Ductwork is a common source of mold growth. Consisting of a network of interconnected passages through which air flows, it offers a dark space where mold spores can reproduce. If there’s mold growing your ductwork, however, those spores will inevitably make their way into your home’s living spaces. The good news is that you can prevent mold growth in your ductwork by taking a few preventative measures.
Monitor the Humidity Level
To prevent mold growth in your ductwork, as well as other places, you need to monitor your home’s humidity level. Mold typically grows in dark and humid environments. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mold thrives in environments with a relative humidity of 60% or higher. By monitoring your home’s humidity level, you’ll know whether it’s susceptible to mold.
Flush the Condensation Drain Line
Flushing your heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system’s condensation drain line will discourage mold growth in your ductwork. HVAC systems produce condensation as a byproduct. Air conditioners produce condensation at the evaporator coil, whereas furnaces produce condensation at the heat exchanger.
When running your air conditioner or furnace, water will drip down from the respective component. There should be a pan below your HVAC system’s evaporator coil and furnace that collects this condensation. Known as a condensation pan, it’s connected to a drain line that runs outside. If this drain line is clogged, condensation will accumulate inside of the pan, which may lead to mold growth in your ductwork and other places. Fortunately, you can flush the condensation drain line to prevent this from happening.
Use the Exhaust Fan When Showering
When showering, turn on the exhaust fan so that the moist air is ventilated out of your home. Most bathrooms contain one or more supply vents. These are the vents through which conditioned air is released into your home. Showering, of course, will produce moist air that can enter the supply vents. As the moist air enters the supply vents, it can increase the risk of mold growth.
Turning on the exhaust fan will prevent the moist air from entering your ductwork. Exhaust fans are designed to transfer air to the outside. In other words, it will ventilate the moist air outside of your home so that it doesn’t enter your ductwork.
Run the AC
Something as simple as running your air conditioner can prevent mold from growing in your ductwork. Your air conditioner does more than just lower the temperature inside your home; it dehumidifies the air. It will help you achieve a lower humidity level while subsequently discouraging mold growth.
Air conditioners dehumidify by producing, as well as draining, condensation. They pull moisture out of the air, which is collected in the condensation pan. As long as the drain line is clear, running your air conditioner will dehumidify your home.