Air conditioners use both outdoor and indoor equipment. Luckily, you can also introduce UV technology into your HVAC system. My house feels muggy and disgusting now. Regardless of where you live, you can follow these helpful air quality tips to ensure your HVAC system isn’t becoming a germ factory. While the risks to your HVAC system may not be as serious as those facing hospitals and healthcare facilities, the same principals apply. Condensation forms in the coils and ducts as cool air circulates through the system, creating a habitat for moisture-loving mold. Keeping a furnace clean is especially challenging in an older home with an unfinished basement. If you have central air conditioning, contact a professional cleaning service to remove mold from the unit and ductwork. They have the added benefit of making your house feel warmer without needing to crank the thermostat. The first is a wand-like device that allows you to shine the disinfecting UV light on surfaces you want to address. One of the trouble spots for germs in an AC unit is the condensate drain. Allow the inside of the vent to dry thoroughly before reattaching the vent cover. Furthermore, if you have added central filtration or humidifiers, you also have more moving parts to be addressed. One part that do need constant water spray is the AC condenser. This is done by installing a direction UV-C light at the air mover that is pushing either cooled or heated air throughout your home. Spray at least 10 pumps into each vent; do this for each air intake vent throughout your home's duct system. There may not necessarily be a drip pan in your window air conditioner. Spray the Lysol Disinfection Spray into the air flow inlet 2 A professional contractor should clean a contaminated area that is greater than 100 square feet, according to the California Department of Public Health. Just try not to direct the water onto the control area and directly onto the fan motor that drives the blower and outside fan part. Prevent the spread of germs at home by cracking a window now and again. So, is it safe and effective to spray an air conditioner with a garden hose? During periods of increased airborne disease risk such as flu season, this work is especially important. Then once it is dry spray it down with LYSOL this will kill any mold or mildew that may be left. Whole-home humidifiers have become increasingly popular. Lean the air filter back towards you and spray Lysol generously into the vent. Shut the engine off, wait 20 minutes or so, and then repeat without spraying anything in, to purge the system. If you do see water damage being caused by your HVAC system — or anything else for that matter — get the damage repaired right away. Lysol has other ingredients that's aren't healthy to inhale. In some homes, a portable single-room humidifier may not do enough. An avid gardener, Evans has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of New Hampshire, a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School, and a personal trainer certificate from American Fitness Professionals and Associates. You may have even noticed it — a strange blue light in the corner of a restaurant kitchen as you were ordering your food is likely a germ-killing UV light. Experts argue that airborne versions of these diseases are the most dangerous and are on the rise in the United States. Water damage, especially in drywall or wood studs, can produce mold. Prepare the Lysol Disinfection Spray by rough shaking for about 1 minutes and then spray into the air flow inlet for about 2-3 minutes. Spray your air conditioner with a 3% hydrogen peroxide mixture. Even if you only do this in the evening, you will drastically improve the air quality of your home. If the filter is specifically designed for your unit, please identify it. Does Mold on Attic Sheathing Have to Be Removed? However, the type of UV light required for germ killing was expensive to produce, so it didn’t become a common feature outside of commercial applications. They are also far more energy-efficient than a fleet of single-room humidifiers. Set the bottle to "spray" when you are done. In other words, there is a lot to learn from hospitals and healthcare facilities about why it’s important to keep your HVAC system sanitized. If a mildew smell is noticeable when you first … © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Air conditioner vents can be breeding grounds for black mold. If this drain backs up, then condensate collects, creating a stagnant pool of water. Very easy way to Clean a Window Air Conditioner without removing it. Cleaning an HVAC system thoroughly is challenging, and it often requires pulling equipment apart. Swirl them to mix them up, but do not shake the bottle to form suds. While repairs may be a hassle, vermin often return through the same means they first used to enter your home. However, I took it out of the window and cleaned it good away from … First, you can clean the grates with a cloth, then use your vacuum hose to remove dust in corners and tight spaces. Although most Americans are unaware of the power of ultraviolet (UV) light for the purposes of combatting airborne germs, there is a long history to this approach. If