3 Reasons Why Your Air Conditioning Smells Musty

When you walk into your air-conditioned home, the reaction you want is “Ahhh,” not “Eww.” But if your AC is putting off a musty or moldy odor, it may be hard to enjoy the cool air without pinching your nose.

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So what causes an air conditioning system to smell like sweaty socks? Well, there are a few common suspects to consider. Let’s dive into each one. 

Leaky ductwork

We tend to not think about the ductwork in our home very often. But like other parts of the HVAC system, it’s possible for ducts to deteriorate or become damaged over time. If the ducts are not sealed, the air can leak out and small particles can get inside. This can be especially hazardous in unfinished spaces like basements, attics, and crawl spaces that tend to be dusty and humid. This combination often leads to mold or mildew growth.

Even if you can’t see the ductwork, you can usually notice some commons signs of leaky ducts, including high indoor humidity even though the AC is running, as well as an increase of dust appearing around your home. 

Evaporator coil is dirty

The evaporator coil is the component that allows the refrigerant to absorb heat from the indoor air. That heat is then moved to the outside unit where it’s released. So this is an essential part of the AC system. Over time, dirt and dust can collect on the evaporator coils. When that dirty surface is combined with moisture, it can create the perfect environment for mildew or mold to grow. 

What to look out for: Other signs that your evaporator coils need to be cleaned include puddles of water around the air handler and poor cooling performance of your AC.

Condensate drain line is clogged

During the cooling process, it’s normal for your air conditioning to produce water – or to be more specific, condensation. These water droplets drip from the evaporator coils into a condensate pan, which then flows through a small drain pipe until its released outside. When the condensate drain line works properly, it takes care of excess moisture. However, it’s possible for the drain line to get clogged by debris. This traps water in the pipe – or worse, it gets backed up and leaks somewhere inside the home. 

It’s fairly simple to unclog the condensate drain line with a wet/dry vacuum or by flushing it with water from a hose. Just be sure to turn off the AC unit before starting any work. 

Air conditioning maintenance and repair in Evansville, IN

If you are suffering from musty or moldy smells coming from your air conditioning, contact the pros at Baylor Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. We will find the cause of the issue and fix it properly so you can go back to enjoying your cool home. To schedule an appointment, call (812) 425-8435.