Symptoms And Warning Signs Of Mold Toxicity Or Poisoning

Common Symptoms And Early Warning Signs Of Mold Toxicity Or Poisoning

Symptoms And Warning Signs Of Mold Toxicity Or PoisoningMold toxicity is challenging to identify and diagnose. You wouldn’t immediately equate the common symptoms with mold exposure. The differences between one-time exposure or an allergy are tough to distinguish. And, there are some myths about mold that confuse the issue.

In this article, we’re examining the difference between mold allergies and mold toxicity. Then, we’ll dig deeper into the causes and symptoms of mold toxicity. We’ll also cover how to address and prevent problems due to mold exposure.

And, that process starts at home. Even the most minor toxic mold infestations get more invasive and harmful over time. Mild health problems also worsen with constant exposure.

And unfortunately, your heating and cooling system is an ideal breeding ground for mold and other toxins. Mini splits, in particular, are vulnerable to massive infestations. That’s why we’re involved.

Related: How Mold In Ductless Mini Splits Causes Biotoxin Illness

Our parent company, HydroKleen Global, recognized the problem with mold buildup in mini splits more than a decade ago. They also realized how it affected people’s indoor air quality and overall health. 

Since then, the founders have continuously developed and improved the equipment, cleaning solutions, and processes they’ve used to eradicate microbial contaminants in more than 1.5 million mini splits in 36 countries. 

Now, as ductless systems become more popular here in the U.S., HydroKleen208 offers this service to Boise Metro and Valley County homes and businesses.

But, we’ll talk more about that later. For now, let’s focus on identifying mold toxicity symptoms and what to do if you suspect a problem in your home.

Mold Allergy Vs. Mold Toxicity

A mold allergy results from an immune system overreacting to mold spores. Symptoms include a runny nose, watery eyes, and restricted breathing, and it’s a common asthma trigger. Mold toxicity is when exposure to toxic vapors causes chronic physical and mental health problems. 

Related: Excellent Indoor Air Quality At Home Is Crucial For People With Asthma

The two are related but different. Allergy symptoms go away on their own once you’re no longer around mold spores. They don’t necessarily lead to toxicity syndrome. 

By contrast, mold toxicity also affects people who aren’t allergic. And, the symptoms stay with you even when you’re not around those contaminants anymore.

Is Black Mold Always Bad?

Black mold being poisonous is a common myth that’s not entirely accurate. People with mold allergies will experience reactions to a variety of mold strains. And, ingesting or breathing in any mold in large quantities and over a long time can cause problems. Worrying about only black mold means overlooking other issues.

As a result, you should address any type of mold buildup in your home. That’s especially so if you’re experiencing allergy symptoms, notice indoor air quality problems, or generally feel sick in your house.

How Do You Know If Mold Is Making You Sick?

A Ductless System Can Get Moldy If Not Taken Care OfSome mold toxicity symptoms resemble seasonal allergies. People also report chronic fatigue, headaches, light sensitivity, abdominal pain, diarrhea, blurred vision, and joint pain or morning stiffness, among other problems. Long-term and psychological effects include mood swings, memory, word recollection, concentration issues, tremors, and vertigo. 

With such a wide variety of symptoms, mold toxicity can often go undiagnosed. In fact, it’s a somewhat controversial diagnosis

Since we’re not medical experts, we’re not wading too deep into those waters. But, the fact remains that mold exposure can trigger allergic reactions and other issues. And, exposure often happens in the home. 

<h3>Mold And “Sick Building Syndrome”</h3>

Mold contributes to “Sick Building Syndrome,” which covers a variety of physical symptoms due to poor indoor air quality. It’s recognized by OSHA and the EPA and among other health organizations. And while the term usually refers to commercial buildings and businesses, it also applies to homes and dwellings

Related: Mold Toxicity And Physical Symptoms

Where Does Mold Grow In Your Home?

Mold grows in dark, moist, and warm places. At home, that’s a cellar or behind appliances. Plumbing leaks can result in buildup behind walls and under flooring. HVAC systems, particularly mini splits, are prone to mold infestations as they generate or remove heat and address humidity.

The problem with mini splits is that mold spores and other microbial contaminants enter as the air handlers draw them in. It’s dark inside there, and heat from the electrical and mechanical components keeps it warm.

Meanwhile, the heat transfer process affects water vapor in the air, leading to moisture inside the system. In particular, the condenser coil, where condensation occurs, gets clogged due to mold buildup.

At the same time, even the best HVAC technicians can’t really get inside to clean them. They’d have to take it apart and clean each piece and every crevice individually. It’s labor-intensive and expensive, so most contractors just include a basic surface clean with a tune-up.

