At Angstrom Testing Services, we specialize in evaluating hygienic conditions inside HVAC Systems. We also specialize in performing full hygienic refurbishments of fan-coil-type forced air heating and cooling units, air handler units, and supply and return trunks/ducts that have become heavily impacted with dust/dirt and mold growth.
Mold in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems can cause significant mold odors and breathing problems throughout a home or office space.
Over time, elevated levels of dust and dirt impact and accumulate onto the fiberglass insulation lining the walls of the blower wheel and cooling coil compartments and onto the upstream and downstream sides of the coil inside the air handler. The fiberglass duct liner inside the initial run of the supply trunk is also highly susceptible to mold growth conditions. The impacted dust and dirt serve as ideal nutrients to support black and other molds in the presence of recurrent moisture, which typically exists inside the air handler and supply trunk.
Under the above conditions, mold spores and mold-related-odors are pushed through the supply ducts by the blowers when the air handler is on, and the spores and odors are distributed throughout the rooms of the house. The mold spores may cause allergic type symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, and sinusitus in sensitized individuals.
Hygienic Refurbishment of Air Handlers
In older air conditioning units, the fiberglass insulation maybe deteriorated. When this happens, there is the potential for glass fibers to become entrained into the the airflow and be distributed into the rooms of the house when the HVAC is on. Microscopic airborne glass fibers can be inhaled by the occupants and cause upper respiratory problems, and eye, nose, and throat irritation.
When visible mold or damaged fiberglass insulation is present inside air handlers or surface mold testing indicates that A/C ducts are colonized by mold growth, a full hygienic refurbishment of the air handler may be necessary. Flex ducts, which are virtually impossible to adequately clean, probably should be replaced.
A full hygienic refurbishment includes:
-Removing, cleaning, disinfecting, and re-installing the blower wheel assembly
-HEPA vacuuming and disinfecting both the upstream and downstream sides of the cooling/heating coil
-Removing and replacing moldy and/or deteriorated fiberglass insulation inside the blower wheel, cooling coil and air return/supply compartments
-Cleaning/disinfecting the condensate and overflow pans
Very few HVAC and mold remediation companies have the necessary skill set to perform this work, and they are mainly concerned with the functionality of the unit and not its hygienic condition.
Call Angstrom Testing Services 516-724-4574 to schedule an evaluation of hygienic conditions inside your HVAC system.
More About Mold In HVAC Systems
Visible mold on your drywall, carpet, or basement walls is trouble. But mold in HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems is a real danger to you, anyone living in your home, and even your pets (Yes, some pets are allergic to mold; they can have the same reactions to mold exposure as humans). If you have mold in your HVAC system, when your furnace or AC operates, the blower comes on and the airflow spreads mold spores throughout your entire home. Mold spores will contaminate every room and every space. The longer the system operates while contaminated, the worse your mold problem can become.
There are numerous health issues that are associated with mold exposure. Most of these issues are directly related to the respiratory system. They may include asthma attacks, coughing, runny nose, sneezing, and other allergic reactions. Still other issues may include eye irritation, a general sense of fatigue or lethargy, shortness of breath, and a sore throat. If any of your family members are feeling these types of symptoms, especially when they are in the home, you may have a mold problem that you’re not aware of.
Is Mold In Your HVAC System a Possibility? If you can detect a musty smell in one or more rooms in your home, but there are no visible signs of mold anywhere, you may have a mold problem. Do the smells seem to be worse when the furnace of air conditioning is running? If so, the problem could be in your HVAC system. Mold spores are easily aerosolized, or suspended, in the air where they can be breathed in by the home’s occupants. Mold spores are not visible to the naked eye (they average in size from 10 to 30 microns, that’s smaller than the width of a typical human hair) and the best way to determine whether there is a mold contamination problem is to have your home and HVAC system tested through air sampling. Air sampling involves capturing a known volume of air and measuring the number of contaminants that are in it. The result will be expressed as mold structures per cubic meter of air.
Common Causes of Mold in HVAC Systems Moisture condensation is the largest cause of mold in HVAC ducts. During warmer seasons, cooler air is being piped through vents and sometimes moisture will condensate along the sides of the ductwork. This warm, dark, dusty environment provides an excellent breeding ground for mold.
Another common cause is improper sizing of AC systems. Your system may be over-sized or under-sized and this allows for inefficient operation of the entire system, which may lead to condensation issues.
Yet another problem is caused by condensed moisture gathering in the HVAC system’s drain pan or condensation line. Sometimes a simple clog will enable this trapped moisture to become an issue.
EPA Recommendations and Warnings The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends hiring a professional HVAC cleaning professional if you suspect you may have a mold problem inside your HVAC system. The mold removal process is intensive and specific procedures need to be followed to ensure that safe, effective mold removal is accomplished. Also professional remediation companies have equipment, cameras, and training that the average homeowner doesn’t have.
Air Quality NYC, Air Quality Brooklyn, Air Quality Westchester
Performing mold in HVAC assessments in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Long Island, mold in HVAC assessments in New York City, Westchester, Queens, Manhattan, mold in HVAC assessments in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Eastern New Jersey, and mold in HVAC assessments in Southern Connecticut