5 Tips for Preventing Window Air Conditioner Mold

A window air conditioning unit installed in the window of a brick building.

The appearance of mold in your window air conditioner usually means you have a problem somewhere, either in the unit itself, or the house. Mold appears as a result of a damp environment, so any place that’s subjected to excessive moisture is at risk. Check out and follow these tips for preventing mold in your AC.

1. Keep the Moisture Under Control

The best thing you can do to prevent the appearance of mold is to buy an air conditioner with humidity control. That way, the air conditioner will control the moisture level in the air, automatically discouraging the formation of mold.

2. Never Stop the Air Conditioner

Most air conditioner units feature an “auto” mode, which is the best mode for it when not actively cooling. The most common mistake people make is that when leaving for vacations, they shut down the air conditioner unit completely, thus leaving the house with no air flow. Especially in the warmer months, moisture will build in the air without circulation, and temperatures will obviously rise in the absence of a cooling system. Warm, moist air is a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. The easiest way to avoid this is to allow the air conditioner to run on "auto" so it will continuously cycle the air inside the house even while you're not home.

3. Perform Regular Maintenance

The insides of your air conditioning unit may be the perfect place for mold to appear. It’s dark, warm, and if not properly maintained, water may be present too, which will increase the chances of mold developing. Preventing mold from forming inside or outside of the air conditioner unit requires careful maintenance. Clean it regularly and remove any signs of water or already formed mold you can find. Remember that mold can actually grow quickly and without your notice if you don’t conduct regular checks.

4. Conduct Deeper Maintenance When Needed

Although this is not necessary as often as regular maintenance, a more thorough cleaning is an important step in mold prevention. Every once in a while, remove the metal cover of your air conditioner and reach for the motor. Carefully clean it as well as you can, and add some oil to each. Use clean motor oil and get the parts lubricated, but be careful not to add too much, as it this is just as bad as adding too little.

5. Dust Is an Enemy

Dust also helps mold form up in and near your air conditioner, so getting rid of any dust is highly advisable. The most comfortable way of doing this is to use a vacuum cleaner to draw the dust from the air conditioner. It’s an easy job, but it is very important in mold prevention.

Follow these five tips and you should have no problems with mold. Overlook them, and you might end up in need of a specialist to remove extensive and dangerous mold growth. The choice is yours.