8 Reasons Why Your AC Smells Musty & What to Do About It

July 15, 2022

Did your air conditioner suddenly start smelling musty? Coming home after a long day, looking forward to relaxing, only to discover your air conditioner smells bad when turned on. It can ruin your mood in a snap. If your AC smells musty, there can be multiple reasons behind it.

Why Your AC Smells Musty

There are various reasons for a musty odor coming from your AC. If your air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks, mildew, etc., it can signify an underlying issue. These include:

1. Clogged Drain Line
One of the common reasons your AC smells musty is due to the clogged drain lines. The condensate drain aids in eliminating the condensation due to coils. If the drain gets clogged, it leads to mildew growth. As a result, you will notice a mildew odor coming from your AC.

2. Drain Pan is Full
The air in your house is humid, but the AC unit helps get rid of it. The drip or drip pan accumulates water droplets, leading to a musty smell from the AC vents. The drip pan withstands wear and tear, but neglect can lead to mold growth in it.

3. Clogged Filters
Many dust particles settle in the filter. Gradually, your AC pushes out smelly air as the tiny particles clog the filters. Moreover, exposure to moisture can also lead to mildew growth and a musty smell.

4. Dirty Evaporator Coils
The evaporator coil can get dirty. Consequently, your air conditioner starts smelling unpleasant and musty. The dirty coil is also an ideal spot for mold growth, which is one of the primary reasons your AC smells musty.

4. The Unit Size is Incorrect
Your home or office determines the adequate AC unit size. A larger AC unit will be unable to dehumidify quickly. In contrast, a smaller one will provide inefficient cooling. These reasons can lead to a musty smell coming from your air conditioner.

5. Frozen Evaporator Coils
Evaporator coils can be behind the musty smell from AC vents, whether they are dirty or frozen. Thus, a frozen evaporator coil is also a culprit for an unpleasant odor from your air conditioner.

6. Punctured or Leaking Air Ducts
Your AC unit is more susceptible to mold growth when there are holes in the air ducts. Punctured air ducts help the mold grow since they make the environment humid and moist.

7. Air Ducts or Vents have Mold or Mildew Growth
Mildew and mold are the most common reasons why your AC smells musty. A foul odor indicates something is wrong with your AC unit. Multiple causes mentioned above result in mildew or mold growth, leading to a musty smell.

How to remove the musty smell from the air conditioner?

There are several ways to clean the AC and eliminate the musty smell. Some ways you can avoid the strange smell are:

  • Clean the drain line.
  • Regularly replace the air conditioner’s filters.
  • Get a proper-sized AC for your property.
  • Clean the cooling coils.
  • Regularly deep clean your vents.
  • Seal the air ducts.
  • Blow pressurized air into your AC.
  • Wipe clean the AC from inside
  • Wait for the unit to dry before sealing completely.
  • Control the humidity with the help of a hygrometer.

What to do?

In conclusion, your AC smells musty due to many factors. Therefore, regular cleaning and maintenance by a professional company will help your AC unit perform efficiently for years. Our skilled professionals at Air Quality Experts TX are the best at their job; dial (346) 803-2982 to book our expert services and eliminate your HVAC issues.

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