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How do I Remove Air Conditioner Mold?

By Florence J. Tipton
Updated May 16, 2024
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Either replace or clean the air conditioning filter to remove air conditioner mold. Also, mold in air conditioning units can be removed by using a commercial grade cleaner made to get rid of mold growth. The way that you remove the mold depends largely on the type of air conditioning unit you have. You can do it yourself or hire a professional cleaning service to remove mold from the unit.

Removing air conditioner mold from a window unit involves practical care to ensure your safety. Make sure the unit is unplugged before you begin. You should also wear a mask while cleaning mold from the air conditioner. A mask protects you from breathing in mold spores and dust particles.

Often, cleaning or replacing the air conditioner's filter removes mold from the unit. Moisture is the breeding ground for mold development, so you will want to do everything possible to eliminate areas of moisture which offer opportunities for mold growth. Frequent cleaning of filters is recommended for a window unit, especially if you live in a geographic location where high humidity is a constant issue.

If removing or cleaning the filter does not remove the mold, you may need to buy a special cleaner for mold that has accumulated on the air conditioner's coils. In order to access the coils, use a screwdriver to remove the covering on the window air conditioner unit. Using a mild detergent, gently scrub each coil where mold is present. Replace the cover and turn the unit back on to allow the coils to dry.

Central air conditioner mold can also be cleaned with a mold removal cleaner — unless mold is growing on insulation, which should then be replaced. Use a HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) mold cleaner on the inside of the air conditioning unit. Take precautions to prevent getting water into the electrical components which could damage the air conditioner. Try to avoid using the unit for several hours after cleaning the mold. This will give the unit enough time to dry without causing more mold growth.

Air conditioner mold contaminates the indoor air quality of your home. This can have a negative effect on your health. Black mold and toxic mold from poor air quality can lead to you or family members developing skin irritations, headaches or other allergic reactions from extensive exposure.

Some of the mold on your air conditioner may not be easily visible. With this in mind, a professional cleaning service may be a necessary option. A professional cleaner may use chemical treatments on the air ducts in the unit. The cleaning service may also identify and eliminate conditions that can cause mold to reappear.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Sporkasia — On Apr 02, 2014

After mold has been removed from an air conditioner, the unit should be allowed to dry several hours before being put back into use. This drying period should be taken into consideration, so that the unit will not be unavailable for use when it is needed most. No one wants to wait for air conditioner parts to dry when the temperature outside is 100 degrees.

By Drentel — On Apr 01, 2014

The main requirement for cleaning an air conditioning unit to remove mold is patience. Whether you are working with a small air conditioner or a central air unit you need to take your time and clean each piece of the system carefully and completely.

Also, you need to realize that you will be taking apart some pieces of the unit, so tools will be needed and you will have to put everything back together once the cleaning is complete. If this sounds like more than you want to tackle then hire a professional. They have the experience to make the job go faster and more smoothly.

By Feryll — On Mar 31, 2014

When you have an air conditioner that has non-disposable foam filters you should set aside a day each week to clean the filter and check that no mold is growing anywhere in the unit. Setting a regular day for cleaning the filter is important. Otherwise, you are likely to forget to complete the job, or simply put off the task for some time in the future.

If you notice that mold has formed between your weekly cleanings then you should adjust your schedule so that you clean the filter more often. Any amount of mold in your home air conditioner is potentially a serious problem.

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