So you’ve found mold in your HVAC… but now you’re not quite sure how to clean it properly. Know that removing mold from the system is actually a bit harder work than it is to prevent it in the first place, so if the mold has come this far, prepare to get dirty.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, you have to check your system regularly but if you find you’re still getting complaints about it, you need to start cleaning it up.
To do so you need to first ensure you’ve turned the system off and for safety’s sake, everyone who is working on the clean-up needs to wear a respirator (at least an N-95 type that you can get for just a few dollars). Then follow these four steps.
- Spend time to inspect all aspects of the system, from the ventilation ducts and furnaces, to cooling units and pipes. You’re looking for any signs of water damage or mold itself. Mold usually starts to grow within around 48 hours so if it’s been wet for longer than that, you’re bound to see mold right away. If anything has become wet, or if you can see pools of water underneath any of the parts, replace it or take them out and dry them.
- If there is any old water there, make sure you use a wet vacuum to get it all out or use fans or dehumidifiers to dry it out. Removing it with your hand isn’t safe so be sure you do the right thing. If you are throwing out any moldy parts, double bag them so they mold stays put.
- If you find a leak, repair or replace the part. Clean the air filters and ventilation ducts, wipe down the pipes – and keep doing this regularly. You want to use an EPA registered disinfectant to do this, and if you also use a mold cleaner it will kill and remove any remaining mold or mildew.
- Finally you want to apply a mold and mildew preventative throughout the system. Find an EPA registered product – it will be specifically labeled telling you its safe to use in HVAC systems. That helps to limit the risk of anything going wrong. These products can help prevent mold for years, depending on which type you get.
If you’re not sure, get a professional in to help you! They might not be free, but they will guarantee the job is properly completed. If you do go on your own, following these simple steps will help you to clean up any mess and prevent further growth in future. It’s important for your business, employees and your loyal customers that you take care of them – and that starts with providing them a clean, fresh environment.
And remember, using preventative measures to ensure your system stays clean will save you a lot of time, money and effort in future.