July 31, 2023

Why does mould grow on Air conditioning units, and why it is dangerous?

Recently we were asked to provide our expert knowledge for a News article, the question being:
"Why does mould grow on Air conditioning units, and why it is dangerous?"

Mould can grow on air conditioning units for several reasons, and it can pose various dangers to both the unit and the occupants of the building. Here are five reasons why mould can grow on air conditioning units and why it is dangerous:

  1. Moisture accumulation: Air conditioning units work by removing moisture from the air. If the unit is not functioning properly or there is a blockage in the drainage system, excess moisture can accumulate inside the unit, creating a damp environment conducive to mould growth.
  2. Dust and debris buildup: Dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate on the cooling coils and other interior parts of the air conditioning unit. Mould spores can attach to these particles and find a suitable environment for growth within the unit.
  3. Poor ventilation: Inadequate ventilation in the air conditioning system can lead to stagnant air and increased humidity levels. Stagnant air provides a perfect environment for mould to thrive.
  4. Lack of maintenance: Regular maintenance of air conditioning units is essential to keep them clean and in good working condition. Neglected units are more likely to have mould growth due to the accumulation of dirt and moisture.
  5. Recirculation of mould spores: Once mould starts growing inside the air conditioning unit, it can release spores into the air. These spores can then be circulated throughout the building by the air conditioning system, potentially affecting the indoor air quality and exposing occupants to mould-related health issues.

Why mould growth in air conditioning units is dangerous:

  1. Health risks: Mould releases spores and mycotoxins into the air, which can be inhaled by occupants. Prolonged exposure to mould can cause respiratory problems, allergies, asthma exacerbation, and other health issues, especially for people with pre-existing respiratory conditions or weakened immune systems.
  2. Reduced indoor air quality: Mould growth in air conditioning units can significantly decrease the indoor air quality of a building. Poor air quality can lead to discomfort, headaches, fatigue, and other health problems for occupants.
  3. Damage to the unit: Mould can corrode and damage various components of the air conditioning unit, leading to reduced efficiency and increased repair costs.
  4. Spread to other areas: Mould can spread from the air conditioning unit to other parts of the building, contaminating walls, ceilings, and other surfaces.
  5. Liability issues: If mould growth in the air conditioning unit causes health problems for occupants, it can lead to legal liabilities for property owners and managers.

To prevent mould growth on air conditioning units, regular maintenance, proper ventilation, and prompt repair of any issues are crucial. If mould is suspected, it is essential to have it professionally inspected and remediated to ensure a safe and healthy indoor environment.

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If you are thinking about installing or repairing an air conditioning system, speak with us. Our local Noosa based team would love to work with you.