Signs Of Mold In Your Ductless Mini Split

A ductless mini split in service for a year or longer likely has mold on the coil and behind the barrel fans. Common signs include:

  • Poor Indoor Air Quality
  • Year-Round Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
  • Hot And Cold Spots In Your Home
  • Electric Bill Keeps Going Up

Essentially, you’re looking for indoor air quality problems at the same time you’re noticing poor performance from your ductless system. That combination of issues indicates that the buildup inside your system is causing it to malfunction.

At the same time, it’s also spreading mold spores and other toxins as it recirculates the air running through it.

How To Clean Mold Out Of A Mini Split

A HydroKleen Appointment Is Thorough And RefreshingThe best, and really only, way to clean mold out of a mini split is with a deep cleaning. A professional needs the right equipment and cleaners to flush out all organic and nonorganic buildup in the air handlers and heat pump.

Yes, a tune-up or professional maintenance is essential to keep your system running smoothly. But, as we mentioned, it doesn’t include a comprehensive cleaning.

HydroKleen208 specializes in deep cleanings that eradicate all buildup inside your system. We do it using non-toxic and environmentally-safe cleaning solutions.

And, we use custom-built pressure washers that reach in and around all the components. We calibrate them carefully to use just enough force without damaging anything.

Related: What To Expect With Your HydroKleen Appointment

More Benefits Of Mini Split Deep Cleaning

A mini split deep cleaning doesn’t just get rid of mold and improve your indoor air quality. It also improves performance, which means better year-round comfort. And, it increases efficiency: Your system will use less electricity to do the job, which means lower utility bills. 

Related: How Often Should A Mini Split Be Cleaned?

Mini Split Cleaning in Cascade, ID

HydroKleen208 is the world-recognized leader for mini split cleaning in Cascade, ID and anywhere in Valley County or Boise Metro. Our process is guaranteed to eliminate mold spores, bacteria, and more from your home’s ductless heating and cooling system. To learn more or schedule your cleaning, click below or call (208) 779-5596.

How Long Do Mini Splits Last? (Maintenance, Cleaning & More)

How Long Do Mini Splits Last? (And How To Keep Them Running Great)

How Long Do Mini Splits Last? (Maintenance, Cleaning & More)Mini splits usually last for 15 to 20 years. But, as they get older, they won’t perform as well. You may also notice higher electric bills and more frequent repair needs. Proper care helps you get the most from your system.

A ductless system is an excellent investment, but it’s also a big one. You’ll save a lot of money on your electric bill over time. But, the upfront cost is more than a conventional furnace or central air system.

Related: The Signs (And Risks) Of A Mini Split That’s Not Installed Properly

So, you want to do everything you can to keep your system running great for as long as possible! And, HydroKleen208 can help.

We specialize in mini split deep cleanings that can make your system run as well as when you first got it. It’s fast, easy, and inexpensive. But, it’s just one part of a great maintenance strategy.

So we’ll talk more about our services a little later. For now, we’ll outline everything you need to do so your mini split brings your great comfort, excellent indoor air quality, and low electric bills for years to come.

How To Care For A Mini Split

A mini split requires proper care to make sure air circulates through it. And that all the components are in good working order and not suffering from excess wear and tear. The three most important ways to care for your system are:
  1. Cleaning The Filter
  2. Getting Annual Tune-Ups
  3. Getting Regular Cleanings

Cleaning The Filter

A clean air filter in every handler in your home ensures that air from each room passes through the system, gets warmed or cooled, and then recirculates. The filter prevents dust and dirt from getting into the air handler and causing problems. But, eventually, there’s so much buildup on it that air can’t pass through. So, it’s essential to keep the filter clean.

Related: Why Won’t My Mini Split Turn On? How Can I Fix It?

When To Do It

Clean your filter every month when your mini split is running. You can do it every three months during the off-season. If you have pets that shed fur or otherwise notice a lot of dirt on the filter, do it every three weeks instead.

Getting Annual Tune-Ups

Professional HVAC maintenance, or tune-ups, are essential for your mini split. A tech insects all the electrical connections and moving parts inside your system. They’ll clean, fix, or replace anything dirty, loose, dirty, not working, or worn out.

This way, your system ensures less stress and wear and tear when it’s running. You’ll enjoy better comfort and lower electric bills, too.

When To Do It

Ideally, you’ll get a tune-up in the fall before the cold weather. Then, get another in the spring before you need cooling. If you’re already into winter or summer, you can still get a tune-up.

