Neptune Mold Solutions

How To Get Rid of Mold In Air Ducts

How Does Mold Grow Inside Air Ducts?

Mold spores are very common to find both inside and outside your home or building. However, discovering mold growing on your property is never a good sign.

All mold needs to grow is moisture and a food source. Once it has both, mold can start growing inside your home or building at any time, especially in your air ducts.

Mold can grow inside air ducts when dust builds up over time, providing a food source for mold spores.  In this situation, mold spores feed on the organic particles present in the dust like; plant materials, dead skin cells, paper, wood, and fabric materials, facilitating their growth.

Signs You Have Mold In Air Ducts

If you find mold in your air ducts, it’s important to act quickly. Delaying the removal process allows the mold to continue growing and spreading throughout your home. Therefore, if you discover mold, make it a priority to remove it. Below are some signs you’ll notice mold in your air ducts.

Visible Mold Inside HVAC Registered Boxes:

Evidence of mold growth or rust on the HVAC register is a sign. Most times we would look just past the register plate into the register box will often reveal growth in the register box. Sometimes those boxes are insulated so there can be growth embedded in the insulation material.

Musty Smell:

One of the most obvious signs of mold in your air ducts is a musty or moldy odor permeating throughout your home. This smell is often described as earthy or damp and can be particularly strong when the HVAC system is running. If you notice this persistent odor, then it’s probably a good idea to get a mold inspection.

Allergy-like Symptoms and Sickness:

Mold spores released into the air can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory issues in susceptible individuals. If you or your family members are experiencing unexplained allergy symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, wheezing, or itchy eyes, it could be due to mold exposure from your air ducts. Persistent sickness or respiratory infections without an apparent cause should also raise concerns about mold contamination.

Dust in The Air Ducts:

Many homeowners can spend years without looking into their air ducts or AC units, as a result, dust and debris would accumulate within the air ducts. As we learned above, dust can be a major food source for mold growth. Not every dusty air duct has mold, however, the chances of mold growth in your ducts especially in a humid like Houston, Texas is pretty high.

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Risks of Having Mold In Your Air Ventilation System

Spread Throughout Home:

One major risk is that mold can spread throughout the home. As your HVAC system moves air around, any mold spores in the ducts can travel with it and come out through vents in every room. This means mold can quickly spread to all areas of your house. If the conditions are right, the spores can land on surfaces and start growing over time.

Potential for Long-term Exposure:

Continuous mold exposure can also aggravate existing health issues, leading to an increased frequency of symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing, and may contribute to the development of asthma in susceptible individuals. 

Individuals with asthma or other respiratory issues may find their symptoms worsened by mold exposure. Such conditions include asthma, allergic rhinitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, pneumonitis, and immune-mediated respiratory disorders, all of which can be significantly impacted by mold spores in the environment.

Pictures Of Mold In Air Ducts & AC System

Mold Growth on Ventilation
Mold Growth Inside Air Ducts
Mold Growth Found Around Air Vents

How To Get Rid Mold In Your Air Ducts?

This is one of the major questions that we see homeowners ask when they recognize they have mold in their air ducts. Many people will gravitate towards getting their air ducts cleaned, which at the time can seem like the right option, and it’s actually not a bad step. However, mold is a byproduct of moisture, so getting rid of mold requires a skilled professional who can locate the source of moisture, test the mold, and create actionable steps for air duct mold removal.

While both are extremely important for better air quality, when it comes to mold, choosing a mold inspection is the correct choice. Learn about the roles of a mold inspector and an air duct cleaning professional below;

The Role Of A Professional Mold Inspector

A mold inspector plays a crucial role in identifying mold issues that may extend beyond the scope of air duct cleaning. Their primary responsibility is to assess the extent of mold contamination in your home, including areas beyond the air ducts. By conducting a thorough inspection, they can pinpoint sources of moisture and identify areas prone to mold development. 

Additionally, mold inspectors provide valuable insights and recommendations for remediation measures to address mold issues effectively. For any mold-related issues in the air ducts & HVAC systems, a mold inspection needs to be performed before and remediation or air duct cleaning. Oftentimes, mold in your HVAC is a symptom of a different and bigger mold issue in the home that only an inspector can find.

The Role of an Air Duct Cleaning Professional

Air duct cleaning professionals specialize in removing dust, debris, and contaminants from HVAC systems, including air ducts, vents, and registers. Their primary goal is to improve indoor air quality and optimize the performance of heating and cooling systems.

While air duct cleaning can contribute to reducing mold growth by eliminating organic matter that serves as a food source, it may not address underlying mold issues present in other areas of the home. As a result, most mold issues usually come back sometime after duct cleaning because the source of what’s causing the mold problem was never dealt with.

Benefits of Hiring a Mold Expert

  • You will get qualified inspection and testing, which will help you to know where in your property is contaminated and what type of mold spores that are affecting the areas, whether in the air ducts, attics, or walls of the property.
  • Mold inspector like those at Neptune Mold Solutions focus on finding the source of the mold in order to build proper remediation protocols.
  • Hiring a mold inspection expert, will mean there will be less errors in identifying and removing the mold.
  • You will get a professional clearance test, this is a last mold inspections to make sure the remediation team did their job properly, followed the instructions written by the mold inspector, and the mold from the contaminated areas are removed.


Mold growth anywhere in the home is dangerous, however, in your air ducts is a whole other problem. Air duct mold can spread throughout the home, can go unrecognized for years, aggravate symptoms, and worsen other existing illnesses. 

Getting a mold inspection, before any other work in your HVAC system is the best thing to do.

At Neptune Mold Solutions, we specialize in inspecting mold issues anywhere in the home, whether it’s in your air ducts, attics, or in between the walls. We make sure that you know how mold is infecting your home, and proper remediation protocols to remove the mold and deal with the source that’s causing the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mold in HVAC systems can indeed pose health risks. When mold spores are circulated through the air by the HVAC system, they can be inhaled by occupants, potentially leading to respiratory issues, allergies, or aggravating existing health conditions. Additionally, mold growth in HVAC systems can compromise the efficiency of the system and cause unpleasant odors.

As for Dawn dish soap, while it is an effective cleaner for removing dirt and grease, it may not be sufficient for killing mold. Dawn does not contain ingredients specifically designed to kill mold spores or inhibit mold growth. To effectively remove mold, especially in areas like air ducts, it’s best to use specialized mold remediation products or consult with professionals who have the appropriate tools and expertise for mold removal.

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