Spotless Clean Air Services

Mould in Air Conditioner: Is It a Health Risk?

dirty airconditioner

Why Should We Clean the Air Con?

We all care about the safety and well being of ourselves, staff and loved ones. We go a long way in ensuring the areas we reside in are kept clean and germ-free knowing the risks involved if we neglect the importance of a sanitary environment. The thought of mould, dust and bacteria immediately gives a sense of concern when mentioned, but it is far too often overlooked how much something that is supposed to provide us comfort, could be doing us more harm than good.

Air conditioning systems work by drawing in air, filtering it through the evaporator coil to cool the air before blowing it back out to the indoor space at the desired temperature set. Through this process, condensation (moisture) develops which traps and houses dust but even more importantly, fungi (mould) which thrives in moist environments and is a very important issue to address when it comes to air conditioning systems.

effects of mould

What is Mould?

Fungus or mould are micro-organisms that are found nearly everywhere. It comes in a variety of different colours and plays a very important role in breaking down material, such as leaves, trees and plenty of other matter. You are exposed to mould every day. Mould is usually harmless in small amounts but if left untreated, can become a major issue for people, pets, and also property.

Mould reproduces by the way of tiny spores, which can become airborne when disturbed. These lightweight particles travel great distances so you have to wonder, how dirty is my air conditioner? How clean is the air which is being constantly circulated in my home or work area?  If there is mould present in your air conditioning system, it’s likely that it is being spread internally. As mould gets spread around the indoor space, it can settle in other areas, which will grow on other surfaces and start releasing more spores. A major issue for many homes and business owners.

dirty aircon

What are the Risks? Is Mould Toxic?

Not only is mould unsightly, but it also comes with a lot of associated health risks. Symptoms can range from mild to chronic symptoms which will largely affect the well being of a person. Studies have proven this and have narrowed it down to several factors. These factors include quantity, type, length of time of exposure, and individual health status. While symptoms will affect people in different ways, everyone needs to recognise the risks and take immediate action.

Some common symptoms of exposure to contracting mould spores by inhaling or even touching include:

  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Eye irritation
  • Skin rash
  • Headaches
  • Lung irritation
People with serious reactions to mould such as people with compromised immune systems, allergies, and respiratory complications such as asthma and lung disease may experience severe adverse reactions.
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness of chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Asthma attack

In addition to people with allergies and respiratory issues, others who may be more sensitive to mould include:

  • Children
  • The elderly
  • Individuals with compromised immune systems due to infection, cancer, liver disease or chemotherapy.
Air conditioner Cleaning Sunshine Coast

How to Clean an Air Conditioner

Cleaning the filters is necessary and easy to do, which helps slow down the accumulation of dust internally. It is recommended to clean the primary filters at least every 2 months, depending on how much time the air conditioning unit is operational. If the unit is on frequently, and on for long durations, then they require more regular cleaning. Simply vacuuming or rinsing the filters off underwater can be enough to keep them free from dust. However, mould can accumulate on the filters, which then require an effective, friendly solution to remove.

If there is mould on the outside surfaces such as the case and louvres this can be easily removed by wiping down and using a solution that kills mould. Typical strong/harsh solutions from your local supermarket are not ideal, not only can they be corrosive to certain materials and lead to damage to the unit, but can also spread through the air when the air conditioner is turned on, which is a safety concern.

Noticing visible dust and mould outside is an indication that it may require servicing, as it is only a small amount compared to how much has accumulated inside. 

Effective cleaning and treatment to get rid of mould, dust and bacteria requires proper disassembly of the unit, then sanitised with the use of effective and safe solutions and the right equipment. When dealing with electrical components, knowledge and experience is a must to do a safe, thorough service ensuring you don’t cause damage to the appliance or cause harm to yourself. It is highly advised to seek the help of a professional if you require an air conditioning clean.

Time for an Air Conditioning Service? Have any Questions? Let Us Help You!