Is it Mold or Mildew, and What Does it Have to Do with My HVAC?

Is it Mold or Mildew

There is a fungus lurking among us, its mold and we are here to answer your questions about it. During the summer, many of our Sacramento, Stockton, and Vacaville homeowners see an uptick of mold and mildew cases in their homes. It’s easy to find mold and mildew lurking in your homes, if you smell something musty, follow your nose and eventually you’ll find the source. We often see an uptick in mold cases during the summer due to malfunctioning AC units and issues with humidity.

What Causes Mold and Mildew?

While mold and mildew may seem annoying, they’re actually very important for the world at large. Without mold and mildew, nothing would decompose and return to the earth, we also wouldn’t have cheese or penicillin. So, we need mold for the world to go around, but you don’t need it in your bathroom. Mold and mildew both have the same mission, they want to digest anything organic they come in contact with. To do this, all they need is a bit of moisture and some time alone. Meaning, mold loves damp, moist places; like your bathroom, or anywhere in your home where there’s a leak or extra condensation. Spores containing mold and mildew are almost always in the ambient air, they’re just looking for some damp organic material where they can plant themselves, consume organic materials, and grow. Mold has a special affinity for drywall, wood, and other organic compounds. If your home is excessively humid, it will become a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

Is it Mold or Mildew? What’s the Difference?

Short answer, yes mildew is mold. Long answer, if left alone for a long enough time, mildew can grow and bloom into mold. Mildew is also a young version of mold. Perhaps it’s the caterpillar of mold. Mildew is the first thing to attach itself to an organic surface, and if left for a long enough time, it will grow into full blown mold. In its early stages, mildew can be mistaken for dust and left alone or just dusted aside. Homeowners may leave mildew until it noticeably grows into mold.

What’s HVAC Got to Do with It?

Simply put, mildew needs moisture to plant itself and grow. Until you change the moisture levels in your home, you will never be able to get rid of mildew and mold. Without a properly serviced system, you run the risk of fostering mold growth in your home. One of your AC’s essential functions is to balance humidity levels in your home. If your AC is malfunctioning in some way, this can increase the humidity levels which will in turn foster mildew growth. If your ductwork is leaky or has holes, outdoor and moist air can get in, which would cause mildew.

How to treat Mold and Mildew in Your Home

Many homeowners opt for a mold removal, which takes away the existing fungi, but this won’t stop any future growth. The best way to treat mildew and mold growth in your home is to fix the humidity levels—or any plumbing leaks—in your home. If your HVAC system is too old, too large, or too small, it can foster mold growth.

If you’ve lapsed on your yearly HVAC maintenance, it’s time for a tune-up. One of our expertly trained technicians will come to your home and inspect your HVAC system. They will make sure everything is running smoothly and clean all components that may have, or could lead to, mold growth. Adirty air filter will also contribute to mold growth in the home. If you want a technical solution, Bell brothers offers two devices that can help. The iWave and the Air Scrubber. Both are add-ons to your existing HVAC system, and both use special technology to rid your air of mold spores. If you are interested in learning more about these options, speak with your HVAC technician.

Want Help? Call the HVAC Experts at Bell Brothers

Are you battling mold and mildew in your home? It’s time to schedule an appointment with Bell Brothers. Our expertly trained HVAC technicians have been helping Sacramento homeowners for the over 25 years. To schedule your service, call the number at the top of the page. Don’t forget, we take care of all things pluming and window related too.