Clean every surface of an air conditioner to eliminate black mold.
Air conditioner vents can be breeding grounds for black mold. Condensation forms in the coils and ducts as cool air circulates through the system, creating a habitat for moisture-loving mold. Black mold can cause severe respiratory symptoms, particularly in people who are allergic to mold. After you clean your air conditioner vents, inspect walls and insulation to find the source of the black mold infestation.
Wear long sleeves and pants and put on a high-efficiency dust mask to protect yourself from black mold spores. Make sure all household members with mold allergies or respiratory problems are out of the house before you begin to clean the air conditioner vents.
Remove the vent cover of a window air conditioner by unscrewing the screws with a screwdriver or pressing in on pressure clips. Place the vent cover in a basin or tub, sprinkle with laundry detergent and add enough water to cover the vent cover. After 15 minutes, rinse and allow the filter and vent cover to air-dry.
Remove dust from the inside of the air conditioner, as the dust in the moist environment allows mold to thrive.
Spray the blades and duct opening with water to prevent dry mold from escaping into the air. Wipe the blades and duct opening as thoroughly as possible with soapy water. Mold spores are microscopic and not visible to the naked eye, so clean surfaces even if you do not see mold.
Combine 1 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water. Wipe the blades, duct opening and the inside of the vent with a long, flexible mop soaked in the bleach solution. Allow the inside of the vent to dry thoroughly before reattaching the vent cover. Black mold can grow in any remaining moisture.
Discard mold-infested materials in heavy-duty plastic bags. Take the bags outdoors through a window or door in the room in which you just cleaned to avoid contaminating other areas of the house. Open the windows to create ventilation after you finish cleaning the vents.
Things You Will Need
- High-efficiency dust mask
- Laundry detergent
- Clean cloth
- Spray bottle
- Flexible mop
- A dehumidifier can reduce moisture in your home and prevent black mold growth.
- If you have central air conditioning, contact a professional cleaning service to remove mold from the unit and ductwork.
- A professional contractor should clean a contaminated area that is greater than 100 square feet, according to the California Department of Public Health.
- Never mix bleach with ammonia; it results in toxic fumes.