What to Do If Your AC Starts Growing Mold

What to Do If Your AC Starts Growing Mold

The presence of mold in your HVAC system can significantly reduce air quality in and around your home, particularly if members of your household suffer from allergies. The consequences of long-term mold exposure go way beyond mere sniffling and sneezing. Medical research reports that molds can cause throat irritation, wheezing, coughing, eye and skin irritation, and blocked nasal passages. Those with mold allergies may have even more severe reactions, and those with auto-immune conditions and chronic lung infections are putting their health at risk by continuing to ignore the signs of mold growth.

A Potentially Deadly Combination

While the growth of mold anywhere in your house can present health challenges, the function of your air conditioner in combination with mold growth is even more dangerous than mold found in your bathroom or kitchen. The function of an air conditioner is to circulate cool air throughout your home. If mold is allowed to grow and build up inside components of your HVAC system and ductwork, it could potentially impact your entire house. Mold spores are spread through your entire system and into rooms of your house, creating a widespread problem that causes you to inhale these toxic particulates. Even as you sleep, the consequences of breathing in mold can significantly and negatively impact your health.

Consequences of Mold Exposure

Long-term exposure to mold in your home may result in any of the following symptoms:

  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itching
  • Wheezing and coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

More serious health complications arise from repeated exposure. If you notice any of the above symptoms that cannot be attributed to recent illness, it’s a good idea to have your air conditioner inspected for possible mold growth.

How Mold Develops In Your Air Conditioner

It is nearly impossible to get rid of all mold spores in your house. Even if you were successful in cleaning your indoor environment, every time you opened a door or window you would be at risk of letting more mold in. As spores grow into mold, more spores are released. It is these high concentrations of spores that cause mold-related health problems. Preventing issues starts with eliminating the growth of mold at its source.

Mold needs a food source and moisture to grow and thrive. This moisture comes from your air conditioner’s high humidity levels found in both evaporator and condenser coils. If your unit is not properly draining, excess condensation will build up inside and around these components, becoming a breeding ground for toxic mold growth.

If your components are cleaned and checked regularly, it is unlikely that you’ll develop excessive mold growth in your air conditioner. Styrofoam channels and sheet metal ductwork do not usually offer mold its needed food source to thrive, but dust and particulates can quickly build up in your system, giving it a foothold for growth.

Getting Rid of Mold

Cleaning up mold inside an air conditioning unit is a delicate process that is best left to professionals. Proper cleaning procedures must be followed to prevent the spread of spores and exposure to toxins that may be harmful to one’s health.

Why Professional Mold Removal Is Necessary

Mold is everywhere. It is present in most buildings and even in the air that we breathe. We are equipped to handle a certain amount of exposure without experiencing adverse health effects. If your air conditioning system becomes saturated with mold, however, this can lead to the circulation of concentrated mold spores throughout your house, resulting in potential health complications for you and your loved ones. The use of store-bought chemical cleaners may kill spores temporarily, but these compounds also release toxins into the air, aggravating allergy and asthma issues. Surface treating of mold doesn’t get to the root of the problem deep in your HVAC system.

Professional mold removal involves several steps. As mold is known to thrive in warm, moist environments, taking steps to eliminate excess moisture will ensure long-term management. Mold professionals have their own unique procedures to identify and eliminate mold growth. Our techniques are based on years of experience and research that contribute to a safer living environment.

The Removal Process

A professional mold removal treatment is performed by trained professionals who ensure not only your safety but also their own. A brief overview of remediation services involves the following steps.


A certified, trained inspector will perform a visual inspection of affected areas to identify where the source of the mold growth has occurred and how far it has extended through your system.


With the process of remediation, a trained mold removal specialist will safely apply commercial mold removal chemicals, scrubbing the area thoroughly to remove all visible traces of mold. Extreme care will be taken during this process to ensure that excess spores and particulates do not circulate throughout your home.

Quality Testing

After cleaning and reassembly, it’s time to test the air quality in your home. An inspection technician will perform tests in different parts of your home to ensure that remediation has been performed correctly and that your home is clean and as mold-free as possible.

Split Ductless Systems

A ductless mini-split unit has filters at the top of the unit. The filters will need to be lifted up and out of the unit and rinsed with warm water or cleaning solution to remove mold and spores. The filters should be completely air-dried before putting back into the unit. Regular cleaning and dusting of the unit should prevent the buildup of toxic mold and particulates that could otherwise circulate around your home.

Central Air Conditioners

If you suspect that you have mold growing in your central HVAC system and ductwork, professional intervention will be necessary. EPA recommendations suggest that the system be shut off as soon as the presence of mold is known. Ducts will need to be accessed, vacuumed, and cleaned. The central internal and external units of your system will have to be inspected and cleaned as well. In some cases, it may be necessary to disassemble components that need a thorough cleaning before reassembling them and ensuring efficient, clean cooling once more.

Prevention Is Key

Being able to control moisture and humidity levels is an essential part of keeping your air conditioner mold-free. Take these simple steps to control moisture and drainage when using your air conditioner.

Ensure that window units fit tightly, and tilt window units outward to help with drainage. Clean grates and filters in window units regularly as well. Ensure that whole-house units drain properly. Keep grates free from blockages, and replace air filters frequently. Refrain from introducing moisture to your system.

Let Us Help You Breathe Easier!

Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air in Loomis, CA has been dedicated to providing you with high-quality HVAC service, installation, and repair since 1976. We also offer plumbing and commercial services. Talented technicians go the extra mile to exceed customer expectations and provide you with clean, comfortable living throughout all seasons. If you suspect that your system has developed mold, don’t delay. Contact us to assess and restore your system, and breathe easier as a result of our expert service.

