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For mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in the world, please contact mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Montero by email phil@moldinspector.com or by phone
  480-217-7173 USA
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Be trained and certified as a Professional Industrial Hygienist and receive extensive on-the-job training during your industrial hygienist training from mold experts Phillip Fry and Divine Montero.

Also visit:  Heating-Cooling Mold    Air Conditioning Mold Test 
Air Conditioning Mold Website

Air Conditioning, Heating, and
HVAC Mold Problems

         Q. Jan. 24, 2012. Found you through several Google searches regarding mold.  We discovered that our HVAC system’s drain pipe had been buried resulting in water backing up into the unit and causing mold.  It is evident in the plenum that pushes the air out as well.  Having 4 companies come out and talk to us, I am not having a great time figuring out our best course of action.  Our biggest question is whether our unit should be replaced or not.  It is 8.5 yrs old and runs fine.   Any light you can shed would be appreciated.  Thank you.

        A. You should take several steps in this order to save your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system and to do mold cleaning and mold remediation in your entire house: (1) find the best air duct cleaning company and your area and have that company completely clean out the air ducts of your HVAC system to get rid of all accumulated mold spores, mold growth, and accumulated dirt and dust (great mold food in the wet, mold-conductive HVAC environment); (2) have the best air con service company in your area dismantle and completely clean and disinfect your heating/air con equipment with boric acid powder (buy 50 pounds of boric at http://www.moldmart.net) in warm water or any other good mold remover/killer recommended by the air con service company; (3) buy and use our low cost home model ozone blaster (http://www.envirodetectives.com/ozone_blasting.htm) to do at least a one hour to two hour ozone blasting treatment of your entire HVAC system and then of all rooms and areas of your house (which will be very mold cross-contaminated from the mold spore-laden air outflow from your moldy HVAC); (4) do fogging of your HVAC equipment and ducts with boric acid powder to leave a white powdering coating on the interior HVAC surfaces to kill any remaining mold spores and to prevent future mold growth---use the low cost Hurricane model fogging machine you can buy online athttp://www.dynafog.com; (5) scrub all walls, floors, and furnishings of your home with boric acid in warm water (24 to 36 ounces of Boric per gallon of hot water for a very strong cleaning mixture) to remove any deposited/landed mold spores. The boric fogging should be at least 36 ounces per gallon of hot water used in the fogging machine. Keep the ozone generator and fogging machine for future use or make money with them helping other mold victims in your area. Also, please visit the website Air Conditioning Mold. If you have mold remediation followup questions, I am here to serve you. Thanks, Phillip Fry, mold consultant, Certified Environmental Hygienist, Certified Mold Inspector, and Certified Mold Remediator

         Q. I had a reputable company come to do air duct cleaning and they said there was mold in the hvac - therefore risky to do the cleaning because mold spores may go to other parts of the house.  They use fosters 40-20 as remediation and will charge an extra $1100 to treat everything with it.  The mold they showed me was growing on the vent in our bedroom and I was advised to get a new vent- the other vents aren't so bad so they will be cleaned and treated.  What do you think of all this?  [December 18, 2004]
         A. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] discourages duct cleaning because its benefit is only short-term and it cannot reach all mold and other contaminants living in the ducts and the heating/cooling system. If your heating/cooling system is mold contaminated, so is the rest of your house because the heating/cooling system is very good at distributing airborne mold spores everywhere in your home by its very operation of moving air to every area of your house. In addition, the most likely reason that your heating/cooling system is mold contaminated is that it was cross contaminated from one or more mold problems in the rest of your home. The operation of the system sucked in airborne mold spores from mold contamination sites to mold cross-contaminate the heating/cooling equipment and ducts. Your first step is to have the home thoroughly inspected and tested with a Certified Mold Inspector. Then mold remediate your entire home and the heating/cooling system at the same time. Learn the 25 steps for safe and effective mold remediation.


         Q.
 I live in a town home in Woodbridge VA and just had my Fall Heater inspection.  We found major amounts of black mold inside the Carrier Air Handler that was not there in March.  The inspector first thought that maybe we could remediate it with ultraviolet light, but after considerable more checking said that it was too extensive and the unit would have to be replaced since it circulated air all through the house.  Is there no other means of killing mold inside a HVAC unit? [October 12, 2004]
        
A. When there has been mold cross contamination of your entire house by a moldy heating/cooling system you need to mold remediate your ENTIRE house. Your first step is mold testing by using our do it yourself mold test kits to mold test your entire home for mold infestation. Test the air of any attic/basement/crawl space, garage, each room, and the outward air flow from each heating/cooling duct register for the possible presence of elevated levels of airborne mold spores, in comparison to your outdoor mold control test. Use do-it-yourself mold test kits [available from your local large hardware, home improvement, or safety store]. You should also collect samples of any visible mold for mold lab analysis and mold lab mold species identification by using the Scotch tape lift sampling technique explained on the mold test kit instructions of Mold Mart. Collect a different mold sample from each different mold growth location.  Learn safe, effective mold remediation tips. You can use also a low-cost Mold Home Remedy Recipes available at Mold Mart . The only perfect solution is the total replacement of your heating/cooling ducts and equipment after effective mold remediation of the rest of your house. You should test your home for levels of mold infestation in the heating/cooling system both before and after fogging a home mold remedy into your heating/cooling system. Your family needs to be out of the home during the fogging and spraying process [until the mold fog and spray are totally dried].

