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How to Safely Remove Mold From AC Vents

Updated: Apr 17, 2018

Before attempting to clean mold and debris from Air Conditioning (AC) vents, there are some safety precautions to keep in mind. First, always put on your protective equipment. At the minimum, an N95 respirator, gloves, and eye protection are recommended. Second, another essential safety item to consider is using ladders safely. Ensure the ladder used to gain access to the vents is the correct size and free of damage and missing components. Additionally, always read and understand the manufacturer's written safety instructions before using ladders.

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STEPS

  1. First, turn off the Air Conditioning system.

  2. If it is safe to do so, use a vacuum cleaner equipped with an extension and a HEPA filter to clean the surface of the vents. Vacuuming the vents removes mold spores and any dust on the surface of the vents.

  3. Have someone hold the ladder to avoid accidental displacement.

  4. Climb the ladder and carefully unscrew the vents.

  5. Repeat this process for all affected vents.

  6. After all the vents have been taken down, place them in a large container with regular dish detergent and water solution. Note: The water and detergent solution should be deep enough to allow the vents to be submerged.

  7. Let the vents soak for 10 -15 minutes (DO NOT ) leave the vents in the water for long periods or overnight, since doing so will cause the vents to rust.

  8. After soaking the vents, use a soft bristle brush or a magic eraser to remove any excess buildup and staining. Do this until the molds and stains are removed.

  9. For vents that cannot be cleaned due to mold stains, these items can be spray painted with the appropriate color- matching paint. When the vents are clean, place them outside in a ventilated area to dry.

  10. In the AC duct, use the HEPA equipped vacuum to clean the exposed areas of the ducts to remove any dust or particles within reach.

  11. Allow all the components to dry thoroughly, then reinstall all the items (vents and screws).

  12. Finally, discard all contaminated items and clean the attachments used in the HEPA vacuum. Place the contaminated items in a sealed trash bag and discard as normal wast

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