Keeping mold growth in air ducts under control helps to maintain proper indoor air quality

We are still waiting for the arrival of HVAC systems that could ensure a mold free environment inside homes. Over the years, HVAC systems have evolved and become more sophisticated. You can choose from the basic single stage heating and cooling systems to more effective and advanced multi-stage systems that are quite sophisticated. However, you would still not find any system that ensures continuous delivery of quality indoor air. Regardless of the type of air conditioning new installations you prefer, be prepared to accept the fact that you have to live with the threat of mold growth in the system. To understand why this happens and why there is no remedy to it, keep reading this article.

Places where mold grows

The design of the air conditioning system takes into account the need to control the humidity of the indoor air and maintain it at such levels that it creates the most comfortable living condition. The system design also purifies the environmental air that circulates all around by using filters before admitting it into the system. In spite of it, you would often find air-conditioned spaces smelling musty that indicates deterioration of the air quality. This happens because the air that flows through the ducts passes through mold colonies formed inside the air ducts and picks up the contaminants that result in the musty smell to it. Therefore, when you get the smell, you would know that molds have formed inside the ducts. Ducts are the only places that experience mold growth, and there are yet no signs of its prevention.

Why only ducts attract molds?

The construction of air ducts and the thermodynamics related to it are responsible for the formation of molds. The outer surface of ducts remains exposed to the warm atmospheric condition while a cold air of the HVAC system flows through it. The temperature differential between the inside and outside of the duct results in water particles condensing inside and creating a hot and humid environment that is perfect for mold growth. Since there is no way to change the temperature condition, it is also not possible to prevent mold growth in air ducts. As no other places of the HVAC system have such environment, molds collect inside air ducts only.

Controlling mold growth

Admitting that it is not possible to prevent mold growth, it makes better sense to look at options available for minimizing it so that it remains under control. The most prevalent practice is to insulate the outside surface of ducts so that the temperature differential reduces and the level of heat and humidity inside the ducts decreases. Since the environment becomes less friendly for mold growth, mold formation is restricted but not eradicated. Perhaps, this is the best solution possible under the present circumstances.

Smart living with molds is what you have to adapt to maintain proper indoor air quality when using HVAC systems. Pay attention to proper preventive maintenance so that you can clean molds as soon as it forms and use inhibitors to delay its reappearance.

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