Dirty Sock Syndrome? What is it? What causes it? And how do I get rid of it?

Do you get a mildew-type odor when your air conditioning or heating system first starts up? Does it smell musky, dirty, or like a locker room? Or does it smell like someone’s gym socks found their way into your system?

You may have what has been come to known as “Dirty Sock Syndrome.”

What is it? Typically it’s caused by the growth of bacteria on your coil – the part in your system where refrigerant expands, cools off and air passes over to send cooler air into your house (the reverse happens with a heat pump in cold weather). As the coil ‘cools’, moisture is generated which drips down into a pan and out a drain. This is the area most likely to be the source of the odor.

Here’s what we can do to help you with this problem:

  1. Call our office and schedule an appointment for a thorough tune-up. A factory-trained technician will inspect and clean your coils; among other maintenance items that will help insure your safety and efficiency. Many times this is all that’s needed to solve the problem.
  2. Depending on your equipment setup, UV lights may be needed. Ultraviolet lights (UV lights) have been used successfully for many years to sterilize hospitals, medical, laboratory, water treatment and food processing facilities. The same technology is adapted for your home. Positioned near your indoor coil where fungus and microbes grow, UV lights destroy the actual DNA of microorganisms.  They also eliminate build-up on the coil so air can pass through the coil easier, improving overall system efficiency and performance. They are very affordable and easy to install. There’s minimal maintenance and no cleaning. You just need to replace the bulbs periodically, usually once a year. We’ll give you a free estimate on cost and application.
  3. If the above solutions don’t solve the problem, we have air cleaners that can remove bacteria, pollen, animal dander and pollutants as small as .01 microns, and air purifiers that capture and kill airborne pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and mold. These products can really help if you suffer from allergies, or live in a home with pets, infants or the elderly.

We are fully trained in Indoor Air Quality and have many solutions, including ones that will meet your budget. Give us a call today at 888-929-0049 and let us show you how to make your home healthier!

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