Moldy, smelly Aircon

Look carefully, these are not dust!

Mold on aircon blower, water tray and back of the aircon.

When your aircon smells, it’s an indication that your aircon is moldy and bacteria infested. A smelly aircon should not be ignored and you should not attempt to cover up using perfume or air freshers, this will make the condition worst.

When mold grows on your aircon, it can cause you some serious health problems. It is especially important for families with infant before reaching age 1 to pay special attention to mold growth.

Source Wikipedia: “Infants may develop respiratory symptoms as a result of exposure to a specific type of fungal mold, called Penicillium. Infants will begin to show respiratory problems if they have a persistent cough and/or wheeze. The number of days that a child will suffer from respiratory symptoms during their first year of life increases by an average of 20% every time the level of Pencicillium increases. The levels are deemed no mold to low level, from low to intermediate, from intermediate to high”

There is abundance of information on the internet (eg, wikipedia) regarding mold and health problems and as such, i shall not elaborate further on my website.

Due to the way an aircon blower is arranged and built, you cannot wipe the back of the aircon as seen in the picture below.

MOld at the back of aircon blower

Also, you cannot wipe mold off a blower and from its internal water tray and the heat exchanger.

Mold in the internal parts of an aircon water tray and blower

Vacuuming should be avoided unless you are very sure those are dust particles and not mold. This is because vacuuming is not thorough enough and in the process of vacuuming, you will be dislodging the mold and causing them to become air borne. If the mold is left untouched, it will not harm you, but once it becomes air borne, you may accidentally breathe them in or swollow them. Also, since the mold is not completely removed, it grows back very quickly, requiring another round of “aircon servicing”.

Astiquer’s patent granted aircon cleaning method that uses high pressure water jet to flush the system, removes so much mold from the aircon, it never fail to shock our customers. We are seeing such “before and after” results everyday: Till date, I’ve personally cleaned more than 10,000 aircon units using ChemJet and HydroJet cleaning methods.

Mold grows well in damp, dark places with poor ventilation, preferably hot places. Since air conditioners are cold, condensation is only natural and aircon’s internal parts are often wet or at least with moisture. Mold multiplies very quickly when temperarture rises. As such, we often see high mold growth within an aircon when users go away on a long vacation. During those times, the house’s windows and doors are shut and therefore resulting in poor ventilation. When the temperature of the house rises from the heat of afternoon sun, mold will quickly multiply.

People don’t open their windows ( when aircon is not in use) due to many reasons:

1) To keep the dust out .

2) To keep the noise out.

3) To keep the insects and geckos out .

4) To keep the rain out .

5) Habits brought over from years of staying in cold and dry countries where windows are always shut.

The above listed reasons could be very legitimate reasons, however, mold will not be soft on you. What that you could do is to stop feeding the mold. In a not well ventilated place, oil/starch/protein particles do not escape and mold feeds on them. Therefore, you should stop sabotaging yourself, avoid releasing more oil into the air through the burning of essential scented oil, use of air fresheners, perfume or disinfectant sprays. Below is a rough guideline on how soon your aircon may become moldy again:

EnvironmentEstmated time for mold to grow
Poor ventilation, excessive use of perfume / oil3 – 4 mths
Poor ventilation,minimal use of perfume / oil8 – 9 mths
Good ventilation, excessive use of perfume / oil5 – 6 mths
Good ventilation, minimal use of perfume / oil12 – 24 mths

Bacteria biofilm (commonly called aircon jelly) comes hand in hand with the mold. When you experience water dripping due to clogging of the drain pipes by the aircon jelly, it is almost certainly that the aircon blower is moldy and clogged too.

When the airflow is severely restricted due to clogging of the fan coil amd fan blower, aircon is naturally not cold. It can further lead to condensation on the copper pipes, causing mold stains on the aircon casings/trunkings.

If a technician is not well trained and started topping up refrigerant despite your aircon not having a gas leak issue, it will risk causing compressor failure.

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