ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Recent heat and humidity has our air conditioning working overtime. Your home could have a hidden problem that’s easy to overlook—mold growing in the HVAC system. 

“Typically in an HVAC system there is no real sign,” said Marc Gladding, president of Apollo Heating and Cooling. He says mold is quite common and can grow very easily.  

“Mold needs two things: darkness and moisture, and that’s exactly what you’ll have,” he said. 

Moisture, containing dirt and mold spores from the air, collects on a HVAC’s evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan below, giving the mold a place to grow and thrive. 

“The big thing is making sure you do an annual maintenance cleaning on your equipment,” said Gladding. 

But that won’t resolve the issue unless the technicians clean the evaporator coil itself. 

“Which is typically considered an ‘extra ‘because it’s much, much more time consuming,” he said. 

Homeowners can take action as well. 

“Change that air filter, change that air filter and I’ll just say it one more time, change that air filter,” he said. 

Keeping the filter clean allows it to catch some of the airborne dirt and dust, preventing your evaporator coil from getting too dirty. Some need to be changed every 30 days, while others can last a year. Another option is installing a UV light above the evaporator coil. 

“Some are designed to help clean up what’s preexisting and others are designed to, if you have a new evaporator coil you’re installing, it will keep it clean,” said Gladding.  

Exposure to mold is linked to upper respiratory tract symptoms, aggravating allergies, and other breathing problems, so take the maintenance seriously to ensure clean air and a cool home. 

“It’s actually kind of funny, but there are people that are willing to live without heat but there’s no one wiling to live without their air conditioning,” said Gladding.  

Another big factor is keeping the moisture and humidity levels in your home under control. Invest in a dehumidifier and keep windows and doors closed on humid days.