The Dirty Sock Syndrome: How Can You Safeguard Your HVAC Unit?

Construction & Contractors Blog

If you find your home has a foul smell and you can't figure out where it is coming from, it may be time to inspect your HVAC unit. After prolonged use, heating and cooling systems can give out a foul-smelling odor every time they are switched on. The odor is popularly referred to as Dirty Sock Syndrome. The Dirty Sock Syndrome is a common complaint of homeowners who use heating and cooling systems all year round. However, with proper maintenance, you can safeguard your air conditioning unit against this syndrome.

What causes Dirty Sock Syndrome?

The foul smell emanating from HVAC units usually results from the growth of mold and bacteria within the system. The indoor coils and heat pump of the system create ideal breeding grounds for bacteria and fungi. They thrive in the moist environment inside the unit and grow unnoticed until the foul smell draws your attention. Your unit is likely to suffer Dirty Sock Syndrome during the cooling season, but especially during fall or spring when it's often used for cooling during the day and switched to heating at night.

Dirty Sock Syndrome is not a brand-specific problem. It may be caused by the activity in your home and how often you maintain the air conditioning unit.

How to Prevent Dirty Sock Syndrome

The following maintenance tips are useful in preventing growth of bacteria, fungi, and mold in the HVAC unit:

•    Install a UV filter

Ultra-Violet filters installed within your HVAC system can kill bacteria, fungi, and germs and keep the syndrome at bay. The filters also prevent the growth or odor-causing organisms and keep your home clean and healthy.

•    Clean and coat your HVAC's coils

Cleaning your unit's coils goes a long way in preventing the growth of bacteria. However, for a permanent solution, you should add an antimicrobial coating to the coils and drain pans of the unit. Doing so will prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.

•    Get professional cleaning

Even with regular cleaning and maintenance, HVAC units require the inspection of an expert in air conditioning repairs once in a while. Have an HVAC contractor thoroughly inspect your unit for proper functioning and efficiency. In the case of faults, repair or replacement of the unit will be recommended.

Dirty Sock Syndrome can render your home inhabitable while attracting a host of bacterial infections. By understanding what causes it and how to prevent it, you will be able to keep your home clean and safe.


10 June 2016

Compelling and Creative Commentary on Construction and Contractors: A Blog

Welcome! My name is Frances, and this is my first blog. Whether you found me through a Google search or were passed my link by a friend, I am so glad you found my blog. I plan to fill it with a range of commentary on the world of contracting and construction work, and I hope that you find my ideas compelling and creative. I am a dog trainer, but I have always loved the world of construction. I tend to work a lot on the weekends and evenings, when my clients are off work. As a result, I have a lot of time to write during the day, and I decided to create this blog. Thank you for reading.