Friday, 18 June 2010

Air Conditioning in Cars Can Remove Moulds

We had warned some time ago that the air conditioning units fitted in cars were a potential source of mould spores to the unaware car driver and that the only reliable advice for people who are sensitive to mould spores is not  to use the air conditioning in their cars at all. This warning was based on data in a manufacturers advice note that recommended that air conditioning units in cars should be left on or at least run once per week to prevent the build up of mould contamination in the air filters that form part of the air conditioning system.

There was an accompanying paper that went into some detail on mould contamination from air conditioning units in the house and car which generally supported the advice given above. It also mentioned that antifungals are being applied to some new air con filters which might account for some of their efficiency at removing mould spores from the air, but this seemed to have a useful life of 2 years.

Another research paper has just been published  on this subject and once again it has been shown that the air conditioning filtration material can provide a good environment for moulds to grow in if left with no airflow - so it is recommended not to leave the unit switched off.
However they also showed that once switched on a clean set of filters can be very effective - the number of spores in the air drops 75% within 10 minutes which is a very similar result to the earlier paper.

Guidelines to avoid mould buildup in your car air conditioning
  1. Keep it switched on
  2. Ensure it is maintained regularly
  3. Ensure the filtration material is renewed regularly
  4. If you haven't used your car for a week or more run the air conditioning at full airflow setting for 10 mins before getting into the car

    1 comment:

    Peralam Yegneswaran Prakash said...

    Aircon filter contamination with Aspergillus pose a potential concern for allergic respiratory ailments. The dynamics of air circulation and role of car upholsteries laden with fungal spores especially during humid and rainy seasons is poorly understood and warrants investigations. These conditions may also precipitate and have implications during disturbed natural calamities like hurricane, typhoons, tsunami etc.

    Technological innovations of aircon filters with a heated chaf prior to switching the Air conditioning on may be a possibility to be developed in the future as we consider this to be more serious a cause.

    Further the estimation of volatile Organic compounds (VOCs) and fungal metabolites estimations in car indoors will augment our understanding in this area.

    Contact us at