You are diligent about cleaning around the air vents, so you are quick to notice anything that might be wrong with the system. Recently, you observed black dust coming out of the vents, and you’re concerned. You’re wondering if it’s safe or sanitary to ignore the visible signs or if it’s an emergency.
The black dust or spots around your air vents could be a sign you have mold growing in your air conditioning system. You’ll definitively know it’s black mold in air ducts if the black spots are difficult to wipe off and have a wet and slimy texture.
Black dust coming from your air vents may cause many health issues, including respiratory issues, throat irritation, continuous sneezing, and eye irritation. So, what causes black dust around air vents?
What causes black dust on air vents?
The black particles coming from the vents could be rust, insulation, or visible mold. You should inspect the AC unit, VAV (Variable air volume) boxes, induction and heat pumps, reheaters, and secondary units that serve the vent.
It is a well-known fact that air conditioning systems produce moisture. Excess moisture produced from air dehumidification is eliminated through the drainage pipe. Humidity in the pipes also forms tiny water droplets through condensation, providing an ideal moist environment for mold growth when combined with dust particles.
Black dust can also be caused by soot from fireplace logs or burning scented candles in your home. If this is the case, you can fix the problem by replacing the current air filter with an efficient one. An air filter with a MERV rating of 1-20 is enough to block dust and mold spores, but for smoke and soot, you’ll need an air filter of MERV 13+.
Signs of black mold in air vents
Aside from the black dust around your AC vents, you can tell you have a black mold growth problem when you notice the following:
- Allergy symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, or coughing
- A strong, musty odor
- Persistent headaches
- Dizziness or nausea
- Fatigue or brain fog
- Difficulty breathing
Getting rid of black dust around air vents
Black dust around air vents can be removed by scrubbing using a bleach solution. Call a professional air duct cleaner to safely remove the black dust. This is important since black dust can cause allergic reactions and respiratory issues.
The professional air duct cleaner will come with the necessary equipment, including protective gear, for efficient mold remediation. The process includes proper disposal and spraying mold growth inhibitor products to prevent reoccurrence.
Preventing mold growth in your home
Work to keep the humidity levels in your home under 50% throughout the day. A dehumidifier or an air conditioner can help keep these levels low. But since humidity levels fluctuate throughout the day, you can get a meter to measure humidity levels at home.
The perfect environment for black mold is space, with temperatures between 77 and 87 degrees and humidity between 62 and 93 percent. So, keeping the humidity levels under 50% stifles their growth. Aside from this, you should keep the air flowing freely in your home. And for humid rooms like the bathroom and kitchen, install exhaust fans to suck the humid air out. You can also clean these spaces with mold-killing cleaning solutions.
If your roof or plumbing is leaking, fix it immediately; don’t wait for a musty smell to signal you into action. This is important because mold starts germinating 24 hours after its humidity requirements are met.
Hire AirWiz Duct Cleaning
Black dust or mold around your air vents can be harmful to every member of your household. As tempting as it might be to scrape it off and be done with it, toxic mold is microscopic fungi that you can easily spread to every room in your home.
Mold remediation requires a professional with industry experience. AirWiz Duct Cleaning has a team ready to permanently resolve your problem without increasing your risk of exposure. We are certified for duct cleaning and mold remediation and focus on delivering quality customer experience.