Who To Call

Your HVAC contractor installing the system or repairing it also provides routine maintenance. We partner with Snowflake Air in the Treasure Valley and recommend them for all your ductless maintenance and repairs.

Getting Regular Cleanings

What You Need To Know About Microbial Contamination In Mini SplitsDeep cleaning for mini splits isn’t as well-known as tune-ups — at least not here in the U.S. But, this service is already essential in the many countries where ductless systems have been more common for a long time.

Here’s the problem: all sorts of mold, bacteria and other microbial contaminants build up on the coil and behind the barrel fans in your air handler. It reduces airflow, which results in hot and cold spots in your home.

At the same time, the components get worn out from working harder. You’ll also notice higher electric bills from that extra work — and, eventually, repair bills when the system breaks down.

Related: Why Replace Your Mini Split When You Can Clean It?

But, the problem people notice most is poor indoor air quality. All that junk in the system ends up circulating into the air you breathe. Homeowners notice allergy flare-ups, respiratory issues, and even mold toxicity symptoms. 

Because of this, deep cleaning is essential. And, it’s a separate service from routine maintenance. 

When To Do It

If you’ve had your mini split for more than a year, it’s time for an initial cleaning. Even in just that short time, you’d be surprised at how dirty they can get. And, you’ll often notice a difference right away. After that first cleaning, we can tell if you’ll need annual cleanings or if you can go longer in between. 

Related: How Often Should A Mini Split Be Cleaned? 

Who To Call

Of course, we recommend you call HydroKleen208 for your mini split cleanings. But, that’s not just because we like to toot our own horn! 

The truth is that cleanings are a separate service from routine maintenance. Instead, we use customized equipment and environmentally-friendly solutions that flush out virtually everything inside your air handlers and heat pump. 

We’ll also stop midway through the process to show you what we found and how we’re cleaning it. For instance, here’s a typical picture of a coil where we’ve cleaned only one side so far: 

Related: What To Expect With Your HydroKleen Visit

Our process is the culmination of more than a decade of ongoing dedicated research and development by our parent company, HydroKleen Global. As we mentioned before, mini splits are more common in other parts of the world. HydroKleen has spent years perfecting its process and equipment while cleaning more than 1.5 million systems in 36 countries. 

Related: What Does It Cost To Clean A Heat Pump?

Heat Pump Cleaning In McCall, ID

HydroKleen208 specializes in world-class mini split and heat pump cleaning in McCall, ID, along with services in Donnelly, Cascade, and further south in Boise Metro. We guarantee you’ll notice a difference after our visit. Click below or call us at (208) 779-5596 for a free consultation or to book an appointment.


Troubleshooting Guide: Why Is My Mini Split Not Getting Cold

Troubleshooting Guide: Why Is My Mini Split Not Getting Cold?

Troubleshooting Guide: Why Is My Mini Split Not Getting ColdThe most common reasons for a mini split to not blow cold air in the summertime are the wrong thermostat settings, a refrigerant leak, or a clogged condenser coil. Each of these problems requires very different solutions — and costs. Proper maintenance prevents most of them.

Your mini split should keep your home at a constant temperature no matter how hot it gets outside. But, if something’s wrong with it, the air coming through the air handlers may not feel cool. Or, there’s no circulation at all.

The good news is that there’s no need to panic. If you follow our troubleshooting guide, you may be able to fix it yourself! Or, you can start with a low-cost solution that often solves the problem.

HydroKleen208 specializes in deep cleanings for mini splits and heat pumps. Our cleanings can make a massive improvement in your mini split’s performance and the overall comfort in your home, But it’s a separate service from what you’ll get from regular HVAC service.

We’ll talk more about these services and how they differ later on. For now, we partner with Snowflake Air in Boise Metro and Valley County and recommend them for any mini split repair or service needs.

When it comes to cleaning, however, we’ve got you covered.

How Does A Mini Split Transfer Heat?

Your air handlers draw in warm air from your home in the summer. The air passes over a coil, which removes heat from the air and moves it to a refrigerant liquid in the system. That liquid absorbs the heat and runs to the heat pump, which transfers the heat to the air outside. Back inside, the air handler recirculates the now-cooled air.

The system works in reverse in the winter: Your heat pump draws heat from outside. That heat warms the refrigerant, which travels to the air handlers carrying the heat.

Now that you know how it works, let’s see what can go wrong.

