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clean a window air conditioner mold

How To Eliminate Mold From Your Window Air Conditioner – And Keep It Gone

The black mold in a window air conditioner is critical stuff! It needs to be eliminated before it creates health problems for people with susceptibility to lung and breathing issues.


Mold on Window Air Conditioner Styrofoam and Other Places

mold in window ac

Sometimes you are aware there is black mold in window ACs due to the musty, tell-tale odor when you turn it on, or it has been running for a while.

People allergic to mold sometimes know it's nearby when allergy symptoms start - coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, an asthma attack, etc.

Other times window AC mold is evident on the filter, housing, or when you peer into the inside of the unit or the filter.

Whatever the signs, mold should go - and there are steps you can take to prevent it.


What Causes Window AC Black Mold?

mold in a home

Knowledge is power! Knowing the causes of window AC mold can help you prevent it from again once you've cleaned your AC.

Three things are necessary for black mold on a window air conditioner. In the end, we discuss how to take care of the nutrients and moisture part of this equation.

Mold spores - mold is usual. Mold spores are found in most homes. By themselves, they may not pose a severe threat.

Moisture - When spores get wet, they start to grow and reproduce. This is the reason why the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states, "the way to control mold growth is to control moisture. But because your window AC dehumidifies the air in the room-eliminates humidity – this is hard, and it is why black mold on window AC is so common.

Nutrients - Mold needs food. This the reason it does so well on old ignored food in the fridge. And this also provides a clue to keeping mold off your window AC. Starve mold by keeping the AC clean.


Mold in Air Conditioner Heath Hazards

Mold in Air Conditioner Heath Hazards

Most people won't be worried by small amounts of black mold on the air conditioner.

However, mold in air purifier health risks is real for pets and people with COPD, asthma, allergies, and other respiratory difficulties.

Black mold is a danger for people and their pets regardless of general health when mold spores are breathed.

Black mold's technical title is Stachybotrys Chartarum. As per the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Chartarum and other molds may cause nonspecific health symptoms. 

It's NOT essential to ascertain which mold you might have growing in your house or other building. All molds should be eliminated.


How to Remove Mold from a Window AC:

Clean window AC

OK, washing filters, turn your attention to the rest of the unit.

1. Pick Your Position: Move the device to a well-ventilated space where it is easy to get to either side of it. A picnic table outside work or a bench in the garage or are two common choices.

2. See the AC Interior: The grille should be off. Eliminate the screws holding the metal cover in the front of the AC – it was right behind the grille.

3. Suck it Up: Use the vacuum tube to clean loose dust, dirt, lawn clippings, etc. from inside the AC. The crevice tool might come in handy.

4. Brush The Fins: Add the upholstery brush into the vacuum, and lightly clean the fins on the AC coil. Keep the brush in the same direction the fins run. Be gentle to ensure the fins don't bend.

5. Clean The Fins: when the debris is gone from the radiator-like fins, spray-on Tilex. Let it sit for 15 minutes, brush it gently, and rinse it off with water or a hose from a spray bottle.

6. Clean The Housing: Spray off the housing – the portion that sticks out the window. Allow the cleaner sit, and then rinse or wipe it off.

7. See Any Mold Inside? This is the best way to remove mold from air conditioner ducts – the passageways that cycle air from indoors throughout the device and back into your room – and those on the outside that take away heat.

If mold is build up in the ducts or mold on Styrofoam insulation, spray Tilex on the moldy spots. Make the cleaner to sit for 15 minutes and wash it off with a paper towel or the cloth. If using a paper towel, throw it away, and catch a new sheet when required.

8. General Interior Cleaning: Now, the nasty spots are cleaned, spray down the remainder of the interior. Because it's developed to be moisture-resistant, the AC hurts. Allow the cleaner. Wipe it out with a paper towel or cloth.

9. Don't Forget the Grill and Cover: Spray down the parts you take out. Let the cleaner sit, and hose off or wipe off the cover and grill.

10. Dry, Assemble & Move: Give everything time to dry. Sure, ACs should be water-resistant with waterproof attachments and wiring, but it is good to be safe.

Reattach the cover and grille.

If possible, plug in the AC and power it on the workbench or outside for a few minutes to have the cleaner's chemical smell. You don't have that in your house! It can cause allergic effects, just like mold can.


How to Eliminate Mold from Air Conditioner Ducts and other Parts

clean a window air conditioner styrofoam

Here, we provide step by step mold removal instructions.

Here's your supply list to eliminate AC mold:

Safety first - Face mask and latex or nitrile gloves. You may want to slip leather gloves on the nitrile gloves when dusting the AC's fins or interior. There are clear elements to avoid.

Window AC Cleaning Agents - Antibacterial soap for the filter, Tilex, or another similar cleaner, lists its label that it removes mold. If you do not have an antibacterial dish cleaner, the Tilex can work on the filter. We favor Tilex since it's specially formed to kill and eliminate mold and mildew.

