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Causes of Mold in HVAC or Air Ducts



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Causes of Mold in HVAC or Air Ducts

For allergy sufferers, mold and mildew can present major health problems, especially when the spores are growing within the home’s HVAC system and air ducts. When there is mold in the air ducts, the spores are forced throughout the home every time the heater or air conditioning turns on.

There are several reasons why mold or mildew might be growing in your air ducts. Here are five of the most common causes of mold in your HVAC or air ducts and why routine air duct cleaning Wilmington NC can help eliminate the problem and prevent it from coming back.

HVAC Location

In some homes, it’s the actual location of the HVAC system that can be causing mold and mildew to foster. For instance, if the HVAC system is located in a damp basement or a wet crawlspace, then mold may naturally start to grow on the exterior of the unit. Over time, the spores will get inside the system and spread into the air ducts.


The older an HVAC system gets, the less efficient it becomes. This includes the system’s ability to remove moisture from the air. During very humid periods, an older HVAC system may not be able to keep up with the demand and as a result, the humidity remains in the home where it will play a role in the development of mold and mildew.

Clogged Drain Line

When moisture is pulled from the air by the HVAC system, it enters the condensation pan where it is removed from the system via a drain. If the drain isn’t cleaned regularly, it will become clogged and the accumulating condensation will start leaking into the system where it will soak the internal insulation. Once wet, the insulation will take months to dry out, but in the meantime, mold will start growing rapidly and spread throughout the entire system.

Dirty AC Coil

An HVAC system’s AC coil needs to be cleaned regularly or it will collect dust, dirt, and other debris. This detritus will serve as food for mold spores. Dirty AC coils make for the ideal breeding ground for mold thanks to the abundant food source and moisture from the cool water condensation dripping from the coils. This is one of the most common causes of Cladosporium, a type of fast-spreading mold that can affect those with allergies or asthma and in some serious cases, even cause brain illnesses.


For those with sinus problems, running a humidifier in the winter provides relief. But, the problem is these appliances are often forgotten about when summer rolls around. If the humidifier is not turned off, it will continue to add moisture to the air, even during summer’s already humid days. This causes an excess of moisture in the home that will eventually lead to mold and mildew growth in the air ducts.

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How Can Air Duct Cleaning Help?

If you smell a musty odor coming from your air ducts or you see mold forming on your HVAC or inside your ducts, then you should have your air ducts professionally cleaned and your HVAC system serviced. When properly administered, HVAC service with air duct cleaning will eliminate the mold and its food and water sources.

Is Your HVAC Smelling Musty? Schedule Air Duct Cleaning Wilmington NC Today!

Mold is a serious concern, especially when it enters a home’s interior. It can cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and a host of other medical problems. If you think your air ducts or your HVAC system has mold, you should contact Tidewater Heating and Cooling today. We provide professional HVAC service and air duct cleaning in Wilmington NC.

Tidewater has been one of Wilmington’s leading providers of commercial and residential HVAC service for more than 42 years. Just give us a call today at (910) 499-4755 for expert air duct cleaning Wilmington NC. We can help ensure you’re breathing clean, mold-free air all summer long.