Musty smell when air-conditoner is on...please help

sewnice50August 1, 2007

I have been going insane trying to find this horrible musty smell in my house that has been intermittent. I finally made the connection to the musty smell, it happens when the air-conditioner is running. I do not run it often because we live in an area where we seldom need it. I have read about a drip pan or coils needing cleaning but my air-conditioner is central air. How do I or where to I look to clean this unit?

I have been running it for 2 days now because it has been very warm outside and the smell has subsided. Will this smell come back next time I need to run the air?

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The coil and drip pan are located in the air handler which is inside the house somewhere. Half of your central air system is located outside of the house (the compressor and condensor) and the other half is located inside the house (air handler with evaporator coil). Depending on the type of house, the air handler may be in the attic, basement, or laundry room. The air handler contains your air filter which you should be changing on a regular basis.

Once you locate the air handler, check to make sure that water is indeed draining out of the condensate drain after the a/c shuts off on a humid day. You may have to open up the air handler and add some bleach to the drain pan to kill mold/mildew/slime as well as add some to the drain line. You may also have to clean your coil with a special spray-on cleaner for evaporator coils. As long as their is living junk in your pan or coil, you will smell "dirty socks" whenever you run the a/c.

Best of luck.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 2:31PM
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