Mucor - This type of mold usually grows in air conditioning units. It typically is spread from the air conditioner unit throughout the entire air duct system of a house. It is extremely toxic and needs to be dealt with quickly. Stachybotrys - This black-colored mold is very toxic.
Fungi and bacteria that thrive in moist environments can grow on the inside of air conditioning units, leading to a musty smell and causing health problems. Mold can cause respiratory issues such as sinus problems or headaches for those with allergies or respiratory issues.
Black particles from the HVAC system are typically mold, rust or insulation. You should inspect air handling units, variable air volume (VAV) boxes, reheats, induction units and heat pumps, or secondary units serving the area of concern.
Watching for Mold
Living or working near an old and moldy air conditioner can increase your chances of respiratory infection. Mold also causes symptoms like throat irritation, wheezing, and congestion. If you are feeling any of these symptoms, it may be time you checked out your surroundings for mold.
You can also see large patches of mold, so if you spot fuzzy, black, or green-black patches, you know the AC unit has mold. Mold can also be brown, green, white, pink, yellow, or orange, though black is the most common color.
The air conditioner is one of the worst place where molds can grow. Mold in your air conditioner can pose several health risks and cause extensive damage to the equipment. While it may not always be dangerous, it's definitely something you want to get rid of.
Under most circumstances, air conditioners and HVAC ducts are not hospitable places for mold to grow. Sheet metal ducts and styrofoam channels inside window units do not offer mold a food source. However, dust often collects in these places, which can allow mold to grow.
These symptoms usually first appear 2 to 9 hours after exposure and last for 1 to 3 days. Other affected persons have progressive shortness of breath and cough, as well as weight loss. Work-relatedness may only become apparent over long holidays if symptoms resolve and then recur on return to work.
Your first step is to dismantle the unit in accordance with your owner's manual. You will then need to vacuum the interior of the unit thoroughly and remove and wash the filters under running water. The vacuum should take care of any loose or airborne mould spores within the unit.
Black mold, as the name implies, is often dark in color. When searching for black mold, look for circular-shaped spots that are black, dark green or dark brown. Some black mold can also take on shades of orange or have flecks of white within it. Most of the time, black mold has a slightly furry appearance.
Mildew is a surface fungi that can easily be identified as a patch of gray or even white fungus that is lying on the surface of a moist area. Mildew is easily treated with a store bought cleaner and a scrubbing brush. Mold, on the other hand, can be black or green and is often the result of a much larger infestation.
Mildew refers to certain kinds of mold or fungus. The term mildew is often used generically to refer to mold growth, usually with a flat growth habit. Molds include all species of microscopic fungi that grow in the form of multicellular filaments, called hyphae.
Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions.
Primarily, mold illness is associated with allergic reactions that mimic seasonal allergies. Respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, watery eyes, and skin irritation are the predominant symptoms.
A powerful ammonia odor means there might be mold flourishing inside your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn't the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold creates.
Since it grows in areas of high moisture, black mold in addition to appearing dark, may look slimy or shiny. Once you fix a leak, the mold may not go away. It can dry out and become powdery.
A blood test, sometimes called the radioallergosorbent test, can measure your immune system's response to mold by measuring the amount of certain antibodies in your bloodstream known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies.
The mold spores can colonize (grow) inside lung cavities that developed as a result of chronic diseases, such tuberculosis, emphysema, or advanced sarcoidosis. The fibers of fungus might form a lump by combining with white blood cells and blood clots. This lump or ball of fungus is called an aspergilloma or mycetoma.
Exposure to a large number of mold spores may cause allergic symptoms such as watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, itching, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, headache, and fatigue. Repeated exposure to mold can increase a person's sensitivity, causing more severe allergic reactions.
Mold Is Bad for Your Health
Mold can cause detrimental effects on human health, especially for children or people with pre-existing health conditions. Asthma is the most common health issue associated with long-term indoor mold exposure. Adults who live in moldy homes are up to 50 percent more likely to develop asthma.
So, if you are sleeping in a damp or mouldy room, you're spending about a third of your time inhaling dangerous mycotoxins spores. Frequently inhaling these spores leads to a plethora of health problems for both healthy and vulnerable people.
As mold grows, it can stain the things it's growing on. If left to multiply, it can cause serious damage to furniture, clothes, walls and other objects. It can also cause health problems for people who are allergic to it, or breathe the air around large quantities of mold.
There are many types of black mold. Stachybotrys chartarum is usually the one referred to as " toxic mold." All molds can cause symptoms in people who are sensitive to or allergic to mold. But there is no reason to believe that black mold is any more dangerous than other types or colors of mold.