Improving Your Air Conditioner

Mildew Growing In Your Air Handler's Closet? Remove It With These Easy Tips

If you notice mildew growing on the walls and floorboards in your air handler's closet, you can remove it fast. The air handler houses the evaporator coil, which is the large metal apparatus that uses refrigerant to transfer heat out of the home. If the evaporator coil builds up with moisture, it can attract the mold species that produces mildew. Just like black and green mold, mildew can grow on the wooden surfaces surrounding your indoor unit. Here's how you get rid of mildew in the air handler's closet.

Mix Your Cleaning Ingredients 

You need to use 3 cups of white household vinegar and 4 cups cold water during your cleaning. You want to avoid using hot or warm water because mildew thrives in these types of temperatures. White vinegar is a safe, effective and natural cleanser that eradicates 82 percent of molds. 

Place your cleaning ingredients in a large bucket, then mix them together with a long-handled spoon or similar instrument. Pour some of the solution into a spray bottle to use later when you clean the evaporator coil. Fill the bottle completely up, then set it aside for later.

It's a good idea that you cover your hands and upper arms with long vinyl gloves. You don't want to touch the mildew and accidentally spread mold spores to your respiratory system, eyes or mouth. Now, you're ready to get started.

Clean the Closet and Evaporator Coil

To keep your flooring dry, cover it with a large piece of plastic or vinyl tarp. You also need to shut down the air conditioning unit at the thermostat to avoid electrical shocks or other injuries you might incur during the cleaning. After you completed the steps above, follow the five steps below:

  1. Dip a thick rag into your cleaning solution, then wipe down every contaminated surface in the closet. Be sure to dip the rag into the water in between wipes to keep it well-saturated.
  2. Pour the dirty water down the toilet, then flush it. Discard the rag into a trash can outdoors to avoid recontaminating your home with mildew.
  3. Remove the covering from the air handler to reveal the evaporator coil. The coil looks similar to a metal pyramid with scale-like pieces called fins covering it. You don't need to remove the coil to clean it.
  4. Use your spray bottle to wet the evaporator coil. Try to saturate the part completely to help remove any contaminants that may hide inside the fins.
  5. Place a large fan in the closet and direct it toward the evaporator coil. Turn the fan on high to dry the coil.

After two hours, turn off the fan, remove the floor covering from the closet and cover up the evaporator coil. Turn the AC unit back on, then allow it to cool the home as you normally do. It may take a few days before your home feels clean and free of mildew.

If you need more tips on cleaning your air handler or its parts, contact an air conditioning repair company for assistance.