We recently serviced a clients HVAC system and when we checked the evaporator coil and this is what we saw. (see fig 1)
Now this customer has complained of feeling ill often, but did not consider the possibility the large amount of mold and mildew that had collected on the coil could be the culprit. Air crossing over a coil with this much mold and mildew will definitely carry mold and mold spores throughout your home via your air ducts and vents.
Can mold cause health problems? Absolutely.
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing (in the case above, it’s the evaporator coil). Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common and the reactions can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.
Keeping your HVAC system clean
Getting your HVAC system inspected twice a year is the ideal situation for most people. This will allow for two important things to occur:
1) This will make sure your system is running effectively and efficiently and that no issues are apparent thus ensuring your system will work when needed.
2) It will ensure your system is clean of debris and in this case, mold/mildew formations and thus avoiding any of the potential health risks associated with mold/mildew.
3) Installing an air purification system into your HVAC system (like the TopTech Air Knight) will greatly reduce, if not completely eliminate up to 99.99% of Mold, bacteria, odors, viruses, smoke and VOCs – leaving behind clean, fresh and odor free air. See the following video on the TopTech Air Knight system and how it works.