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Does Your Home Have Dirty Sock Syndrome?

Your air-conditioner has been dormant all winter long waiting patiently for the hot weather to arrive in Sacramento. When the weather starts to heat up it’s time to flip the switch and enjoy the cool relaxing breeze of your A/C system. That’s when you flip on the AC system and a stinky smell permeates the air. Oh my goodness, get out the air-freshener! Light a Yankee Candle. Do something!

This scenario recently occurred to a family in the Hollywood Park neighborhood of Sacramento.  It was an unseasonably warm day so they turned on the AC unit and immediately noticed a foul, moldy, smelling odor coming from the air vents. They described the musky smell as similar to their son’s pile of dirty gym socks. Stink Stank Stunk!

A foul odor coming from your AC system could be any number of things. Covering up the odor is temporary, but, the best thing to do is find out where the odor is actually coming from and eliminate it. Besides, nobody wants to host a dinner party if their house smells like a high school locker room.

The smell of stinky gym socks coming from the AC vents could mean a dirty or clogged air conditioner…it’s actually called “dirty sock syndrome”.  Mold and mildew can accumulate and grow on the evaporator coils of your air-conditioning unit. Air conditioning creates wet and damp coils, and when coupled with the moldy bacterial growth, it can be the source of foul odors.  The odor also comes from standing water in the crawlspace that is not draining properly where it collects and begins to smell bad.

Bonney’s 5-Star Dynamic HVAC Duo of Michael V. and Brandon K. were called out to the home in Hollywood Park. It was time for a Bonney 5-Star HVAC investigation! Michael turned on the air conditioner and immediately could smell a foul odor emanating from the vent. He took a whiff, made a funny face, and said, “Oh yeah, it DOES smell like dirty socks or something”.

The crawl space under the home was dark and dank but, Michael V. didn’t miss a beat. He zipped up the Bonney crawl suit and immediately went to work without hesitation. After crawling around the damp crawl space he found the culprit…the return duct was not fastened properly and air from the musty crawl space was leaking into the home and stinking up the coils. The coils had accumulated a lot of dirt and condensation, too!

Michael went back under the house armed with straps and duct sealant to fix the dislodged return duct while Brandon K. squeezed between a large bush and the A/C  system to diligently clean the coils with Simple Green and foaming coil cleaner. They also changed the dirty air filter which had accumulated a lot of the dirt and debris due to the disconnected return. They even checked the refrigerant level! They also advised the homeowner to put the AC fan in circulation mode to “air out the system”.

After a few hours the bad smell disappeared and the home smelled like freshly baked bread again.

Bonney saved the day by eliminating the stink! Now, that’s 5-Star Service.

If you’ve noticed your air conditioner is putting out some stinky smells every time it kicks on, you shouldn’t ignore the stink. Your nose usually knows if there’s a problem. If something doesn’t smell quite right with your AC system…Call Bonney.