View Full Version : Cleaning a Thermastor?
09-04-2005, 07:05 PM
For those who are gung-ho on Thermastor products to help eliminate mold problems, you might think twice. I've had a SanteFe for about 2 years now, and from 6 months on I thought my AC had DSS, while it does, it's nothing compared to my SanteFe. I decided to take pictures of my AC Coil today, and decided to open up my Sante Fe to see how it was doing. Here's a like to the pictures:
Just spray with bleach? This stuff looks nasty, seems the same white stuff growing in both places (and a bunch of other crud in the SanteFe). Teddy Bear, what would you do?
09-04-2005, 09:23 PM
Cooling coils on the a/c or dehumdifiers with extended ducts retain enough moisture to maintain high humidity cabinet during the off cycle. My testing shows that high humidity is maintained on the surrounding cavity for several days as the cooling coils slowy dry. Most a/c-dehus do not grow mold. If yours grow mold, suggest operating the fan either continuously or occasionally to air dry the entire assembly. I personally feel that an air dry cycle is required with any equipment with a cooling coil to assure the a/c or dehumidifier is not expossed to days of high humidity. 24 hours of high humidity is the longest time any enclosure may be wet or mold may grow. The coiling coils are cleaned by the condensate draining off the coil to the drain. The surrounding surfaces collect spores and dust. Kept damp for an extended time, mold may grow. Brush wash the any dirty surface with a 8 to 1 bleach solution and flush with water. Short term solution is to operate the fan continuously. This eliminates the problem.
09-04-2005, 11:13 PM
Thanks. I cleaned with chlorox and ran som BBJ Microbiocide through the coils. Will let dry and crank up tomorrow. The way I noticed it is I did try running the fan continuous, it seems anytime I do it stinks. The reason I hate to leave it on is 100 degree temp everyday and 75% humidity outdoors. I get the same smell if I leave my AC fan on-on, whenever the compressor kicks off - DSS.
Part of the reason might be the 25-50cfm of "fresh" air coming in, my outdoors reaks of pollin/mold (I'm in a wooded area). I do have a Merv4 filter on the outdoor inlet, a 6" bag of charcoal in the duct, and the Merv11 filter on the SanteFe, so I don't think much is coming in. Certainly could be sucking in some dust since it's in the laundry room.
Anyone try "Oust" on their AC coils? Seems a quick spray into the returns of the AC and Dehumidifier once a month might solve the problem.
If you are still getting a smell coil is not clean and will cause an odor or mold.
If you live in Texas and your ductwork is not suspended in the living environment DO NOT run you ac fan on continuous. This will increase your duct leakage and cause high indoor humidity conditions.
Since your home was probably built by the lowest bidder you might want to check all of the supply and return air connections for leakage.
2nd, In order to have mold growth on you dehumidifier you need a food source. Change the filters when they get dirty and you should greatly reduce the problem
09-11-2005, 12:40 PM
My house is 25 years old and built well. I had the AC replaced as well as all the ducts and "supervised" to make sure all were sealed well. Had air tests run and there is less than 3% leakage. I have a 5" Merv-10 Carrier filter on the AC and a 2" merv-11 on my dehumidifier, and a 1" Merv-6 filter on the fresh air inlet that goes to the Merv-11 filter on the dehumidifier. I sealed all gaps/cracks around the filter housing.
Very strange to see so much mold growing on stainless steel parts of the dehumidifier. I do believe there is a little air leakage on its door, which I will be taping off to prevent any dust from getting in (I hope).
The Thermastor folks said to pour 10-15% solution of chlorox in the top of the dehumidifier and rinse, spray all the internal surfaces. Done. Will check it again in 6 months... Doesn't smell nearly as bad now.
I don't run the fan of the dehumidifier or the AC. They both cycle 4-5 times as much when I do. I do like the idea of positive pressure running the dehumidifier fan, but I don't think it's worth all the extra humidity, heat, and potential pollen and dust it pulls into the house.
Is there a disinfectant spray (like chlorox) that is EPA approved that I can just spray the dehumidifer and AC coils once a month with?
Mold needs four things have growth: 1) Mold spore 2) Water 3) Right temperatures 4) Food source (carbon). Since the first 3 are extremely hard to control I recommend that you try and control the food.
The mold you see is not feeding off the stainless steel. It is feeding off some type of carbon that has collected on the stainless steel.
Smoke puff around the dehum unit to find the leakage points then seal. If you have a fresh air intake take caution. Fresh air brings in large amounts of carbon that will feed the mold problem.
Be cautious when spraying chemicals near or in your duct system. Most chemicals off gas and can actually hurt your indoor air quality. Bleach is an effective agent in killing mold spores and active growth.
If you really are serious about clean air, look into American Standardís new AccuClean system. It is rated better than HEPA and has around the same pressure drop as your media filter. It will probably change the way we all filter our indoor air.
The mold is growing on the dust that is on the metal ( it does not take much )! bleach provides NO long term killing power of mold. Try Foster 40-80 EPA registered to be sprayed in HVAC systems.
09-12-2005, 11:15 AM
ek: What is "American Standardís new AccuClean system"? I have web searched all over the American Standard web site and it mentions nothing.
Be patient for a couple of months. It will be comming out soon. Very cool product.
10-30-2005, 10:13 AM
Probaly the same as Trane "Clean Effects" out in November around here.
10-30-2005, 11:28 AM
Mold does not eat stainless steel, there is crap in there that has landed and fixed itself to the steel and that is what the mold is eating.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.