My Central Air Conditioner Smells Musty When I Turn It On – What Do I Do?
Air conditioning, particularly central air, can’t make you feel comfortable during warm spring and summer nights if there’s an unpleasant, musty smell coming out of your vents. That smell is usually caused by mildew and it means there has been moisture in the duct system or ac unit and the unit may require cleaning or air conditioner service. Once that’s done, you may still need to get rid of lingering odors and eliminate possible health hazards and allergens associated with breathing in mold and mildew. Here are a few simple steps to check to see where the problem might be starting. If these don’t work, it’s time to call in the air conditioner experts like your friends at Wilbur Henry of York, PA.
- Check and possibly change the filter if it appears dirty or clogged.
- IF you are able to get to it easily, unscrew the condensate drain from the coupling at the drip pan with a wrench and remove the drip pan. Give the drain and tray a good cleaning. Bleach or white vinegar are good for this.
- Check the coils for debris and dirt.
If you have checked and cleaned these and there is still an unpleasant odor, there is likely mold / mildew somewhere in your system. Check the ducts in the basement or attic for leaks when the blower is on. If air is leaking out, it also means that moisture is leaking in and forming mold within the ducts. If the smell wasn’t present in the winter or if there are no signs of moisture in the ducts, I would rule out the ducts and focus on the a/c unit. In either of those cases, you should have the unit cleaned and possibly serviced by a professional, which is a good idea anyway.