Four Reasons Your Mini Split Won’t Blow Cold Air

The three most common reasons your mini split runs but doesn’t blow cold air are:

  1. Wrong Thermostat Settings
  2. Clogged Air Filter
  3. Refrigerant Leak
  4. Clogged Condenser Coil

Wrong Thermostat Settings

Leaving your system on a winter thermostat setting, or using the wrong features, can result in no air coming through the air handlers. Or warm air when you want cooling.

Related: My Mini-Split Won’t Turn On. What’s Wrong? How Do I Fix It?

What To Do

Ensure each air handler’s thermostat is set to “Cool” and “Auto.” If it’s still on “Heat, or if the temperature is set too high, you won’t get any cooling. Meanwhile, “Fan Mode” circulates the air without heating or cooling it.

Clogged Air Filter

The air filter in each air handler catches dust and dirt from the air as it enters your unit. When that filter gets too full, it won’t allow the air to pass through. When warm air doesn’t pass all the way through the system, it doesn’t get cooled.

What To Do

Clean your air filters once a month whenever your mini split is running. And, every three months when it’s not. If the filter is visibly clogged or very dirty, it’s been too long between cleanings.

Refrigerant Leak

If there’s a refrigerant leak, then there’s nothing moving the heat out of your air handler. Warm air enters the system, doesn’t get cooled, and recirculates at the same temperature. Related: The Signs (And Risks) Of A Mini Split That’s Not Installed Properly

What To Do

Call your HVAC company if you notice a hissing sound or chemical smell near your heat pump or air handlers. You won’t see any refrigerant because it will be warm and in gas form.

Clogged Condenser Coil

The condenser coil is the part in the air handler that draws the heat from the air as it passes through the unit. But, the coil can get clogged with tiny particles that make it past the filter. Mold and bacteria buildup are also very common. These contaminants prevent air from passing over the coil, which means there’s no way to remove the heat from it. Once again, the result is the air recirculating without any cooling.

What To Do

If you’ve never had your mini split cleaned before, start there. It’s a different service than a repair, and often cheaper. And, since a dirty system also causes other problems, which we’ll talk about in a moment, the cleaning also addresses those other issues. If you’ve checked the filter and thermostat, and there aren’t any signs of leaks or other problems, start with a cleaning.

Why Mini Split And Heat Pump Cleanings Are Important

How Mold In Ductless Mini Splits Cause Biotoxin IllnessMini splits are more prone to organic buildup than conventional systems. The inside of an air handler is dark and warm. There’s also moisture in there from the air, especially around the coil. That makes the equipment a perfect breeding ground for mold and other contaminants.

As we’ve seen already, this results in a clogged coil that prevents heat transfer. It also leads to higher electric bills: Your system requires more power as it struggles to overcome these impediments.

Eventually, you’ll notice other problems, including breakdowns, due to the excess stress and wear and tear to your system.

Related: How Can I Make My Mini Split Last Longer?

Meanwhile, the air handler spreads those tiny pollutants, including mold spores and bacteria, out into the air you breathe in your home.

Mini Split Cleaning Vs. A Tune-Up

Cleanings are a different service than a mini split tune-up or seasonal maintenance. A tech checks dozens of inspection points during a tune-up. And while they’ll do some cleaning, it’s not nearly as comprehensive as a separate service.

Related: How Often Should A Mini Split Be Cleaned?

Until recently, a tech would have to take apart your heat pump and air handler and then carefully, manually, clean each part. That includes scrubbing in between each tiny, delicate fin on every condenser coil.

It would take hours, meaning you’d get a huge bill. And it may not even be that effective. So, most companies don’t offer this service. That’s where HydroKleen208 comes in.

We use customized equipment that flushes out virtually all the dust, dirt, pollen, mold spores, and other microbial contaminants in your air handlers and heat pump.

Our pressure washers are perfectly calibrated to do the job without damaging anything. And, our cleaning agents are 100-percent environmentally friendly and won’t introduce toxic chemicals to your home.

The result? A mini split that’s just as clean as the day you bought it and works like new as well.

To see what we mean, check out this coil. We started cleaning one side, then took a picture before continuing.

You can see how dirty they can get and how clean they are once we’re done:

You Can See How Dirty A Mini Split System Can Get

And, if you’ve never had a cleaning, your coil almost certainly looks like the untreated part of that photo. Fortunately, our process is fast, easy, and inexpensive. 

Related: What Does It Cost To Clean A Heat Pump?

Heat Pump Cleaning In Donnelley, ID

HydroKleen208 brings more than a decade of international research and development to mini split and heat pump cleaning to Donnelly, ID, as far north as Cascade and as far south as Kuna. To learn more or schedule a visit, click below or call us at (208) 779-5596.