Causes And Solutions For The Musty Odor From Your AC Unit

Discover causes and effective solutions for the musty odor from your air conditioning unit. Trust Sandium for expert assistance and cleaner air quality. Visit now!

Updated on Oct 23, 2023
5 min read
Causes And Solutions For The Musty Odor From Your AC Unit

Your air conditioner should not leave the air stinking with a musty odor every time it turns on. This could be because of mildew or mold. This is bad news because your air conditioner is most likely spreading mildew and mold spores throughout your Northern Californian house. This can be harmful for your health particularly if you have problems with allergies.

These are a few common causes and solutions to musty odor emanating from your air conditioner:

The Evaporator Coil is Dirty

You know your evaporator coil is dirty if it is iced up or there is weak airflow coming from the supply vents. Evaporator coil can quickly turn into a breeding ground for mildew and mold if it gets clogged or dirty. Evaporator coil is responsible for cooling the air. Mold grows when there is moisture, darkness, warm temperature, and organic materials.

The evaporator coil is already located in a dark area with constant warm air blowing over it. Moisture forms over the evaporator coil when warm air flows over it. Dust or dirt acts as fodder for mold. Condensation causes dirt to quickly stick to the evaporator coil. This gives the coil all the food that it needs. You won’t need to face this if you clean the evaporator coil regularly.

Make sure you have a professional take care of the cleaning during annual maintenance or schedule visits. Once a year cleaning by a professional HVAC technician is vital to prevent mold breeding. Additionally, you can install a UV germicidal lamp to prevent mold from growing over the coil.

Condensate Drain Line is Clogged

You know this is the reason behind your mold or mildew problem when the air conditioner automatically shuts down after working for a short while. This happens because water flows over the condensate pan that triggers an emergency shut off. Another sign of a clogged condensate drain line is water pooling in the inside unit.

Excess condensation forming over the evaporator coil causes water to drop into the drain pan. It then exits out of the drain line. Clogged drain line because of dirt or debris causes the condensation water to get backed up in the drain pan. Mold can easily grow in such circumstances. It has moisture, food, warm temperature, and darkness to flourish.

The only solution to this is to clear the condensate drain line. You can always take care of the cleaning on your own or hire a professional to get it done for you.

Air Ducts are Leaky

Leaky air ducts are a major problem that can cause your air conditioner to become a breeding ground for mold. If your air conditioner keeps running for a long time without really cooling your home, you know there is something wrong with your air ducts.

Another sign of a leaky air duct is a house that quickly gets dusty. Your home may become excessively humid even though the AC runs constantly. Air ducts act like the respiratory system to your air conditioner.

Leaky or disconnected air ducts in dusty, non-living areas of the house, such as the crawl space or attic can spread mold throughout the house. Get a professional to fix the leaks.

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