Now that the warm days of summer are here, most people in the Kankakee area are turning on their air conditioners, eating watermelon, and spending time in the great outdoors. But a few of you might have turned on your air conditioner only to be greeted with a musty, moldy smell that simply doesn’t go away. Perhaps it smells like old socks, sweaty gym clothes, or a moldy sponge. Gross! That’s the last odor you want in any part of your house, much less permeating the whole house wherever the air conditioning is turned on. But with the heat of summer upon us, it’s not like you can just choose to stop running your air conditioner. So what is this smelly problem, and what can you do about it?

What Is Dirty Sock Syndrome?

Dirty Sock Syndrome is the name that the HVAC industry has given to the dirty, musty smell that can come from your air conditioning unit. It doesn’t affect all air conditioners, but when it does, it can be incredibly difficult to get rid of it. Dirty Sock Syndrome can even affect brand new air conditioners — not the outcome you look for or expect when you get a brand new unit.

What Causes Dirty Sock Syndrome?

Dirty Sock Syndrome is thought to be caused by bacteria and mold that grows on the condenser coils of your air conditioner. These condenser coils have just the right combination of moisture and temperature to foster bacteria’s growth, and they are can get very smelly. Dirty Sock Syndrome is especially prevalent in homes with a heat pump system, so if you have a heat pump, you might just have the right conditions for the microbes that causes smelly odors in your home.

Is Dirty Sock Syndrome Dangerous?

Mold is never a healthy thing to be breathing, so if your home’s Dirty Sock Syndrome is mold-related, you should act to get repairs done as quickly as possible. However, even if your odors are just from decaying bacteria or aren’t particularly moldy, anything that stinks is kind of like reverse aromatherapy. It can affect your mental health, your mood, and your overall well-being even if it isn’t affecting your physical health. It’s just not worth it to suffer through having Dirty Sock Syndrome for any amount of time. Your local HVAC company here in Kankakee is Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating, and we will be happy to take a look at your air conditioner or heat pump to see what we can do.

How Do You Fix Dirty Sock Syndrome?

Dirty Sock Syndrome is a problem in your air conditioner’s coils, and cleaning the coils can help somewhat. However, as soon as bacteria has had the time to build up again, the problem can be back. How to get rid of the problem and solve it permanently has been a difficult puzzle for the HVAC repair industry, and there are a ton of DIY solutions out there, covering everything from using Pine Sol to heating up the coils to kill any bacteria on them. However, again, the problem tends to return. The two techniques that do tend to work consistently are getting the coils coated with a special coating, and installing a continuous cleaning system that uses UV-C light.

Reclaim a proper smell in your home! Call Home Furniture, Plumbing, and Heating today for any problems with HVAC odors.