Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Like Mildew?

Florida summers can be brutal, and the last thing you need is to turn on your AC and smell mildew. This probably leaves you questioning the source of the odor, and if it will affect your health. If the air smells moldy or musty, then you have a possible mildew issue. When you return indoors from battling the Florida sun, you expect the refreshment of cool, clean air. It can be unsettling, therefore, to smell mildew or other foul odors emanating from your AC unit. Far from refreshing, these odors can be more than just smelly — they can be harmful. Learn why your AC might smell like mildew and what you can do about it.

5 Reasons Your AC Smells like Mildew

1. Old Water in the Drip Pan

The musty smell could be mold or mildew coming from inside your AC unit. First, check to see if the drip pan has stagnant water in it. If it does, you may have a clogged condensate line. If the drip pan, which collects the condensation, is not draining well, then unblocking the clog is the solution. Make sure to also wash the pan with bleach and dry it completely.

2. Clogged Condensate Line

The condensate drain line on your AC unit removes condensation created by your AC unit’s evaporator coils. A clog in these drain lines can cause a buildup of moisture in and around the coils. If the condensate line is causing mildew, it should be replaced. It is important to get rid of all possible mold, so also clean the evaporator coils. Using bleach and water, soak the coils for 10 to 15 minutes. You can also use a fan to dry out any parts and remove the remaining moisture left in the AC unit.

3. Odor Coming From Air Conditioning Vents

Your AC vents and air ducts can also cause a moldy smell. Moisture can also build up in your air conditioning vents and ductwork, creating a ripe environment for mildew and mold. As you might expect, mildew in your ductwork can easily spread throughout your home, creating a steady stream of unpleasant odors. The increased humidity levels in your home can make mold grow quickly, which is why it’s important to have a professional come to your home and inspect your vents. If there is a mold problem, your vents can be professionally cleaned and the mold eliminated.

4. Dirty AC Filter Accelerating Mold Growth

Air filters collect a large amount of residue and organic material. Since this eventually creates substantial buildup on the filter, they have to be replaced regularly. Having clean air filters is essential to a properly functioning air conditioner. Clogged filters will hurt the performance of your AC system, hindering it from effectively cooling your home and keeping the humidity out of the air. Accumulation of too much humidity or exposure of the filters to moisture can create mold and mildew. Like moldy ductwork, moldy air filters will quickly spread foul smells throughout your house.

5. Lack of Cleaning and AC Maintenance

Your air conditioner is one of the most complex systems in your home. It’s dedicated to the near magic of turning warm air into cold air (and vice versa). Because its job is to handle air, gas, and liquid constantly, there are dozens of opportunities for mold and mildew to develop in your system if it malfunctions or is not maintained properly. It is, therefore, essential to take good care of your AC unit and have routine maintenance and repairs as needed. This will not only help the system last longer and save you money in the long run, but it will also provide you with the cool, refreshing air you deserve when it’s sweltering outside.

Call Colman Air to Get Rid of the Musty Smell in Your Air Conditioner

If you are having an issue with strange odors coming from your AC unit, contact the professionals at Colman Heating & Air for assistance with all of your heating and cooling needs.

24-HR Emergency Service: (321) 269-4565

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