Each spring we get a number of calls from customers asking us why their central air conditioning systems smell bad the first time that they turn it on.
A smelly first use of your home’s a/c is common, and HVAC technicians refer to this early season smell as ‘Dirty Sock Syndrome’.
During the months that your a/c sits dormant, dirt, dust and debris build up on its coils and filter. Over time, this buildup turns into mold and mildew, and that mold and mildew creates the ‘dirty sock’ smell that spreads throughout your home when the air conditioner is turned on for the first time. The smell isn’t the only thing that is being spread throughout your home – the mold spores travel with it.
How can I prevent this from happening?
There are a couple of steps to prevent ‘dirty sock syndrome’ from effecting your home this spring.
Change your a/c system’s filter. It has most likely been collecting dirt and debris since its last use late last summer. A new and clean filter will eliminate the smell from the mold and mildew that has grown on last year’s filter and will also provide your home with cleaner air…all while keeping your air conditioner running more efficiently.
Have your air conditioner’s coils cleaned. Just like the system’s filter, the coils collect dirt and debris that turns into mold and mildew during the winter months. A coil cleaning should be performed by a HVAC professional, and it is usually included in annual maintenance.
Call us to book your annual maintenance before you turn on your home’s air conditioning unit for the first time. We’ll eliminate the ‘Dirty Sock Syndrome’ smell while prepping it for a season of efficient service!