Everything You Need To Know About a Plumbing Stack

Everything You Need To Know About a Plumbing Stack

If you asked most people what a plumbing stack is, chances are you would get a blank stare as a response. That is because the term is not familiar to most people, even though a plumbing stack is one of the most important parts of a home’s plumbing system. Here is everything you need to know about plumbing stacks and how they impact your home.

What Is a Plumbing Stack?

A plumbing stack is a large pipe that supports all of the smaller pipes and equipment that makes up a home’s plumbing system. The smaller pipes feed into the plumbing stack, which sends wastewater and noxious odors from waste and other sources away from the home. A properly working plumbing stack is crucial for keeping water flowing through the home and venting the plumbing system.

Also known as a plumbing vent or vent stack, a plumbing stack is generally envisioned as a long, vertical straight pipe spanning the entire height of a house that has all of the other pipes for the home branching off it. The plumbing stack regulates the air pressure in the plumbing system while moving waste to a municipal or private sewer system and releasing noxious fumes and dangerous gases from the roof to dissipate in the air. If the plumbing stack is not working properly, it can compromise the whole plumbing system.

Parts of a Plumbing Stack

A plumbing stack is composed of three main parts: the vent stack, the drain stack, and the soil stack. The vent stack comprises the upper portion of the plumbing stack, starting just above where the topmost drain begins to flow into the plumbing stack and rising through the roof to the vent. This area is never touched by drain water and is responsible for venting bad air out of the house and introducing fresh air into the plumbing system.

The drain stack extends from the area where the top drainpipe attaches to the plumbing stack to the area where the lowest fixture drains into the plumbing stack. The soil stack represents everything on the plumbing stack below the lowest fixture, including the plumbing stack’s connection to the sewer. Issues with any these parts can negatively affect the health and well-being of anyone in the home. If you believe that there may be a problem with the plumbing stack in your home, contact the plumbing pros at Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air of Loomis, CA by phone or through our website for an inspection and evaluation of your plumbing system.

Materials Used to Make a Plumbing Stack

Most of the plumbing stacks in use today are made out of cast iron or PVC plastic. Cast iron is more common in older homes unless a new home builder specifically requests that the contractor installing the plumbing system use cast iron for their new build. Both types of plumbing stacks have their advantages and drawbacks, so let’s compare them.

Cast iron is a tried and true material in plumbing, being used for this undertaking for hundreds of years. The biggest benefits of cast iron are that it is durable, is long-lasting, is not easily damaged, and is very heat- and fire-resistant. The biggest drawbacks are that cast iron is more expensive than other plumbing options, the walls of the pipes are rough enough to reduce performance, and they can break if rusted or otherwise made brittle.

PVC pipes are used in most new plumbing systems due to the advantages they have over pipes made from other materials. PVC plastic is cheaper than metal and can be easily molded into a variety of shapes to fit every situation. PVC pipes are also considered to have superior performance due to their smooth walls. The biggest disadvantages of a PVC plumbing stack are that it won’t last as long as one made of cast iron and there is a risk that it could melt if a house fire breaks out.

Common Issues With Plumbing Stacks

One of the most common issues that occur with plumbing stacks is the pipe becoming blocked with debris. When this happens, the wastewater cannot flow through the pipes properly and can result in sewage and sewer gases flowing back into the home from the plumbing system. This can be extremely hazardous to your health and the health of your family.

If you suspect that your plumbing stack is blocked, it is important to call a professional plumber, like the ones that work for Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air of Loomis, CA, for a comprehensive evaluation. They will use specialized equipment to see into the plumbing stack, determine what is causing the blockage, and formulate a plan for removing the blockage quickly and efficiently without causing damage to the plumbing system.

Another issue that can occur with a plumbing stack is a negative pressure buildup in the pipes. This typically happens when the airflow of the roof vent is disrupted by clogging from bird’s nests, dead animals, leaves, or other debris. When this occurs, the water from your home won’t flow into the sewer system without some serious intervention. Getting the plumbing stack working correctly again will require a proper cleanout by a well-trained professional plumber.

Broken collars are another issue commonly seen with plumbing stacks. These collars are strips of metal, generally aluminum, that are combined with a rubber seal to protect the base of the roof vent of the plumbing stack. When the collar is applied, it prevents air, water, and other things from accessing the opening where the vent comes through the roof. Unfortunately, these collars can become damaged from exposure to the elements and direct sunlight, reducing their effectiveness at sealing off the openings.


A plumbing stack is a very important part of the home that needs regular inspections and maintenance to continue operating at peak performance. If you haven’t have your plumbing inspected for a few years, now would be a good time to see if there are any issues with your plumbing stack before they become catastrophic failures. Residential plumbing stack repairs and replacements can be expensive, so it is best to catch any problems early to minimize damage and expense.

Repairing a plumbing stack can vary in cost and complexity because the expenses will be based on several different factors. The size of the plumbing stack and its accessibility are big influences on the overall cost as is the material that the plumbing stack is made from and the cost of the replacement parts.

At Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating & Air of Loomis, CA, we offer a wide variety of plumbing services to cover your home from top to bottom. From plumbing stack inspections to drain cleaning, you can count on us to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible. We also offer heating and cooling services, repair services, and water testing for Sacramento, CA and the surrounding area. For more information on how we can help you with your home maintenance needs, contact us today!