It’s that time of year again… your air conditioner is running hard to keep you cool! While ensuring you stay cool during these hot summer months, you smell a musty smell coming from your vents. What could it be? Most likely it is the smell of mold and/or mildew. Your air conditioner is most likely distributing model and/or mildew spores throughout your home. Both are irritants and harmful to your health, especially if you have asthma and/or allergies.
What are the sources and How to get rid of it?
1. Source: Dirty evaporator coil
What to look for: Weak airflow from your supply vents and/or iced up evaporator coil
If the evaporator coil gets dirty, it becomes a breeding ground for mold spores. Mold grows under the following conditions: when food is present such as dust and dirt, darkness, and moisture. Your evaporator coil already has 3 of these 4 components naturally. Your coil is in a dark area (inside your air handler), the blower motor from the a/c unit is constantly blowing warm air over the coil and condensation (a form of moisture) forms on the cold coil when the warm air flows over it; so that only leaves the need for a food source. Unfortunately, dust/dirt sticks to the coil because of the congestion giving the mold the food source needed to grow.
Solution: Change your air filter regularly to prevent an abundance of dirt and debris build up. Additionally, have the evaporator coil cleaned by a professional at least annually. Mold growth can also be reduced from growing on the coil by installing a UV germicidal lamp.
2. Source: Clogged condensate drain line
What to look for: A/C unit shut downs after running for a short while and/or you see water pooling around the inside unit.
When condensation forms on the evaporator coil, it drops into a drain pan and then exits out via the drain line but if the drain line becomes clogged than the water will back up into the pan. Dirt and debris from the coil falls into the pan clogging the drain line. Now we have the perfect scenario for mold growth as food, moisture, darkness, and warm temperature are all present.
Solution: Clear the condensate drain line either yourself or hire a professional.
3. Source: Leaky air ducts
What to look for: A/C unit is constantly running but unable to cool your home, your home gets dusty very quickly, and your home feels humid even with you’re a/c unit running constantly.
Your air ducts are responsible for carrying air throughout your home. If there is a leak in your duct work found in a non-living area of your home (i.e. an attic or crawl space), your ducts will pull in the surrounding air, which contains dust, debris and mold. This effect known as the Venturi effect, can cause your evaporator coil to become dirty as well as cause mold to grow inside your ductwork.
Solution: Duct sealing (Aerosealing) will eliminate the leaks followed by a duct cleaning to rid your air ducts of any mold, dust, and debris.
If you are experiencing this problem, call Advanced Furnace today for your free estimate 1-877-4-FRESH AIR!