When running properly, your air conditioner shouldn’t emit any sort of smell. However, it’s not uncommon for air conditioners to produce a musty smell that can aggravate even mild allergies and asthma. Discover why your AC is producing this odor and the easy steps you can take to solve it.
What Causes a Musty Smell?
It’s important to start with what actually causes the musty smell in the first place to understand how to find the root cause. At the conceptual level, musty smells originate from too much trapped moisture. This provides spore contaminants a place to thrive. These spores cause the musty smell in the first place, so the more they proliferate, the stronger you’ll experience the odor.
A properly operating air conditioner won’t have this excessive moisture. There are several issues, from minor inconveniences to major problems, that may cause more moisture in your system.
Frozen Evaporator Coils
Your evaporator coils get cold enough to condense moisture from the air moving through the system. When the coil gets too cold, this condensate freezes, causing many problems. As the freeze thaws, it creates excessive moisture in your drip pan. These freezes are caused by numerous problems, including low refrigerant and restricted airflow.
Clogged Condensate Drain
The drip pan under your evaporator coil should have a drain at one corner. However, the condensate contains bits of metal from within the air conditioner plus airborne contaminants. These particles will collect in the drain, clogging it and causing moisture to remain in the pan.
Dirty Air Filter
As your filter collects airborne contaminants, it creates a perfect sponge for humidity. The air moving through the filter helps keep the filter dry. However, when the filter gets dirty, less air moves through, allowing more moisture to stay in place.
Spores are one of the contaminants the filter removes. Combine these spores with extra moisture, and your filters become the perfect source for a musty smell.
Uncontrolled Household Humidity
Humidity around the Dothan area commonly stays around the 70% relative range during the summer. This often means the air in your home is more humid than the recommended 30%-50% range. While your air conditioner will help to remove some moisture, you may find you need a whole-house dehumidifier. These are installed as part of your HVAC system to remove humidity from the circulating air.
Your System Needs Maintenance
Just like your air filter, different parts of your system collect contaminants. This commonly happens at your circulating fan and your evaporator coil. Routine maintenance with our technicians at Prime HVAC can prevent these contaminants from building up and absorbing excess moisture.
Don’t let your AC aggravate your allergies, asthma, or just make your home smelly. Call the expert technicians at Prime HVAC to schedule any AC maintenance or repair services.