Did you know that September 5th-October 5th is National Indoor Toxic Mold Awareness Month? And it comes at the perfect timing, too, as the arrival of Autumn means that the coming inclement weather will bring about the conditions under which mold is known to thrive. But what does toxic mold have to do with HVAC? In a word, everything. Any good HVAC system is not just about controlling the temperature inside buildings, but also to make sure that the environment inside is not easily invaded by outside biological agents. Here’s the low down on all things moldy.
Mold: What Gives?
The reason mold is of such concern to HVAC professionals is that they can give off toxins which can be very poisonous to humans. Given the right conditions, some molds can begin to grow within a building and produce toxins that cause maladies like headaches, colds, skin rashes, fevers, and respiratory complications. Toxic mold is such an issue that it has been known to shut down major buildings like schools and hospitals for weeks as mold remediation specialists clean out a building of Volatile Organic Compounds.
Three essential conditions must be satisfied in order for mold to grow. For each kind of mold, a specific amount of moisture and temperature must occur, along with a viable food source. If these three conditions are met within your building, then it is likely to be transformed into a mold hotel in no time at all.
Where does HVAC Come In?
An introduction to all things mold is likely to be any part of your HVAC training. This is because a building’s HVAC system is the primary way for mold to access the interior. In order to defend against mold, preventative measures must be taken. Air filters and outdoor air dampers must be cleaned regularly or replaced. HVAC technicians must be diligent about checking air duct’s internal lining for dust and damp areas. Air conditioners must be checked for standing water and dirt or grime, and so on. While these tasks may seem tedious, they are absolutely essential in making sure a building does not succumb to the invasion of toxic mold. While they may not realize it at first, any person with an HVAC job can look at themselves as warriors- the first line of defense against a species that looks to do harm to the human race! So don’t let your guard down, take great care with preventative measures and you’ll be a mold model in no time!