What Is Dirty Socks Syndrome?

Smell from dirty socks soaked in sweat is one of the foulest smells that exist on earth. In one word is it is simply unbearable. Dirty and wet socks are generally shoved into the washer soon after taking them out of our legs. But what would you do if such a smell is emanated right from your air conditioner. You can’t surely give it a wash with a hose pipe Well, if you are getting such a bizarre smell from your air conditioner, it is called Dirty Sock syndrome. This problem is mostly encountered in spring when people are transitioning their HVAC units from heating to cooling mode. Let’s know what causes dirt sock syndrome-

If your machine is affected with dirty sock syndrome, you will get foul mouldy smell as soon as you turn on your air conditioner. This is created by growth of mold and mildew on you evaporator coils. Mold and mildew as they grow give off a smelly gas. It smells as if you have left wet clothes in the washer for long. It is very common for mold to grow on you evaporator coil over the years. As warm room air flows across the coil, the coil absorbs heat and also collects moisture. This moisture then drips down into a condensate pan. From here a drain and pump takes it towards the wastewater system of your plumbing. If the air conditioner system is working well, moisture problem should not occur. But if the excess condensation is occurring on the surface of the evaporator coil or the drainage system is unable to drain the condensate, then moisture can build up around the evaporator coil. If the filters are dirty, the air flow will be restricted and which will cause the temperature of the air to go down. The refrigerant in the evaporator coil will not be able soak enough heat to get vaporized. The temperature of the coils will dip down. This will cause it to freeze.

If you feel that your unit is affected by dirty sock syndrome, do not panic and run for your cell phone to call a HVAC technician. Do the following first-

• Ensure that your A/c is draining property. Check the drainage pan. If it is filled, empty it. If you find a blockage, clear it to enable the drain work.

• Check your filter. If it clogged with dirt change it ASAP. If it washable, wash it with water and mild soap.

If you have performed these tasks still find that the noxious smell is lingering, it is time to place a call with your local HVAC contractor

Can dirt sock syndrome cause health hazard?

Well, not really. But the fact remains that it makes your stay at home next to impossible. The smell is hard to bear. The mold and bacteria that cause this smell are not dangerous to your heath under normal circumstances. The problem will start when they start to grow into your HVAC system. If they undergo active growth, mold spores will blow into your living space with the air that comes from our A/c. This can cause health hazards to people living in the house in form allergies, respiratory troubles etc. According to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) reports most molds are only mildly toxic to humans. Even in house which are heavily infested with molds the health issues hardly manifest beyond chronic coughing and wheezing. But putting up with molds and mildew in the house is not desirable. Do the needful to terminate them for good.




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