Likely Reasons for AC-Related Mold Damage 

Running an air conditioner should reduce the relative humidity in your Sandy Springs home, in theory. The interior feels cooler when the sticky, moisture-filled air has a percentage of its water vapor condensed on the evaporator coils. Problems occur when not enough water vapor condenses to reduce relative humidity below 50 percent (the number most experts feel inhibits fungal growth). Spores need just this little bit of moisture to take hold, requiring eventual mold removal

Lower humidity levels should minimize the chance of mold growth and damage to structures and contents, as mold needs water to thrive. Yet, many air-conditioned homes in Sandy Springs can suffer from fungal infestations. Let’s explore why this happens to see if your house can achieve a better balance and avoid the need for mold removal. 

Condensation and Clogs 

The condensation that is a collateral product of effective air conditioning, by its very nature, exists as liquid water. AC units have tubes to drain this water away for outdoor disposal without feeding opportunistic spores. But all it takes is a buildup of dust or an unnoticed clog in the drain line to allow the water to pool and become available for spores always in the environment to absorb and then germinate into rapidly spreading colonies. The problem can exist under a window AC unit or deep inside your HVAC system. Solutions include: 

  • Cleaning the evaporator coils and busting through the clog (might require a complete air duct cleaning for an HVAC system) 

  • Draining water from an over-full pan to collect the drips 

Air Conditioner Too Large for Space 

When considering the size (number of BTUs) for your AC needs, know that a unit that is too large can cause more mold growth than one that is too small. This is because a larger unit may cool the air too quickly. Its thermostat shuts down a cycle long before enough moisture evaporates to reduce relative humidity to less than 50 percent, making the air feel colder but uncomfortably clammy--and filled with moisture for mold growth. 

Poorly installed or Inadequate Insulation

If your home has one or more areas where humid outdoor air flows or radiates inside, the increase in relative humidity or differences in temperatures can cause unexpected condensation. Examples might include: 

  • Unsealed or loose joints around windows and doors allow hot, humid air to clash with chilled air, creating tiny “waterfalls” down building materials (think of the mold or mildew you see on a windowsill or behind a curtain). 

  • Ceiling holes can provide condensation areas where plumbing or utility lines thread through without appropriate caulking, again permitting warm, humid air and cold-conditioned air to collide, with the resulting condensation dripping down.  

  • Exterior walls or unglazed windows with zero or inadequate insulation permit the cooled interior air to encounter the warm wall or other surface. Condensation forms and drips down (sort of an “inside out” effect), similar to the beads of water forming on a glass full of cold liquid exposed to warm, humid air. 

When you have concerns about musty smells and see what you fear is microbial growth, even though you run your air conditioning continuously, contact the mold removal professionals at AdvantaClean of Sandy Springs. Call (404) 474-8443 to schedule a consultation for mold removal and moisture management. 

Window air conditioner units or your HVAC system can contribute to mold growth and the need for removal. Experienced mold remediation technicians like those at AdvantaClean of Sandy Springs can help troubleshoot the issues that created conditions conducive to fungal overgrowth. Solutions, ranging from unclogging drains to right-sizing ACs to installing insulation and sealing leaky joints, can restore a balance that supports comfortably cool air while keeping humidity levels low. Managing moisture is the key, and we employ many strategies together with Sandy Springs homeowners to achieve that outcome.

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