At the start of a new season, you may notice some foul smell in your Bay Area house. This may often stem from an HVAC system, especially as they are switched on after a long gap.
A malodor in the house can cause headaches, nausea, and other health issues amongst residents, if not handled in time. A bad smell also indicates that that there may be something wrong with your system and it is best to take notice and get your HVAC system checked.
Here is a list of probable causes for the foul smell from your HVAC system and how you can get rid of it.
1. Clean air filters
The air filters in HVAC systems are designed to trap all the dust particles and contaminants from indoor air. Over a period of time, these catch more and more dirt and get clogged. Dirty filters will no longer be able to clean indoor air, leading to a bad smell. Also, if your air conditioner consists of an ultraviolet filter that is not functioning properly, it will not incinerate the contaminants being absorbed from the air.
Clean and replace the air filters regularly to ensure that indoor air is being filtered efficiently.
2. Dirty ductwork
HVAC ductwork is a sealed, enclosed space that can harbor a lot of dust, dirt, insect and rodent infestation, their droppings, mold, dust mites and pet hair. The dirtier your residential ductwork, higher are the chances of foul smells in the ducts. These will get carried through out your house and into your rooms through the air vents.
You can call an HVAC technician to inspect and clean the duct work from time to time.
3. Clogged drains
All the moisture (water vapor), also known as the condensate, taken from the air is expelled from the system through the condensate pipe and into the drains. If the condensate drain is dirty and clogged, the water will collect and remain stagnant in the drain pan. This can become a breeding ground for mold and insects, resulting in foul odor that will travel into your system through the ductwork and into your house.
4. Clean the coils
The coils present in your AC’s outdoor unit are prone to a lot of dust, pollution, debris and leaves or twigs. The AC blows air over the coils and if these have a layer of grime covering them, bad smells will circulate around the system and into your home due to the air getting polluted. Dirty coils will also put pressure on your system, causing it to work over time, get over heated and lead to malfunctions and high energy bills. The humidity in indoor air won’t be easily removed, increasing the foul smells.
5. Preventive maintenance
Apart from maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature, it filters contaminants from the air and also reduces humidity. If the system is not functioning properly, any of these things will not happen and create bad odors in the house. Regular cleaning will keep the system running smoothly.