There are a number of different warning signs that your air conditioner is suffering from problems: a drop in cooling, loud and unusual sounds, and a reduction in air flow from the vents. These can all stem from different issues, and you’ll need a professional to find out what’s wrong and fix it. However, if you notice a strange moldy smell coming from the air conditioner, then there’s usually only one reason for it. (But you’ll still need a professional to repair the problem.)
“Dirty Sock Syndrome”
This smelly condition has a name, and it’s an appropriate one: “dirty sock syndrome.” Although it was more common in the 1970s with early heat pumps, it’s still an issue that can affect air conditioners. The cause is the growth of mold, bacteria, and volatile organic compounds along the evaporator coil of the air conditioner.
The evaporator coil draws heat from the air to cool it, and a fan then blows the cooled air into the vents. But as the evaporator coil absorbs heat, it also causes moisture to condense along the coil. Most of the moisture drips away into a condensate pan and is removed. But that moisture can allow the growth of mold and other organic material. This not only creates the unpleasant “dirty sock” smell, it also restricts the ability of the coil to absorb heat because the organic material serves as an insulator. In addition, some molds release toxic spores that will enter your air.
To deal with dirty sock syndrome, call on professionals. They will see if your AC is having trouble siphoning away moisture and fix whatever is leading to the mold and bacteria and other contaminants. Sometimes this will require attaching UV germicidal lights that shine onto the evaporator coil. The technicians will take all necessary steps to see that your AC works right and your home is free from unpleasant odors.
Call JW Heating and Air for service in Walnut, CA and see why we’re in the top 1% of Angie’s List rated contractors!