During the summer months, temperatures soar throughout the Mahoning Valley. You’re probably relying on your AC system more than ever to help you and your family stay comfortable. What do you do, though, when you adjust your thermostat to a cooling temperature and your entire house fills up with an unpleasant odor? At A To Z Dependable Services in Niles, OH, we have a name for this phenomenon: Dirty Sock Syndrome.

What Is Dirty Sock Syndrome?

Dirty Sock Syndrome is the colorful name given to the foul odor an AC unit emits when bacteria and mold build up in its evaporator coils. You’ll notice an unpleasant odor that’s like crusty, unwashed gym socks to many people; although, other people may describe the odor differently. However, you describe it, the smell is unpleasant. When you live with an unpleasant smell like that, you may become habituated to it. You can be certain, though, that every guest you invite into your home notices it right away.

When moisture builds up in your AC’s evaporator coils, it creates a perfect environment for dampness-loving bacteria, mold, and mildew to thrive. The presence of mold can constitute a genuine health hazard for people who suffer from respiratory allergies. Once a mold colony is established inside your evaporator coils, the situation may be compounded every time you flick your AC system on. Your AC system will distribute the mold infestation throughout your house along with cooled air. A To Z Dependable Services has helped many customers throughout Niles and other parts of the Mahoning Valley successfully combat Dirty Sock Syndrome. There’s no reason your home should have to smell like a locker room every time you turn on the AC.

Sources of Bad Air Conditioner Smells

When you switch on your AC system and notice bad smells, it’s almost always associated with a buildup of bacteria, mold, mildew, and other organic contaminants within your AC system. Sometimes, though, the odors may be carried by your air conditioning system even though they originate from another source. At A To Z Dependable Services, we’ve noticed the most common sources for foul smells related to a contaminated AC system in your Niles home are:

  • Contaminated seepage within your AC’s evaporator coils
  • Dirty air filters
  • Excess condensation in your condensation lines and drain pan
  • Contaminated ductwork

It’s not uncommon for bacteria and molds to grow on the indoor portion of your evaporator coils when you’re using your heat pump for warming purposes during the colder months. When you switch to using your heat pump for cooling, evaporator coils become damp, which creates a perfect medium for the growth of these organic contaminants to take off. A similar situation will take place if your condenser’s lines become clogged so that moisture is unable to flow out of them.

As cool air circulates throughout your home, your system’s AC filter pulls contaminants from the air. When these contaminants include odor-causing bacteria or mold, they collect on the air filter and are recirculated throughout your home every time you use your AC system. Bacteria, mold and other types of organic debris can also collect within your duct system. Holes and unsealed gaps in your ductwork may create an opportunity for noxious smells that originate outside to seep into your home.

Getting Rid of Bad AC System Smells

A To Z Dependable Services understands how to keep the AC system that cools your Niles home from generating foul smells. Furthermore, we can help remove unpleasant odors once they’ve emerged. Regular maintenance is an essential part of this process. A maintenance check involves cleaning evaporator coils thoroughly as well as changing air conditioner filters. You should check your condenser drain and drip pan regularly, and if you notice they’re not working correctly, schedule an HVAC service call. If mildew and mold have settled within your duct system, you may need to set up an appointment for professional duct cleaning, too.

For 60 years, our HVAC company has been known throughout the Mahoning Valley for doing high-quality work. Our hours of operation were set up for customer convenience, and we respond quickly to all service requests. In addition to helping customers find solutions for noxious odors associated with their AC systems, we also do all kinds of installations, maintenance and repairs on heating and cooling systems alike. Contact our office today for more information and to schedule a service call.