The air coming out of your air conditioning unit isn’t supposed to have a smell. However, you’ll probably need the expertise of a professional HVAC technician if you notice the equipment emitting a musty odor a few seconds after adjusting the thermostat to a cooler setting. Today, the pros at All Weather discuss the top reasons why this happens and ways to solve the problem.
Excess Moisture in Air Ducts or Vents
Excess moisture that accumulates inside air ducts and vents can be caused by either high humidity levels or a drainage leak that’s gone unnoticed. If you smell something musty when you turn on the AC unit, there’s a good chance mold and mildew have spread within the ductwork.
Remember that mold exposure can cause upper respiratory health issues. As such, you need to call a professional HVAC technician as soon as possible so you can have the ducts and vents cleaned and repaired to get rid of the musty odors once and for all.
Frozen Evaporator Coils
AC units work by absorbing warm indoor air, removing humidity from it, cooling it and cycling it back indoors through the return vents. Free-flowing air is vital for this process, which means having clean air filters is a must.
Dirt and debris block airflow through the filters, causing water drops from humid indoor air to collect on the evaporator coils. The water drops on the coils then freeze as the AC unit’s refrigerant continues to cool the air. This is where the importance of changing air filters in the home is realized. Clean or replace the filters at least once every one or two months.
A Full Drain Pan
The moisture that’s removed from humid indoor air causes water droplets to fall into the drain or drip pan. This part of the AC unit, however, suffers regular wear and tear, which means it may not function as effectively over time.
An inefficient drip pan can accumulate mold, which you can smell when the unit is in operation. Call your local HVAC technician to have it replaced with a new one.
Blocked Condensate Line
The condensate line is a small PVC pipe next to the condenser unit, which is the portion of the air conditioner located outside your home. Its job is to drain water from the drip pan to your landscaping or storm drain. However, it’s also one of the top locations for mold, mildew and sludge to build because of its small size. This can lead to clogs and musty odors inside your home.
Prevent this by cleaning it once a month. To do this, first turn off the AC unit at the thermostat and the breaker panel. Then, remove the condenser line from its attachment and pour a cup of distilled white vinegar into the opening. Let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing with water to remove impurities, then reattach it to the outdoor AC unit and turn the unit back on.
Wrong AC Unit Size
For your AC unit to work properly, it must be the right size. If it’s too big for your home, the air gets cycled throughout your home too quickly, which means it doesn’t get dehumidified completely, resulting in excess moisture. The wrong AC unit size may also be prone to turning on and off constantly, leading to excessive wear and tear and possible premature failure.
Have an HVAC technician check if your air conditioner is the right size. HVAC unit sizing takes into consideration not just your home’s square footage, but also the number of people living in it , insulation type, ceiling height and your local climate.
Call All Weather for Your AC Needs
All Weather is your leading provider of HVAC services, including heating and air conditioning repairs, installation and maintenance. For more information about your furnace inspection checklist or ways to extend the lifespan of your HVAC unit, call (707) 447-9855 today. You may also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Vacaville, CA, and surrounding communities.