Your air conditioner is rolling along just fine, then out of the blue one day the air conditioner produces a horrible smell.
The first place to check is your air conditioner filter. When it becomes clogged, water can become trapped in the system and stagnate. This, in turn, causes mold to grow on the coils and potentially also in the drain pan if water is trapped there.
Unfortunately, because of the new designs of the energy-efficient units, newer models are actually worse about promoting that awful smell since there is more space and surface area in which water can become trapped. The problem becomes even more noticeable if you need to use the unit for heating purposes during the cooler months, as the unit will warm up enough to increase the smell but will never get hot enough to kill off the bacteria that are responsible.
In addition to the stench, mold can be causing further problems in your unit. It decreases the efficiency of operation, in turn raising your energy costs. Over time the drain pan can also become completely plugged up. Some types of mold are additionally dangerous to your health, and the air being blown into your home or office is carrying the spores along with it.
Fortunately, cleaning out a moldy unit is a fairly simple job that a professional can do at an affordable price. In the meantime, you can assist things by changing out the filter if it is dirty. It is safe for the most part to run an AC unit with mold in it unless members of the household have a compromised immune system, asthma or related allergies. For most people, it will only cause some mild intermittent coughing at absolute worst and may not have any effect whatsoever.
The energy efficiency savings from having the unit cleaned properly will be worth it over time, however, as well as no longer having to explain to guests that the smell isn’t coming from your socks! We offer professional HVAC service in the DFW area feel free to contact us anytime.