While most unusual smells emanating from your HVAC system are harmless, your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) is one issue that should never be taken lightly. This includes the dreaded ‘dirty sock syndrome’ that has plagued homeowners for decades and counting. Learn where these smells come from and what you can do to prevent them.
Understanding Heat Pumps and Dirty Sock Syndrome
During the 1970s energy crisis, many HVAC manufacturers began researching ways they could make heating and cooling systems more efficient. These manufacturers found that one of the best ways to do this was to use a heat pump filled with refrigerant to control the temperature of a small area. While this technology is efficient, it also creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew. Regular cleaning and AC maintenance will allow most families to avoid dirty sock syndrome, but it is not always enough.
Check for Other Causes of Dirty Sock Smell
The first step homeowners should take if experiencing unpleasant odors at home is to start noting when they notice the smells. Dirty sock syndrome is generally only noticed when an air conditioner is turned on for the first time of the year just as the cooling season kicks off. If you happen to notice the odors at other times, then you are most likely dealing with another issue entirely. Homeowners should perform a visual inspection of their outdoor heat pumps for any trapped animals or other debris that could be the source of the foul smells.
Clean Your HVAC System
Even with seasonal maintenance, it is a good idea for all homeowners to know the basics of their HVAC systems, as well as some steps they can take to limit smells coming from vents. This begins with emptying dirty drain pans as often as possible. When excess moisture combines with warm temperatures, mold and mildew have the perfect environment in which to thrive. There should also be adequate water traps running under all drain lines leading into or out of the system.
Contact A+ Air Conditioning for Air Quality Solutions
If you have been struggling with unpleasant smells coming from your HVAC system, realize that you are not alone. Here at A+ Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, our team can help you carry out routine preventive maintenance that will keep your home’s indoor air cool and odor-free. Contact us today to schedule a service call with one of our friendly technicians.