Common Odor Issues with High Efficiency HVAC Units & How to Prevent Them

After you invest in a high efficiency HVAC unit, you could be surprised when the system starts emitting an unpleasant odor. “Dirty sock syndrome” and many other odor-based problems are common in high efficiency HVAC units. Read how to discover some causes of HVAC odors and what can be done to prevent them.

Causes of Odors in High Efficiency HVAC Units

  • Bacteria and microorganisms: Bacteria and microorganisms that thrive in your home’s HVAC system are the most common sources of bad odors.
  • Debris in the ductwork: Debris in your ductwork and on your equipment is known to cause odors, especially when heated.
  • Food or other materials in the vents: Food and other items that land in your system’s vents can decay and produce odors. If other types of strong-smelling substances, such as cleaners or solvents, get into the vents or are used near return air registers, these smells can also be filtered into your home.
  • Animals and animal waste: A dead mouse, bird, or other small animal in your home’s ductwork can result in very unpleasant odors. Animal waste may also contribute to bad smells.

Preventing Odors in High Efficiency HVAC Units

  • Change the filters: Any odors trapped inside your air filters can travel into your home. To put an end to this, put in fresh filters.
  • Clean the coils: Have preventive maintenance done that also includes a thorough cleaning of your evaporator coils. Duct cleaning is an option if there’s any foul-smelling materials in your ducts.
  • Apply a growth inhibitor: You can coat your coils, drip pans and other system surfaces with a growth inhibitor known for stopping the spread of bacteria.

Contact us for more information about resolving odor problems with high efficiency HVAC units.

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