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


After investing in a high efficiency HVAC unit, you might be surprised when your system starts emitting an unpleasant odor. “Dirty sock syndrome” and other odor-based problems are relatively common in high efficiency HVAC units. Read on 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 growing on your HVAC system are probably the most common sources of bad odors.
  • Debris in the ductwork: Different types of debris in your ductwork and on your equipment can cause odors, especially when heated.
  • Food or other materials in the vents: Food and other materials dropped into your system’s vents can decay and produce odors. If other strong-smelling substances, such as cleaners or solvents, get into the vents or are used near return air registers, these smells can also be distributed throughout your home.
  • Animals and animal waste: A dead mouse, bird, or other small animal in your ductwork can result in very unpleasant odors. Animal waste can also contribute to bad smells.

Preventing Odors in High Efficiency HVAC Units

  • Change the filters: Any odors trapped in your air filters can travel into your home. To prevent this from happening, put in fresh filters.
  • Clean the coils: Have preventive maintenance performed and include a thorough cleaning of your evaporator coils. Duct cleaning may be 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 that stops the spread of bacteria.

With more than 30 years of experience in the HVAC industry, Airtron Heating & Air Conditioning serves customers in Charlotte and the surrounding Central Indiana community. Contact us today for more information about resolving odor problems with high efficiency HVAC units.


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