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Whether because an HVAC specialist told you or because you suspect it based on smell, having mold in your heating and cooling system is not ideal. On the bright side, it is EXTREMELY likely this is a false diagnosis.
Here are a few reasons why and what to do if you actually do have mold in your Northern VA home’s HVAC system.
One way this can happen is the smell test. People assume that a moldy or mildew smell coming from the vents means the mold is located inside the heating and cooling system. In reality, the mold is probably located elsewhere in your home, and the system is just blowing the smell around.
Another explanation is you were told so by an HVAC or duct cleaner. While it’s possible you do have mold in your system, it is equally likely they are trying to upsell you on chemical treatments or UV lights.
The UV light treatment can be effective if done properly. The problem is this is almost never the case. As for chemical treatments, they are sometimes appropriate, but they can cause major issues and should only be used as a last resort. Removing chemical residue is nearly as hard as removing the mold you are trying to get rid of and can be harmful, as well.
The simplest, most accurate way to know is to hire a trustworthy, independent mold tester. It is critical that they be independent and not a mold removal company that is incentivized to “find” mold.
Trustworthy mold testers collect a flat fee for the test, regardless of the results. That is a strong indicator they are not incentivized to get a positive result. You should still conduct a little bit of research before selecting one. We have a few Northern Virginia mold testers we recommend.
There are three possibilities, which don’t involve any mold being present in your ventilation system.
Give us a call! We can have our technicians take a look at your situation. We can determine the severity and provide the best options we have to handle it.
Fortunately, because air ducts and HVAC equipment are mostly metal and plastic, we should be able to remove the mold without having to replace anything. Smooth, non-porous surfaces are usually no problem.
The biggest problem with having mold in your HVAC system is that it likely blew mold spores in every space around your home. If you have mold in your HVAC, you definitely need to hire an independent mold tester to inspect every room in your home.
More often than not, you will only need to remediate certain areas of your home, which is why accurate testing is so important.
UV lights, when used correctly, are useful for preventing mold from returning. Regardless, all physical mold and mold spores must be removed first.
Plus, they are often installed incorrectly or in locations in which they do no good. Be sure to do your research before you sign up for this type of mold treatment.
UV lights can help keep your indoor air clean, but they will only work if they are installed near the coil, as this is the only area mold will stick around long enough to be killed. The UV light does not kill it instantly, so if you have it installed in the ducts, it is doing nothing essentially.
Unfortunately, this is exactly where they are typically installed since these areas are a lot more accessible than the coil.
As with any other mold treatment, this must come after all of the physical molds have been completely removed.
Once this is done, you do have the option of using chemicals, but we don’t usually recommend it.
For one thing, the chemicals themselves can cause allergic reactions and other issues. Plus, once they are in your home, removing them is no easy or cheap task.
That being said, there are occasions when we might recommend a chemical treatment, but NEVER before proper remediation has been completed. It is mainly effective at preventing the return and development of mold.
Mold removal and testing should be left to the professionals. More importantly, it should be left to TRUSTWORTHY and QUALIFIED professionals. For testing, always get a reputable independent mold tester.
As for mold remediation, call us! At Valor Mold Removal, we take mold remediation seriously. It is truly our PASSION and what we are meant to do.
Unlike other Northern VA mold remediators, we take the extra time and precautions to make sure we eliminate your home’s mold issues for good.
We remove mold the right way… and it would be an honor to hear from you.
Fill out this form to contact us. We’ll follow up with 24 business hours.