If you notice a musty smell coming from your AC, it is likely due to mold and mildew being somewhere throughout your central air system.
In the spring and summer, it is not uncommon to smell new smells; however, if you notice a smelly odor coming from your air conditioning, it is usually much more uninviting than the smells of flowers blooming or fresh cut grass. Does your AC smell musty? If so, that could be a sign that you are distributing mold and mildew throughout your Buffalo, NY home, via your air conditioning. This stench can not only be unpleasant, it can be harmful to you and your family’s health.
How can that Stale Odor Affect Your Family’s Health?
If you notice a musty smell coming from your AC, it is likely due to mold and mildew being somewhere throughout your central air system. With this unpleasant odor comes several health risks. Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all, depending on the person, and the amount of mold in the environment.
According to the EPA, molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions) and irritants. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.
If mold or mildew is in your AC, it is likely affecting your home’s indoor air quality, which can lead to many other illnesses and side effects.
What Could be the Cause of my AC Smelling Musty?
If your AC smells musty, as stated above, the odor is likely being caused by mold or mildew being in your air conditioning. Below we review some of the common causes to why this may occur.
– Your Air Ducts Have a Blockage or Leak: Buffalo, NY homes with forced air HVAC systems, use ducts to circulate conditioned air throughout the house. Over time these ducts can acquire a buildup or need repair. Ductwork in need of repair can pull in air that it shouldn’t and distribute that air throughout your home. Also, if you need your ducts cleaned, blockages could keep air from distributing as it should, causing mold and mildew to develop and creating that undesired smell.
– Evaporator Coil Issues: Your AC works by removing heat and humidity from your home. Essentially, the evaporator coil absorbs the warm air and moisture, cools the air and evaporates the moisture, and then cycles the dry air back through your home. If your evaporator coil is frozen or dirty, it will not work as intended, and the moisture will not evaporate, causing mold and mildew to develop. Evaporator coil issues can usually be avoided if you keep your air filters clean, to ensure proper airflow throughout the system.
– Clogged Drain Line: When a large amount of condensation forms on the evaporator coil, it drops into a drain pan and then exits out a drain line. If the drain line is clogged, then water can back up into the drain pan and line. Any sitting moisture can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Be sure to check your drain pan if you notice a strange odor, as it may be full and need to be emptied, or a sign that you have a blocked line.
– Your Air Conditioner is too Large for your Home: Having a furnace or AC unit that is too big for your home can cause issues. When it comes to air conditioning, if the system is too large for your home, air can be cycled through your home too quickly, resulting in improperly dehumidified air going through your unit and home, and leading to excess moisture to develop. When selecting an air conditioner for AC installation, consult a Buffalo AC professional on the size best suited for your home.
If your AC smells musty, don’t let the smell go unattended. While lighting a candle and spraying some deodorizer may cover up the odor for a short period of time, you are still likely putting your family at risk of health issues. If your air conditioner is putting out a stale aroma, there is likely a larger issue, and if it’s not resolved, it can eventually lead to a costly breakdown and repair.
At Reimer Home Services, our team repairs, maintains, and installs air conditioners. We work with all cooling systems and all makes and models. Our experienced techs are true experts in all things AC, from the condenser to the evaporator.