Everything is going perfectly in your home, but suddenly your house smells like dirty, moldy socks! Oh no, it's dirty sock syndrome, and then you wonder if it's dangerous. Fear not because we've done some digging and have the answers for you.
Dirty sock syndrome is generally not harmful to your health, and there are no known long-term health effects.
However, people with allergies and asthma may experience sneezing, itchy eyes, and other symptoms. So, it's best to address this problem and immediately take the necessary steps to clean your HVAC.
Now that you know the effect of dirty sock syndrome let's discuss how you and every homeowner can solve this problem. We've also included some cleaning materials to help eliminate dirty sock syndrome and other odors and clean your air conditioning units.
What Is Dirty Sock Syndrome?
Dirty sock syndrome is when HVAC produces a musty, nasty scent that will remind you of dirty socks. In some circumstances, the odor might be identical to the sooty smell emitted on the initial turning on of your AC unit.
Mold, dirt, and bacteria buildup in your AC's evaporator coil causes dirty sock syndrome. And when they can't vaporize as fast as they should do.
Is Dirty Sock Syndrome Dangerous?
As previously mentioned, dirty socks syndrome isn't exactly dangerous. But you mustn't ignore it, especially if you have allergies, asthma, and other health issues.
A powerful foul smell can push you to lose focus on certain things since your brain will only focus on the bad smell. So, it would be best if you won't let it remain in your house for too long.
Even if it isn't that damaging, it won't make sense if you try to tolerate or allow it in your home.
And having dirty sock syndrome in your home indicates something wrong with your HVAC system. So, it would be best to have it cleaned or inspected by an HVAC professional.
Will Dirty Sock Syndrome Go Away On Its Own?
Sometimes, the dirty sock smell may seem to lessen or go away entirely on its own. It usually happens when the shoulder seasons are through. But it doesn't mean that it's okay.
All the dirt and moisture on your coil is still there, and it will smell again when the conditions are right.
How Can You Fix Dirty Sock Syndrome At Home?
Homeowners can fix dirty sock syndrome in several simple ways. Some remedies we found include:
Scheduling Regular HVAC Maintenance
Your HVAC unit needs regular maintenance to avoid disasters and dirt buildup. Performing routine maintenance on your HVAC can prolong your HVAC's lifespan and have better air quality, to name a few.
This step is essential in preventing dirty sock syndrome and the like. Air conditioners have vital parts you need to pay extra attention to.
Checking And Cleaning AC Components Regularly
Air conditioners have vital parts you need to pay extra attention to. So you must:
1. Change Your AC's Air Filters
The recommended time to change your Air conditioner's air filter is around 30 to 45 days, especially if you have health issues. But the average time to change them is 90 days.
It's essential to replace your AC filters to avoid airflow obstruction and wear and tear. And ensure that you replace them with the correct type and size.
2. Clean Your AC's Evaporator Coils
It's vital to clean your air conditioner's evaporator coils every three months. Dirty evaporator coils cause ice buildup and reduced cooling capacity.
Extra dirty coils also decrease the effectivity and performance of your AC.
Cleaning your evaporator coils can prevent dust and dirt from collecting on them. You'll also avoid other problems that dirty coils create.
3. Clean Your AC's Drip Pan
The drip pan collects all of the moisture that drips off from your AC's coils. After checking and cleaning the filters and coils, see if there's mold growing on the drip pan.
Don't forget to turn off the AC before operating on it. Empty the drip pan, and clean it with soapy, warm water. You can also opt to wipe it with purified white vinegar.
4. Clean Your AC's Condensate Drain Line
A foul condensate drain line is a primary cause of dirty sock syndrome. Clogging and mold growth are the usual problems condensate drain lines face since they're in dark, enclosed areas.
Here are the steps to follow in cleaning your condensate drain line:
- Turn the entire HVAC system off.
- Find the condensate drain line.
- Determinate the entry point on the condensate drain line.
- Remove the cover of the condensate drain line.
- Use a vacuum to clear clogs from the condensate drain line.
- If it's still clogged, pour a cup of distilled white vinegar, bleach, or peroxide into it.
- Let the solution soak for about 30 minutes.
- Rinse with water.
Upgrading AC Filter To A High-Performing One
Upgrading your AC filter to high-performing can help avoid problems like dirty sock syndrome.
It can also reduce your consumption bill, lessen HVAC maintenance, enhance indoor air quality, and provide countless benefits.
Having The Air Ducts Professionally Cleaned
A dirty ductwork system can cause fast dust buildup, foul odor, and allergens in your home. In contrast, a clean air duct generates better air quality, fewer allergens, and better energy efficiency.
So, it will help a lot when you hire a professional air duct cleaning service. Professionals ensure the job is thoroughly and carefully completed, cleansed, and intact.
Can A Smelly Air Conditioner Make You Sick?
Air conditioners can be essential for individuals with certain conditions and illnesses who have difficulty breathing when the atmosphere is hot and damp.
But with neglect and poor maintenance, air conditioners can induce health problems such as respiratory infections, mainly when mold develops inside them.
When such problems occur, you must schedule an appointment for repair and maintenance ASAP. Taking immediate action can help avoid risking your family's health and yours.
Five Cleaning Products We Recommend For Your HVAC
Here are five materials that can help you clean and remove certain odors in your HVAC systems:
1. ComStar Dirty SOX Odor Eliminator Aerosol with Trigger Spray
This ComStar Aerosol is Amazon's Choice for dirty sock syndrome. You can use it in all types of HVAC systems.
- Environmentally safe
- Long-lasting active odor neutralizer
- Specially designed to remove dirty sock Syndrome in HVACs
2. Outland Air Conditioner Pan Cleaner Tablets
These Outland Engineering pan cleaner tablets are Amazon's Choice. You can use these tablets for cleaning air conditioners, humidifiers, or refrigerators.
- Cleanses rubbish and other pileups
- It prevents water damage, overspill, and odors
- Safe and hypoallergenic concentrated formula
3. Frost King Foam Coil Cleaner
You can use this Frost King foam AC coil cleaner not only for your AC coils but also for freezer coils, car radiators, and lawnmower engines.
It includes a unique 360-degree valve that can spray in any direction or position.
- The powerful suds remove blemishes, petroleum, and grease and relieve grime.
- Cleans air filters, AC coils, and fan blades
- No need to wash due to its no-rinse formula
4. Nu-Calgon No-Rinse Foam Evaporator Coil Cleaner
This Nu-Calgon no-rinse coil cleaner is the number one bestseller in HVAC Accessories. It has a fresh lemon scent that helps leave the area deodorized.
- Evap Foam quickly liquefies dirt, grease, oil, and other residues
- NSF-registered and safe to utilize on various materials such as metals
- It has wholly self-rinsing and fast-breaking foam
5. Boao Air Conditioner Condenser Fin Cleaning Brushes
This Boao package contains two AC Cleaning Brushes. One has a finely-designed plastic handle with a stiff and smooth brush.
The other one is made of stainless steel, which is flexible not to damage the coil fins.
- Has multiple uses
- Easy to use
- Great cleaning combination
Dirty Sock Syndrome: Resolved!
Your home should be a place of comfort and relaxation, so having a clean house should be your goal. But sometimes, problems such as dirty sock syndrome can occur.
Although we've elaborated that it's not dangerous, it's still unpleasant to experience in your home.
Fortunately, issues like the foul-smelling dirty sock syndrome can be fixed and prevented. Follow the necessary steps to clean, repair, and maintain your HVAC unit. And your home will once again smell clean and fresh.
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