Spotless Clean Air Services

Mould in Your Air Conditioner? What Are The Risks & What to Do

Mould in air conditioner

We all know the importance of maintaining a clean home. But did you know that your air conditioner can also become a breeding ground for mould and mildew if not properly maintained?

In this article, we’ll discuss what mould is, the health risks associated with it, what causes mould in air conditioners, and how to clean an air conditioner and prevent mould growth.

We’ll also discuss the benefits of professional air conditioner cleaning and some tips for keeping your air conditioner clean and mould-free.

Air Conditioners Offer the Perfect Breeding Ground for Mould

It is important to be aware of the signs of mould in an air conditioner, as this can lead to health risks for those living in the home. Some of the most common signs of mould in an air conditioner include:

  • Musty odours coming from the unit or vents
  • Visible or discoloured surfaces
  • Condensation or water dripping from the unit
  • Build-up of dust or mould on the unit itself.


If any of these signs are present, it is important to contact a professional service technician to inspect the unit and determine the best course of action. In some cases, the air conditioner may need to be cleaned or replaced if the mould issue is too severe. 

Taking the time to address any signs of mould in your air conditioner can help to ensure that your family is safe and healthy.

dirty airconditioner
A look inside a dirty split system air conditioner

Signs of Mould in Air Conditioner

If you suspect that your air conditioner may have mould, there are a few key signs to look for. One of the primary indicators of mould is an unpleasant musty smell coming from the air conditioner. 

This smell can be especially strong when the air conditioner is first turned on. Additionally, you may notice visible signs of mould growth near the air vents or on the walls around the air conditioner.

If you observe any of these signs, it is important to take action as soon as possible to prevent the mould from spreading and causing potential health risks.

First, switch off the power to the air conditioning unit and clean the area with a disinfectant or anti-mould product. Then, inspect the unit itself and check all of the filters, grills and coils for visible signs of mould. If you find any, you should take steps to remove it immediately.

Mould can cause a range of health issues and can also reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner. Therefore, it is important to contact a professional to inspect the air conditioner and address the mould problem.

Health Risks and Symptoms, Is Mould Dangerous?

Mould exposure can cause a range of health problems, including allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and even respiratory infections. People with weakened immune systems, such as young children and the elderly, are particularly susceptible to the health risks associated with mould.

The most common symptoms of mould exposure include:

  • Respiratory issues, including coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing
  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Eye irritation, such as itchy, red, or watery eyes
  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Skin irritation, such as a rash
  • Headache
  • Memory problems
  • Fatigue

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you may be exposed to mould and should seek professional medical advice.

effects of mould

What Causes Mould in Air Conditioners

Mould can grow in air conditioners when the unit is not cleaned and maintained properly. This is because of the moist, damp, and dark environment inside the unit. These conditions are ideal for mould to thrive and spread.

The presence of organic matter, such as dust, dirt, and other particles, can also provide a food source for mould. Additionally, if the air conditioning unit is not regularly serviced and the filters are not changed regularly, then the unit can become clogged which can cause it to be unable to remove moisture from the air properly.

This moisture then condenses on the walls of the unit, creating an environment conducive to the growth of mould. In addition, if the unit’s drainpipe becomes blocked, then the moisture cannot escape and this can create a pool of standing water inside the unit, providing a perfect breeding ground for mould.

Should We Clean Our Air Conditioner?

Yes, absolutely. Keeping your air conditioner clean is essential for preventing mould growth. Regular cleaning will help reduce the amount of dust and dirt in your air conditioner, which can help prevent mould growth. Cleaning your air conditioner also helps improve air quality in your home, making it easier to breathe. 

If your aircon hasn’t been serviced in some time, contaminants build up on the filters, coils and barrel fan, reducing the ability for the system to output air to the indoor area and reach the desired temperature.

