Do you think that you might have mold within your air ducts? You might have noticed that there is a strange smell throughout your home, or you may have recently experienced something -- such as a leak -- that makes you suspicious. Either way, there are some easy ways that you can use to identify the presence of mold.
Pull Out and Examine Your Filters
Your filters should be changed every three to six months depending on how active your home is and how many occupants it has. Pull out your filter and examine it for the signs of mold growth: black or green patches across the screen. If you have mold spores anywhere inside of your air ducts, they are very likely to also grow across the filters.
Look for Signs of Leaks or Water Damage
Leaks and water damage are the leading cause of mold anywhere within your home, whether in ducts or otherwise. If your air ducts have been dripping, it's possible that you have mold or other bacteria.
Inspect the Visible Portion of Your Ducts
With a ladder and a flashlight, you should actually be able to see a significant portion of your air duct. Remove the filter and look inside. You will be looking for patches of black, green, or other dark colored growth. The growth is generally in circular patterns, such as discs, but it may also be centered around damp locations, such as the corners of the vent itself.
Get an Air Quality Test Performed
If you can't see any mold but still believe there might be some, the best thing you can do for your home and family is to perform an air quality test. It's possible the mold may be in an area of the duct you cannot see -- or it could be in your walls and ceiling. An air quality test is the fastest way to make sure that the air your family is breathing is safe.
Mold within your air ducts is actually quite uncommon -- unless you live in an area that is unusually humid or have leaks throughout your air conditioning. The best way to address this is to contact a professional air duct cleaning company. They have the skills and expertise necessary to quickly determine whether you might have an issue. Though mold is very rare, it's dangerous enough that it should be taken seriously. Contact a business that handles air duct cleaning for more information.