How to Remove Mold From an Air Handler

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Things You'll Need

  • Chlorine bleach

  • Powdered detergent

  • Rubber gloves

  • Respirator

  • Goggles

  • Screwdriver

  • Scrubbing sponge

  • Scrub brush

  • Toothbrush

  • White vinegar

Mold can quickly distribute throughout an air system.

An air handler is a device that circulates either heated or cooled air throughout a building for the purposes of climate control. Air handlers can involve air-conditioning units, central heating or both. Mold is a common problem for air handlers because mold grows anywhere there is a regular source of moisture. Air handlers frequently build up condensation that can act as a breeding ground for mold spores. Removing mold from an air handler needs to be done carefully and with diligence.


Step 1

Mix 1 quart of liquid chlorine bleach with 3 quarts of warm water and add 1/3 cup of powdered detergent. Wear rubber gloves, since bleach is highly corrosive. The water helps prevent it from damaging the air handler.

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Step 2

Wear a respirator and goggles to prevent mold spores from interfering with your breathing or vision. Certain types of mold cause severe allergic reactions.

Step 3

Turn the power off to the air handler to make sure it cannot turn on while you are cleaning it.

Step 4

Remove the blower assembly from the air handler by undoing the screws that hold it in place. If you cannot open the system to access the fan, you'll need to find a professional repairman to safely and effectively clean mold from the air handler.


Step 5

Apply the cleaning solution to the mold with a scrubbing sponge and allow it to sit for several minutes.

Step 6

Scrub the mold away using a scrub brush. A tooth brush can assist in getting in small nooks and crannies that are difficult to reach.


Step 7

Pour white vinegar on any stubborn mold stains. Vinegar is another strong cleaning agent that is useful in mold removal. Re-scrub the area with a scrub brush once the vinegar is applied and dry the surface off with a soft rag.

Step 8

Reinstall the blower assembly once the system is completely dry and then restart it.


A HEPA vacuum can also be used to remove small amounts of mold and the filtration system will prevent the spores from circulating back into the air.


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