It is that time of year that I receive phone calls from clients asking “What is that smell?” It is referred to as the “Dirty Sock Syndrome”. Bacteria or odor collects and grows on the indoor coils during the heating time and is released all at once when the indoor coil gets cool and damp. Heat pump owners will also notice the odor when the system goes into defrost mode, usually when the outdoor temperature dips below 40 degrees. Both heat pumps and air conditioners experience the problem when the air conditioner is turned back on after the heater has been used. Our climate can require heating in the morning and cooling in the afternoon which is a perfect condition for the odor to surface.
What can you do about it? First verify that it is indeed “Dirty Sock Syndrome.” Check your drain pans to verify that there is no standing water, check drain lines connected to plumbing systems to verify adequate traps or “P” traps, check for return air leaks and ductwork leaks. If the smell is present at all times it is not “Dirty Sock Syndrome.” Second, ask yourself “when was the last time you had your system cleaned and serviced?” If more than a year ago it is time to have a precision tune up performed. UV Sanitizing lamps kill bacteria which will help keep the odor at a minimum.
Call Bryans United Air Conditioning today for more information on UV Sanitizing Lamps.