Why does my AC Unit Smell?

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Why does my AC unit smell?

An AC Unit would smell because there are Volatile Organic Compounds, VOCs, in the air. Your AC fins, which are metal fins that allow airflow in and out of an air conditioner, are very close together so these organic compounds can sometimes get caught inside. When water is added to this, it can cause bacteria to grow, along with fungus and other bad things you don’t want in your unit.

What are the top smells that people report?

A smell that’s similar to dirty socks, typically called Dirty Sock Syndrome. The dirty sock syndrome smell can also be compared to a gym locker room.

What other smells can come from my AC unit?

You may hear someone say their AC unit smells like sour/sweet smells, but most people say dirty socks.

Is it a big deal if my AC unit smells?

No, it’s nothing that is urgent and it is definitely controllable. It is not part of your actual AC system but it is an environmental process. Bacteria and mold are everywhere. It’s a matter of eradicating them once they get on the fins of your AC Coil. You can do that by performing bacteria fungus treatments or using an ultraviolet light system. These UV lights neuter the bacteria and mold and in turn prevent them from growing while successfully killing them off.

So this is a spray? Can I go buy this in stores as a homeowner?

That isn’t something that Reliable Heating & Air recommends because you could always use something of that nature but it’s going to stay in your airstream. We highly recommend what the manufacturer would recommend to use inside the AC unit, which is going to be something that is safe to breathe in all day.

Which is the best method?

There are two possible treatments for dirty sock syndrome which are germicidal or UV light systems.  Long term, these compounds are still within your home, so we have to find something to keep from growing on your coil and that would be the UV light system.

Are there any ultimate DOs and DONTs you’ve seen?

DON’T use candles to cover the odor, this is the worst thing you can do to try and mask the smell. The entire time you’re burning the candle, it is actually producing carbon and the black soot is going into your home. This black soot gets in white clothes, linens, and walls which will also accumulate on your air filter and make the dirty sock syndrome worse.

DO call a professional.

Reliable Heating and Air has trained specialists to take care of these problems for you as it’s best to have professional eyes on the situation. Don’t hesitate to give us a call 24/7 at 770-594-9969. Don’t forget – we now have texting for your convenience! 

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