the pests entered through your ductwork, you will need to hire an HVAC professional to address the issue. Black mold can grow in any remaining moisture. That being said, what do HAIs have to do with the need to reduce home germs in an HVAC system? Next, it's important to disinfect your air ducts. Air conditioner vents can be breeding grounds for black mold. It’s worth noting that moving air can make you more comfortable even at a higher temperature. It is crucial that you avoid using Lysol as an HVAC system sanitizer. They accelerate corrosion and propagate leaks. Just make sure you know your filter's dimensions to ensure that you purchase the correct size for your HVAC system. Air Conditioner Cleaning Seasonally: Spray the blades and duct opening with water to prevent dry mold from escaping into the air. Start by purchasing a hygrometer. While most people assume HEPA filters work like a sieve, this is incorrect. You can even purchase a heavy-duty vacuum for extra cleaning power. A frequent spraying of Lysol on the air filter, discharge vent, and onto the coil behind the air filter will stop the mold, and also make the air smell nice. How to Safely Clean Mold Off of a Ceiling, How to Get Rid of the Musty Smell When You Turn the Furnace On. Ionizing cleaners don’t work, she says. On the outside of your vehicle at the bottom of the windshield, you'll see air intake vents. Re-assemble and turn the main power switch on. It is also worth noting that a UV-C disinfecting light is an effective tool year-round. How to Sanitize Your HVAC System and Prevent the Spread of Germs at Home. 99 This will help make sure your humidifier doesn’t become a breeding ground for the very germs you are trying to combat! Give the air conditioner a quick makeover easily with spray paint. Alternatively, if your air conditioner’s filter can be replaced, swap it out. Unfortunately, when you are relying solely on HVAC systems for temperature control, you are increasingly relying on recycled air. This instructional guide offers the best ways to reduce home bacteria in your HVAC system. Please note that you should not use Lysol to sanitize your HVAC system's return vents. Customer reply replied 2 years ago. Ask Your Own Appliance Question. Avoid spraying the fan motor. Hose it off as needed. “I purchased an air cleaner strictly to operate when and if somebody in my household gets sick so we can reduce the viral load in my house air,” she says. A hidden leak will be identified during routine maintenance and repaired promptly, meaning that this concern can be avoided. That’s why you want to regularly use a shop vacuum and make sure the area around the furnace is as clean as possible. These filters need to be regularly replaced. But, during the summer, venting the steam will keep your home more comfortable and healthy. They are available at most home improvement stores and can be easily found online. In fact, getting the humidity in your home to these levels can reduce the survival rate of flu viruses by up to 30%. My dh was concerned that I might be doing something dangerous or damaging to our heating system. Combine 1 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water. While the Lysol technically might kill said gunk, the first problem is the lack of sufficient volume OF Lysol to completely saturate the insides of the ductwork/air handler TO actually kill said gunk. To answer the question, yes, it’s okay to spray water on your air conditioner. CNN reports a growing consensus of scientists suggest that homes with an ambient humidity between 40% and 60% have fewer flu germs in the air and on surfaces such as sinks and countertops. Styrofoam, with its irregular surface, is a dream vacation destination for mildew and mold. Though no one wants to open a window in summer or winter, it’s in the winter when the lack of humidity already makes the air conducive to infections like the flu. While you’re at it, consider taking a shorter shower. The simplest of these techniques is to lift up the registers, wipe them down and vacuum each vent as thoroughly as possible. Remember, many entry-level humidifiers can harbor their own germs. With the right tools, disinfectants and know-how, HVAC system cleaning can be easy. Take the bags outdoors through a window or door in the room in which you just cleaned to avoid contaminating other areas of the house. Hydrogen Peroxide will kill bacteria, oil of oregano, Thieves in a defuser a combo of clove and other ingredients that are disinfectants. How to Treat Black Mold in the Sink Area of a Kitchen. Air conditioners recycle the air in the room to make it feel refreshing and cool. © 2018 Smart Touch Energy. Don't use paper towels on the coil itself - the pressure of your hand can bend the fins. Harsh chemicals in fungicides can harm its delicate evaporator and condenser coils. Window units pull outside air and push it through a refrigerator unit. With so many benefits beyond reducing the flu virus, it’s a great first step. Remove dust from the inside of the air conditioner, as the dust in the moist environment allows mold to thrive. Repeat for the heater with the heater full on fan full on, etc. After 15 minutes, rinse and allow the filter and