An outdoor air conditioner with the words, "Signs of Dirty Sock Syndrome."

If you can’t shake the smell of dirty socks in your home, the problem may not be your laundry detergent; it may actually be your air conditioner. Dirty Sock Syndrome is a term used to describe the foul moldy odor given by an air conditioning when you turn it on. Read on to learn the answers to the 5 most commonly asked questions regarding Dirty Sock Syndrome.

1. What Causes Dirty Sock Syndrome?

Dirty Sock Syndrome is caused by the build-up of mold or bacteria in the evaporator coils of your air conditioning unit. Moisture builds up on the coils with continuous use, leading to the potential growth of mold and mildew. The problems are exacerbated when dust begins to collect in your A/C unit. This is why it’s important to change out your air filter regularly. This issue is especially common in the fall and spring when people begin to switch from cooling to heating and heating to cooling.

2. Is Your A/C the Problem?

There are many other possible culprits for a strange smell in your A/C unit. Check for these first so you can rule them out before calling a trusted HVAC technician. First, check your drainage pans. If they are full, empty them and clear out any debris blockages. Next, check the filter. If it is dirty or moist, replace it. If a dirty sock or musty gym smell persists after you have done these things, it’s safe to assume your A/C probably has Dirty Sock Syndrome.

3. Is Dirty Sock Syndrome Dangerous?

Dirty Sock Syndrome is not typically dangerous; it just fills your home with a gross odor caused by bacteria and mildew building up on your unit. It is only dangerous if mold is growing on the evaporator coils. Mold can be a serious health risk to your family and can lead to respiratory problems or nausea.

4. How Can I Prevent Dirty Sock Syndrome?

There are two main practices that will help you prevent Dirty Sock Syndrome from arising in the first place. First, make sure your air filters are replaced regularly. The other thing you need to do is make sure your system is inspected twice a year to ensure everything is running smoothly.

5. How Can I Get Rid of Dirty Sock Syndrome?

Unlike actual dirty socks, Dirty Sock Syndrome isn’t something you can handle yourself. You can trust our skilled Comfort Masters Heating & Air Conditioning technicians to do any necessary maintenance and clean the evaporator coils of your air conditioning unit. Take the next step to make sure your home remains smelling fresh as a daisy and call us today!