With the weather getting colder, more and more Edmontonians will find themselves turning on their furnaces, but there may be a hidden culprit causing poor air quality throughout the winter months. Mold can appear quickly and hide relatively well inside air duct systems, so it’s important to keep an eye out for the first signs of new growth. We want to share several tips to help you identify mold, as well as protect your home against it.
The Effects of Mold on Your Health and Home
Mold is a type of fungus that spreads through spores in the air or by attaching itself to people and pets. Though mold can exist everywhere, it thrives both indoors and outdoors in moist environments. The most common places you could find mold include in roofing, kitchens, bathrooms, and air ducts. For this reason, homes with higher HVAC usage during humid summers and damp winter days are at higher risk for mold.
Studies have found that around 70% of homes contain some type of mold. If left untreated, it can multiply and cause irreversible structural damage to your home and severe health issues for yourself and your loved ones.
Look for Water and Condensation Staining
When cool air moves through ductwork, it pushes through the air conditioning system until it reaches the opening. This air meets warmer, humid air and eventually forms condensation. This condensation is responsible for staining your vents. If left untreated, mold and spores may subsequently develop around the staining. While solutions to vent staining vary from case to case, treatment typically includes inspecting for air leaks and further insulating the duct to prevent additional staining.
Look Out for a Strong Odour (Mildew)
A noticeable mildew smell is one of the tell-tale signs of mold growing in your home. The smell is a damp, musty scent, similar to rotting wood. Once you turn on the heating or cooling, the smell of the mold will be noticeably stronger. While mold can grow almost anywhere in homes, it is especially hazardous if present in air ducts as it can spread throughout the home rapidly once the HVAC system is in use.
Keep an Eye on Health Problems
Mold is one of the most common culprits for spreading germs in homes, leading to many health issues. Coming into contact with mold can also make existing symptoms and illnesses worse.
Coming into contact with mold can cause various allergy-like symptoms, including:
- Persistent headaches
- Sneezing and coughing
- Lung irritation
- Sore throat
- Red or itchy eyes
- Breathing difficulties
Symptoms from mold vary and may be mistaken for other illnesses, which is why it may be difficult to diagnose at first. Staying conscious of health issues and symptoms you experience can help you more easily determine if mold is present in your home and prevent these issues from worsening.
Check Your Vents
One of the simplest ways to check if mold is present in your home is by checking vent coverings. Mold will generally appear in dark splotches, covering the vent sporadically or in large groups. Make it part of your regular home maintenance routine to inspect vents and ensure there isn’t an excess of moisture or signs of mold. Regular professional vent cleanings will also include a check for condensation, mold, dust, and debris that could be clogging vents.
Breathe Easier with Clean Air Solutions
Look no further than Clean Air Solutions for your air duct cleaning in Edmonton. Keep your ductwork mold-free, and have a healthier home with superior indoor air quality this autumn season. Trusted for over 25 years, we are your local furnace and duct experts. Book an appointment today to receive a free cost estimate for duct cleaning in Edmonton.