My AC Smells Like Mildew

Why Does My AC Smell Like Mildew?

If you start up your air conditioner and notice a musty odor similar to wet laundry that’s been left sitting, you’re smelling mildew. Unfortunately, this is a common problem with air conditioners.

Mildew develops in places with a high moisture content, so your air conditioner is a prime candidate. This fungus not only smells bad but is also capable of triggering allergies and worsening asthma symptoms. For these reasons, it’s important to discover the cause of the problem and take steps to remedy it. Here are several reasons your air conditioner smells like mildew.

Clogged AC Drain

When you smell mildew in your AC unit, this is likely because mildew is actually growing inside of it. This often occurs when the unit’s drip pan accumulates water. The water becomes stagnant, which provides an ideal environment for fungal growth. The drip pan may fail to drain properly if the condensation drain line becomes obstructed or damaged. In these cases, it must either be unclogged or replaced, which should only be done by a professional.

Mildew in the Vents and Ducts

In areas with high humidity, such as South Florida, it’s not uncommon for moisture levels in homes to become an issue. This allows mildew to form nearly anywhere, particularly in the vents and ducts running from your central air unit. If the smell of mildew is wafting from your AC vents, it’s strongly recommended that you have them inspected. If it’s discovered that there is indeed mildew growth, you can get rid of the unwanted smell by having the ducts professionally cleaned.

Improperly Size System

Mildew growth may also become an issue if your air conditioner is too large for the room or house it’s being used to cool. In these cases, the AC unit pulls in fresh air too rapidly, which prevents the it from being sufficiently dehumidified. Excessive humidity causes mildew to grow in not only the unit but also your walls, upholstery, carpet and other areas of your home. If you suspect that an oversized AC unit is causing your mildew problem, you may wish to consider having it replaced with one that is a more appropriate size for your needs.

The Professionals at Engineered Air Will Clean Your HVAC System

Are you tired of your air conditioner making your home smell like mildew? If so, Engineered Air can help. Contact us today to find out what’s causing the problem and how we can solve it for you.