      Q.
How do we know whether it is necessary to replace the ducts and the air handler because of mold contamination in my home? [Sept. 5, 2003]
      
A. You need to know how seriously and where your home [including all of your heating/cooling equipment and ducts] is mold contaminated. Your first step to solve the problem is to mold test the air of each room, basement, crawl space, attic, and the outward air flow from each heating/cooling duct register for the possible presence of elevated levels of airborne mold spores, in comparison to an outdoor mold control test. Elevated mold levels signify a possible serious mold infestation problem and health threat. To use our do it yourself mold test kits, please visit: Mold Mart  Hire a Certified Mold Inspector. To know how to do mold remediation safely and effectively, please visit: Mold Removal. Before mold cleaning or replacing the the heating/cooling equipment and ducts, they should be first sealed [using plastic to tightly cover all return air registers and supply registers to stop any further mold contamination of the heating/cooling system. Then you would first complete mold remediation of all other areas of your house, including your personal property and clothing which should be mold decontaminated outside of the house in the clean room you can build pursuant to the instructions in our book Mold Health Book [Mold Mart]. Then you would use containment walls to seal off the mold remediated areas from the work that needs to be done on heating/cooling equipment/ducts. If the ducts are made of sheet metal [with NO insulation INSIDE the ducts], the sheet metal interiors can be effectively cleaned and disinfected with mold fungicides. If the ducts contain insulation INSIDE or are something like corrugated pipes, throw those ducts away and replace with new ducts.



Photograph of mold growth in air conditioning system.
Mold growth in air conditioning register duct.


Mold growth on outside of air conditioning duct register.


Mold growth inside air conditioning duct behind the register
shown in the photograph above.

       Q. I am in the process of replacing old ceiling vents with new ones.  When I opened up one vent I found what I can only conclude is mold in the area above the vent and in the duct from the HVAC.  I have turned the heat up 87 to see what that will do. Before I put on the new vents, what should I do?  Should I try to remove the mold and if so, how?  Will the dry heat do the trick, or is there a solution that can be sprayed on the surfaces?  I am afraid that this is not the only duct to have this problem. [Nov. 1, 2004]
      
A. When you have mold growth in your heating/cooling system, you are going to have mold cross contamination in your entire home, courtesy of the air movements of the heating/cooling cycle. Your first step should be in depth do it yourself mold testing of your entire home as well as each heating/cooling duct [explained below]. As to mold remediation, you need to mold remediate mold problems in your home before you mold remediate the heating/cooling system [the duct registers of which should be sealed off with plastic sheeting on all ducts during mold remediation of the house]. Of course, the best but most costly approach is to replace your entire heating/cooling equipment and ducts with new ones after your home is entirely mold-safe due to mold testing and any needed mold remediation. Your second choice is to use the mold fogging machine to fog substantial amounts of both a fungicide [to kill current mold growth] and an antimicrobial coating [to protect the ducts and equipment against future mold growth]. You would fog the homemade fungicide and homemade antimicrobial coating into the return air duct while your entire system is running on fan ventilation. Learn how to make your own low-cost fungicide and low-cost antimicrobial coating by reading our Special Report Mold Killer Recipes & Instructions, available at our online mold products catalog. As to mold testing, Please use our do it yourself mold test kits to mold test your entire home for mold infestation both before and after mold remediation efforts. Most mold removal efforts fail because of the failure to follow the 25 steps required for safe and effective mold remediation. Test the air of any attic/basement/crawl space, garage, each room, and the outward air flow from each heating/cooling duct register for the possible presence of elevated levels of airborne mold spores, in comparison to your outdoor mold control test. You can buy mold test kits at the online mold products catalog. You should also collect samples of any visible mold for mold lab analysis and mold lab mold species identification by using the Scotch tape lift sampling technique explained on the mold test kit instructions published in the mold test kit section. Collect a different mold sample from each different mold growth location. You can use our very helpful self-analysis forms to compare indoor mold test VISUAL RESULTS with the outdoor mold control test visual results---or send your mold test samples for skilled mold lab analysis and mold species identification. Become your own effective mold expert to improve your personal home or apartment environmental safety and/or the environmental health of your investment properties by reading all three of our mold advice, email delivered books [Mold Health Guide, $49; Mold Legal Guide, $49; and Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, & Remediation, $49] for just $98 [you save $49], the price of only two of these valuable “how to” manuals when your purchase through our online mold products catalog.

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For mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in the world, please contact mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Montero by email phil@moldinspector.com or by phone
  480-217-7173 USA
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  480-217-7173 USA
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Copyright 2014 Environmental Hygienists Association   All Rights Reserved  Last Updated: Nov. 28, 2014
For mold inspection, mold remediation, and mold prevention for your real estate property anywhere in the world, please contact
mold consultants Phillip Fry and Divine Fry  email phil@moldinspector.com or call Phillip Toll-Free 1-866-300-1616 or cell phone 1-480-310-7970