Dust, mould and grime also builds up in the condensate tray which will eventually cause leakages. If the air conditioning system struggles to reach desired temperature, it will continually draw more power trying to keep up with demand, increasing the power usage up to 30%.

air conditioner was leaking
A split system after professional cleaning

Benefits of Cleaning Your Air Conditioner

Cleaning your air conditioner has several benefits. First, it can help improve the air quality in your home. Clean air conditioners circulate cleaner air, which can help reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses. Clean air conditioners also reduce dust and dirt in the air, which can help reduce allergies and asthma symptoms. More benefits to keeping the air conditioner clean include:

  • Improved indoor air quality
  • Reduced energy costs
  • Increased system efficiency and lifespan of the system
  • Reduced risk of breakdowns
  • Improved cooling and heating performance


Keeping up with regular maintenance of the air conditioning system is very important. Making sure to check and clean the system regularly will keep you comfortable, prevent respiratory related illnesses and save your valuable time and money on expensive repairs and breakdowns.

How to Prevent Mould in Air Conditioners

Mould in air conditioners can be prevented by taking the following steps:

1. Keep the evaporator coils clean. The Evaporator coils are the coils located inside the unit that cool or heat the air before it is distributed indoors. Keeping these coils clean will ensure the air conditioner functions properly and prevents the accumulation of mould.

2. Clean the air filter regularly. The air filter is responsible for trapping dirt and dust particles, which can cause the growth of mould if left unchecked. Cleaning the air filter regularly will help keep mould away.

3. Check for leaks. If there are any leaks in the system, it can create a warm and moist environment that is ideal for mould growth. Make sure to check for leaks periodically and repair them as soon as possible. More on how to stop and prevent air conditioner leaks can be found here.

4. Ventilate the room. Proper ventilation is important to reduce the humidity levels in the room. This will help to keep the air conditioner free from moisture and reduce the chances of mould growth.

5. Perform regular maintenance on the system. It is recommended to have the air conditioner serviced at least once per year.

What to do If You Find Mould in Your Aircon

If you have discovered mould in your air conditioner, it is important to take action as soon as possible. Mould can cause respiratory problems and other health issues, so it’s best to address the problem quickly. 

The first step is to turn off the air conditioner and open up the unit to identify the source of the mould. 

Once the source of the mould has been identified, it should be removed, and any affected areas should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. If the mould is severe, it may require professional treatment to properly remove and prevent further growth.

Once the mould has been removed, it is important to take steps to prevent future growth. This can include regularly cleaning and maintaining the air conditioner, ensuring that the unit is properly ventilated, and cleaning filters regularly.

If the mould is extensive or if you are unsure how to handle the issue, it is best to call a professional. A qualified technician can inspect the air conditioner and determine the best course of action, whether it is a thorough clean or professional mould remediation. A professional can also provide advice on how to keep the mould from returning in the future.

Professional Air Conditioner Cleaning Can Help

If you do not feel comfortable cleaning your air conditioner yourself, you can hire a professional. Professional air conditioner cleaning services use specialised equipment to remove dirt and mould from air conditioners. They also use safety approved disinfectants to kill any remaining mould spores.

When to hire a professional to clean an air conditioner will depend on the type of unit you have and how often it is used. Generally, it is recommended that you have a professional technician clean your air conditioning unit at least once a year.

This will ensure that the unit is running efficiently and is free from any debris or dirt that could harm the unit or decrease its efficiency. Additionally, having a professional technician clean your air conditioner will help to identify any parts that may need to be repaired or replaced in order to maintain the unit’s performance.

Air con Cleaning Sunshine Coast


Mould can be a serious problem if not addressed quickly. It can cause a range of health problems and can also damage your home. 

Cleaning your air conditioner regularly can help reduce the risk of mould growth and keep your home healthy. If you do not feel comfortable cleaning your air conditioner yourself, you can hire a professional air conditioner cleaning service. 

Spotless Clean Air Services Sunshine Coast are the aircon cleaning experts you can rely on for safe and effective removal of all microbial contamination, using correct methods and TGA approved cleaning solutions to keep you breathing safe, clean air and save you money on expensive running costs and costly repairs.

Following these tips can help you keep your split and ducted air conditioner clean and mould-free.