Cleaning Tools & Provides - Nylon washes brush, cloth rag or paper towel, vacuum cleaner using a crevice tool, an upholstery brush.

Hand tools - Screwdriver set.

How to Clean the Washable Filter:

This is a simple first step to get you rolling.

If black mold is there on the filter frame, spray it with Tilex, make it sit a few minutes, and wipe it off.

Then continue with overall AC filter cleaning:

1. If you've antibacterial soap, place the stopper in a bathtub, utility tub, or large sink. Fill 2" of water in it, and pour in a full dose of dish soap. Roll it to mix the soap.

2. Remove the grille in the front of the AC, remove the filter, or just slide the filter out of its slot. Most grilles contain clips; a few have screws.

3. Leave the filter in the soapy water or spray it on either side with Tilex. Let it sit for 15 minutes (longer is fine).

4. Smoothly rub both sides of the filter using the nylon brush. Wash the filter thoroughly. Shake it slowly to speed up the drying. Attach it up or smoothly towel it off, and let it dry. Done!

How to Remove Mold from a Window AC:

OK, washing filters, turn your attention to the rest of the unit.

1. Pick Your Position: Move the device to a well-ventilated space where it is easy to get to either side of it. A picnic table outside work or a bench in the garage or are two common choices.

2. See the AC Interior: The grille should be off. Eliminate the screws holding the metal cover in the front of the AC – it was right behind the grille.

3. Suck it Up: Use the vacuum tube to clean loose dust, dirt, lawn clippings, etc. from inside the AC. The crevice tool might come in handy.

4. Brush The Fins: Add the upholstery brush into the vacuum, and lightly clean the fins on the AC coil. Keep the brush in the same direction the fins run. Be gentle to ensure the fins don't bend.

5. Clean The Fins: when the debris is gone from the radiator-like fins, spray-on Tilex. Let it sit for 15 minutes, brush it gently, and rinse it off with water or a hose from a spray bottle.

6. Clean The Housing: Spray off the housing – the portion that sticks out the window. Allow the cleaner sit, and then rinse or wipe it off.

7. See Any Mold Inside? This is the best way to remove mold from air conditioner ducts – the passageways that cycle air from indoors throughout the device and back into your room – and those on the outside that take away heat.

If mold is build up in the ducts or mold on Styrofoam insulation, spray Tilex on the moldy spots. Make the cleaner to sit for 15 minutes and wash it off with a paper towel or the cloth. If using a paper towel, throw it away, and catch a new sheet when required.

8. General Interior Cleaning: Now, the nasty spots are cleaned, spray down the remainder of the interior. Because it's developed to be moisture-resistant, the AC hurts. Allow the cleaner. Wipe it out with a paper towel or cloth.

9. Don't Forget the Grill and Cover: Spray down the parts you take out. Let the cleaner sit, and hose off or wipe off the cover and grill.

10. Dry, Assemble & Move: Give everything time to dry. Sure, ACs should be water-resistant with waterproof attachments and wiring, but it is good to be safe.

Reattach the cover and grille.

If possible, plug in the AC and power it on the workbench or outside for a few minutes to have the cleaner's chemical smell. You don't have that in your house! It can cause allergic effects, just like mold can.


How to Avoid Mold in Window AC

black mold in air conditioner

Now that the Black Mold from the air purifier is gone keep it away to deprive it of water and food!

1) Remove Dust: Mold feeds on dirt and dust. If you vacuum away dust, dirt, pollen, dust, and other substances, you can "starve" any mold that starts growing. Tak compressed air to blow dust out the back of the AC might also help. When not in use to keep it from becoming 22, some folks cover the AC area with a towel.

2) Use Fan Mode to Dry the Inside of the AC: Several window ACs have a Fan option. The compressor won't come on to transfer heat, but the fan will blow. Once you've cooled the room, turn on Fan Mode

This will dry out the inside of the air conditioner - and since the EPA reminds us, moisture management is the key to mold control.

3) Clean Your Window AC a couple of times during the Cooling Season: if you reside in a hot climate, particularly one that's humid too, clean your AC at least two times during the cooling season. Examine it monthly.

If your AC doesn't get much use, cleaning it once during the summers should be sufficient unless you or someone in your family is especially sensitive to mold.


Is Mold a Problem in your Residence?

mold in a home

If mold seems to plague your house, there's a problem somewhere.

Your Central AC System - If you've got a central air conditioning unit, mold can grow in your ducts. This is particularly true if your ducts are the wrong size and/or if your AC or heat pump is the wrong size. These issues may not enable the dehumidification process, which goes to be complete enough. Water contracts on cold, mold spores and dusty sheet metal have all they have to grow.

We highly suggest having the machine looked at by an HVAC professional. Obtaining two remarks about what the issue is and the way to solve it's a fantastic idea.

Your Home or Building – You should definitely try to remove mold in your home. If that's not possible this time w, or until it is done, an air purifier built to eradicate mold spores from the air is a great short-term option. Once the mold has been eliminated, the air purifier will keep your air cleaner and more breathable.

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