Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Like Mildew?

When the days turn hotter and you walk into a stuffy home, the typical person will immediately turn on their air conditioner. However, there are times when you can experience the strong musty odor of mildew. Initially, you may not even realize that the smell is coming from your air conditioner. The smell can often resemble the stick of wet laundry left in the washing machine too long. The only thing worse than a hot day is a foul stench coming from your air vents.

With that being said, many mold and mildew issues have easy solutions after some investigation. It’s very important to address the problem quickly because mold and mildew can cause health issues. Today’s article provides some easy ways to troubleshoot the problem. However, if these tips do not help, please seek professional help.

Common Causes of AC Mildew Odors

1. Clogged or Dirty Filters – Mold can start to grow on your filters if exposed to water or if they become clogged or dirty. The filter traps organic particles which, when exposed to moisture, will encourage mold growth. Check your filters. If they look clogged or overly dirty, replace them.

2. Clogged Drip Pan – A clogged drip pan will fill fast and leak. This can happen due to the pan being incorrectly positioned or an actual clog around the drain port on the air conditioner. A simple clog is easy to remedy yourself. But, if the pan is incorrectly installed you are best off calling a professional.

3. Clogged Condensate Drain Line – Your condensate drain line goes from the coil drain pan to either a condensate pump or a nearby floor drain. It eliminates condensation produced by the coil. If there is a clog, mildew can grow on and around the coil.

Today’s article provided some easy ways to troubleshoot mildew smells coming from your air conditioner. However, you can have problems that require professional help. For example, if there are high humidity levels within the house, mold can grow virtually anywhere. High moisture levels in the duct work can cause mold and mildew, which will spread the odor everywhere in the house. You will need a professional to inspect the ducts and vents. Trying to do this yourself can negatively impact your air conditioner’s efficiency. You can also have a more complicated internal problem which can only be diagnosed by a technician.

Do you need more information? If you would like to talk about your air conditioner smelling like mildew, or a related topic, please contact us.