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Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Musty?

Common Problems

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Your air conditioning system should be filtering out dust, debris, and smells from your room. However, when the AC smells musty, then you know the problem lies in your air vents. An air conditioner smells musty when there is mold or bacterial growth in the unit, causing the damp odor. To combat these, you'll need a professional HVAC technician to clean your unit!

What Causes that Musty Smell Coming from Air Conditioners?

If your air conditioner smells musty, mold and mildew growth is the most likely suspect. Mold releases mycotoxins, which cause that musty smell coming from your air conditioner. However, the musty smell can also come from bacterial growth, or a pest problem in your home. Here are the common reasons for a smelly air conditioner:

Reason #1 Mold Spores and Mildew Growth

Your air ducts are warm, humid locations - the perfect environments for mold spores! Mold thrives best in moist areas, and the condensate from your air conditioner provides ample moisture for the fungi to grow. Mold is often found in central air conditioner models, as moisture around vents can spread spores around faster.

Mold and mildew can grow anywhere. Colonies often appear in dirty air filters, a damp evaporator coil, a clogged condensate drain line, stagnant water, and more. You may also have mold growing around your home, particularly in the walls or carpets near your air vents. Mold and mildew release mycotoxins that may cause allergies and respiratory problems.

If your air conditioner smells like a damp towel, then chances are you've got mold in your air conditioning unit. A deep cleaning session by our Luce Aircon technicians will refresh your air conditioner, and remove the foul, musty AC smell.

Reason #2 Bacteria Colonies

Like mold, bacteria also thrives best in moisture. Bacteria is often found in stagnant water, such as an overflowing condensate drain line, or a filled condensate pan. Bacteria emits musty odors like mold does, causing your air conditioner to smell bad.

If your air conditioner smells like a musty, damp carpet, then you may want to check on your condensate drain line and pan. The air filter and evaporator coil may also host bacteria. Drain the pan, and use a sanitizer to disinfect the components. This will remove the smell, and kill the bacteria as well.

If you still think your air conditioner smells bad, then consider a chemical wash to refresh your air conditioning system, and remove the bacteria causing those smells. Our chemical wash will both deep clean your AC unit, while keeping the entire air conditioning system up and running smoothly!

Reason #3 Pest Problems

Not many people realize that pests such as rodents and roaches would emit a musty smell in their pheromones. These pests can hijack your air conditioner, can leave droppings or molts that would emit the foul odor. Not only do these droppings smell bad, they can greatly reduce indoor air quality, cause diseases to spread, and become a health hazard to the household.

Rat droppings, especially, carry the microorganisms that cause hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS), which damages the internal organs like the heart, liver, and spleen. Inhaling rat droppings from your air vents is incredibly dangerous for any individual. Roach droppings, on the other hand, can trigger asthma attacks.

The best way to get rid of the musty smell, as well as the health hazards that come with it, is to call pest control. Pests love hiding in air ducts where they can't be disturbed, and an exterminator will go through your home to get rid of the critters. Our Luce Aircon technicians can deep clean and sanitize your air conditioner to remove the muck left behind.

How to Get Rid of Musty Smell

Clean Your Cooling System

Cleaning your cooling system can be done at home on a regular basis. You can clean the air filter with plain, running water, some soap, and a soft brush to remove the grime. The evaporator coil can be kept dust-free using a vacuum cleaner and some compressed air, and the exterior of your air conditioner can be wiped clean with a sanitizer.

Internal components of your AC unit that you can't clean yourself can be cleaned by a Luce Aircon HVAC technician. We'll make sure your air conditioner stays in tip top condition so you can continue to enjoy the cooling features of your AC system.

Do Regular Pest Control

Your AC vents act like transportation systems for pests to roam around your household undetected until you notice droppings on the ground, and bites in the food in your pantry. If you live in an area notorious for various pests such as rodents, roaches, mites, and other urban pests, a yearly pest control service should keep your air conditioner clean and odor-free.

Tips to Prevent Air Conditioner Smells

Tip #1 Keep You Air Conditioner Dry

The best way to prevent mold and bacteria growth is to keep your AC system dry. Always allow the filter to dry after cleaning before you place it back into the unit, and make sure your drain lines are flowing properly. Avoid using humidifiers around your air conditioner to keep it dry, and allow the air conditioner to rest between uses.

Tip #2 Maintain Your Air Conditioner at Home

Do aircon maintenance at home by testing your air conditioner often. Maintain the cleanliness of the filter, the housing, and the exterior unit. Refrain from overloading your electrical sockets, which may cause your AC unit to short circuit. Allow the appliance to rest between uses, and avoid getting your air conditioner wet.

Tip #3 Schedule Air Conditioning Services

Contact one of our technicians as soon as you notice a problem with your air conditioner: be it musty smells, warm air flows, the smell of natural gas, burning smells, refrigerant leak, or other common AC problems. Our technicians will be able to diagnose the cause of the problem, and repair your unit so you can enjoy the cool air longer.

With Luce Aircon, you can trust your air conditioner will last you decades as our technicians provide excellent services, and routine cleaning for your unit. Our AC repair services will find the best solution to solve the root cause of common aircon issues, and we make sure to provide only top quality service to our clients!

Contact us today, and let's schedule your AC unit for a cleaning!

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Staff Writer

Staff Writer

This article is written by our passionate staff writers who seek to share our knowledge from our business

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