Mold in the drip pan beneath your A/C air handler has its origins elsewhere. Millions of mold spores from outdoors enter the home through exterior doors and air leaks and infiltrate your air conditioning system.
The moisture necessary for mold growth comes from gallons of condensate extracted from the air by the evaporator coil. This water runs through the drip pan and down drain lines into your home’s sewer system. The final ingredient — microscopic organic particulates — are drawn through the ducts and washed into the drip pan, providing mold’s daily diet. A colony of mold in the drip pan becomes a source of millions of airborne spores which are recirculated throughout your home and degrade indoor air quality.
Here are four steps to break the cycle that creates a natural habitat for mold in the drip pan of your home’s air conditioner:
- Change the air filter every month, even if the manufacturer recommends less frequent changes. Dirty filters accumulate mold spores by the millions, some of which eventually bypass the filter media and end up in the drip pan.
- Good housekeeping practices and hygiene can reduce the airborne organic particulates that ends up as mold food.
- Regular vacuuming, cleaning and anything else to reduce household dust will also control some of the mold spores that enter the home.
- Schedule a service call from your HVAC contractor to inspect the drip pan and drain system annually. The technician will visually check for mold and disinfect both the pan and the evaporator coil — another focal point for mold. Time-release biocide tablets will be placed in the drip pan to continue killing mold growth throughout the entire season. Because pockets of mold can clog the drain line and cause damaging overflows, the technician will pour disinfectant down the drain lines to kill hidden mold and verify that the drain is open.
Smoky Mountain Heating & Air provides HVAC sales and service to Asheville homeowners in all seasons. To safeguard indoor air quality, let us dispatch a technician to check for mold in the drip pan at your home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Asheville, North Carolina and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about mold and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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