Terribly Smelling AC: What To Do?

Imagine entering your home only to be greeted by an offensive smell that leaves you feeling unsettled. Depending on the type of odor coming from your AC, there could be several problems. It might be time to Google, AC repair near me if your air conditioner smells like feet. HVAC experts have referred to this issue as “Dirty Sock Syndrome”.

1. How does dirty sock syndrome develop?

  • Mold: When you first turn it on, your air conditioner emits an unpleasant, mold- or mildew-like odor. This occurs when dirt, dust, and moisture accumulate on the evaporator coil of your air conditioner, which encourages the growth of bacteria and mold
  • Dirty Filter: Your AC unit may have too much moisture or standing water due to dirty filters, which eventually begin to smell like sweaty feet. To identify and fix the issue, Google, HVAC service near me.
  • Dirty Coils: Dirt, mildew, and mold can accumulate on the air coils if they aren’t properly maintained, leading to foul odors. This smell will spread throughout your home. In this case, search for an HVAC service near me.
  • Clog: The excess condensation drips from the cooling coils are collected and drained outside your house using the condensate drain. However, the condensation cannot pass through a clogged condensate drain, producing an unpleasant odor. 
  • Unsuitable AC Size: Your AC might be too big for your house. Ineffective air dehumidification will result from the system’s rapid cooling cycles if it is too large. This could encourage mold growth, creating a feet-like smell.

2. The ideal time for it to happen

The spring is when this most frequently happens because your air conditioner runs less often and has more time for moisture, dust, and dirt to build up on the evaporator coil in between cycles. This issue might also appear in the fall if you use a heat pump to cool and heat your home.

In addition to being an offensive annoyance, it threatens the safety of the air inside your house. Members of your household who are allergic or mold sensitive may begin experiencing symptoms if bacteria and mold are allowed to spread through the air in your home

3. Fixes for it

Thankfully, the cure for dirty sock syndrome is pretty simple. You must schedule an air conditioning repair with an HVAC company because dirty evaporator coils are the root of this irritating smell. Depending on how dirty the evaporator coil is, your AC repair will either involve cleaning or replacing it. Once the evaporator coil in your air conditioner is operating correctly, taking precautions is essential to avoid future instances. These actions consist of:

  • Arranging routine maintenance for your air conditioner.
  • Regular air filter inspection and cleaning.
  • A high-performance air filter upgrade.
  • Cleaning your ductwork with a professional.

4. Will this smell disappear by itself?

As spring transitions into summer, you might notice that your air conditioner doesn’t smell feet-like anymore, but that doesn’t mean the issue has disappeared. The accumulation will stay on the evaporator coil, and your house will likely start smelling like dirty feet again.


To avoid additional problems and possibly higher repair costs in the future, contact Technic Air Mechanical to fix the issue right away. If you are googling Air Conditioner repair near me, call us at (720) 261-0491.

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