vent cover to air-dry. Place the vent cover in a basin or tub, sprinkle with laundry detergent and add enough water to cover the vent cover. Wash the air filter with a disinfecting cleaner like Lysol Power & Free ®. California Department of Public Health: Mold in My Home — What Do I Do? If you live in an older home, it is likely that uninvited guests, whether they are rodents or insects, have stopped by from time to time. The technology is getting cheaper, so a lot of people are adding disinfecting UV light as a redundancy in combination with other sanitizing procedures. In fact, these types of lights have become more popular in restaurants throughout the country. With the AC fan running at full power, you should be able to feel air being sucked in. However, as our reputation for peerless service and fair pricing grew, we expanded our service to include regular HVAC maintenance. Luckily, there are air filtration products designed for just these issues. Their evaps tend to leak prior to the 5 year standard warranty is up and manufacturers are denying the … This tool will help you know the exact atmospheric humidity levels in your home. Not only will they set up traps or spray chemicals to drive off or kill the pests, but they will discover the way by which the critters entered in the first place and ensure they no longer have a way to enter your home. Recently, when my family was sick with the flu, I went a bit crazy with the Lysol and sprayed some into the return vents. Don't take your old air conditioner to the dump when rust begins to rear its ugly head. During the summer, excess humidity can become a problem. For example, leaky air conditioners and stagnant water can create mold issues while also serving as a breeding ground for bacteria. Homes with open floor plans or that have large rooms are notoriously difficult to humidify. The company began as a heating oil company, committed to taking the hassle out of buying heating oil. The longer you are in the shower, the more steam you will be producing. Mold spores are microscopic and not visible to the naked eye, so clean surfaces even if you do not see mold. Black mold can cause severe respiratory symptoms, particularly in people who are allergic to mold. We recommend cleaning or exchanging your filter at least once a month. We will discuss the reasons why spraying water on your air condenser is critical. Remember to protect yourself from inhaling the hydrogen peroxide while spraying since it’s very harmful to your health. While an invader might enter through a hole in your siding or be found in your cupboards, they can also make their invasion through your ductwork. Make sure all household members with mold allergies or respiratory problems are out of the house before you begin to clean the air conditioner vents. Step 3: Spray Lysol into the Outside Air Vents. As CNN points out, humidity levels in the winter in America can often drop as low as 10%, the same humidity levels in the Sahara Desert. Not only will a HEPA filter remove microbes such as the flu or cold virus, but it will also remove dust, mites, pollen and other allergens. In fact, there are some things you can do to reduce the potential for an airborne infection from being transmitted through your HVAC system. While it is more expensive than individual air filtration devices, it will save on energy and replacement costs in the long run. Our service includes a full-service cleaning, one of the most important actions you can take to combat germs in your HVAC system. While we already noted that recycled air is more prone to airborne germs, there are times during the year, especially in the middle of winter or summer, that opening the windows just isn’t practical. You can spray Lysol or some other similar product into the front of the unit that could take care of the smell. Yeah, The mold thing on window air conditioners is a real bummer. Back in 1903, UV light was used as a means of combatting the virus that causes tuberculosis. All HVAC systems use some filtration to remove particulates from the intake ductwork that pulls air back from your home, which is cycled through either the furnace or the air conditioning. Always clean your hands after spraying the device even if you had the protective gloves. A disinfected, clean air conditioner will allow for a fresher smell, safer environment, and will … However, while they are great tools, they are not effective when it comes to addressing airborne germs. Since the flu and other viruses survive more easily in low humidity environments, creating a more moderate humidity in your home can keep you and your family healthier. Re: I sprayed Lysol through the front vents of my air conditioner. Question - is it harmful to spray Lysol into the returns? Air conditioners can grow mold and start to blow smelly, unhealthy air into your home if not cleaned properly. While many people use ventilation fans, they are often seen as a convenience to ensure the bathroom mirror isn’t fogged over after they step out of the shower. Fill the spray bottler with the hydrogen peroxide first then turn off the air conditioner and then spray the intake area gently. 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