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What is Dirty Sock Syndrome?

Posted on August 12th, 2019 by Jupiter Tequesta

dirty dust on air conditioner Coil Fins dirty sock syndrome

At Jupiter-Tequesta, we provide our customers with a wide range of services, including answering any questions you may have about your HVAC. Often, our customers come to us out of the concern for their broken unit. A common warning sign of a malfunctioning air conditioner is a moldy, musky smell. If you notice an odd smell in your home, your AC could be the culprit.

How Do I Know If I Have Dirty Sock Syndrome?

In Jupiter, Florida, it’s common for most of our customers to run their AC all day in hopes of getting relief from the sweltering sun. If your home smells like a dirty gym sock, you could have Dirty Sock Syndrome. “Dirty Sock Syndrome” occurs when your AC has a foul mildew-like smell when you turn it on. When mold and bacteria build up on your HVAC’s evaporator coil, the resulting smell is not pleasant. This smell is the first warning sign of Dirty Sock Syndrome.

Is Dirty Sock Syndrome Dangerous to My Health?

While bacteria causes Dirty Sock Syndrome, it’s not typically harmful to your health. If mold is introduced into your system, you may have a health hazard on your hands. Mold and mildew thrive off moisture and will begin to mix with the dust that becomes lodged in your unit’s filter. This combination can severely impact your home’s indoor air quality and create difficult breathing situations for members of your family that suffer from allergies and asthma. Mold can be a health risk to your family if it isn’t properly removed, and can cause wheezing and coughing.

Preventing and Eliminating Dirty Sock Syndrome

If your HVAC professional tells you that your AC has Dirty Sock Syndrome, your next step should be replacing your air filter. Your first step to remove mold, mildew, and bacteria from your air is to cut off its exposure to dust. Replacing your filter with a new, dust-free one will ensure that these particles are removed.  

If your filter is relatively clean, the next best way to remove and prevent Dirty Sock Syndrome is to install a UV air purifier. These purifiers are the best way to kill mold and its spores quickly.

Scheduling a Maintenance Appointment

The best way to prevent or eliminate Dirty Sock Syndrome is to schedule a maintenance appointment. If you start to notice your home’s air smelling strange, it’s time to call your HVAC professional. We can remove and replace your filter, and answer any questions you may have about adding a purifier to your home. Our professionals at Jupiter-Tequesta, have over 35 years experience and proudly offer both HVAC repairs and new installations in Jupiter, Florida, and surrounding counties. Contact us today!


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