Tips To Remove Musty Smells From Your HVAC Unit

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HVAC systems work to keep us comfortable year-round by circulating cool and warm air throughout our homes. However, without proper maintenance and routine cleaning, these systems can spread something else across the house: musty odors. If left unchecked, musty smells borne from mold and mildew build-up could circulate through air ducts, becoming a source of embarrassment and, even worse, a hazard to one’s health.

Fret not — Bloomington Heating & Air has your back with a few pointers to aid homeowners in removing musty odors once and for all by performing customary maintenance, cleaning, and HVAC checkups

Need help eliminating persistent odors from your home’s air ducts? Contact us today for information or to schedule residential HVAC services!

Replace Air Filters

A clogged HVAC filter could be the cause of a persistent musty smell in the home. Many people are unsure how often to change air filters in their homes and put it off for too long, which can allow for a build-up of unwanted microscopic particles such as dust, mold spores, and bacteria. Air filters are available for purchase at most major retailers, and as a general rule, a house with more than one pet should change its filter every 20–45 days, or every 60 days for one pet. If the air filter is replaced and a musty smell persists, then it may be time to consider upping your filter’s MERV rating. A filter’s MERV rating indicates it’s effectiveness at trapping a range of airborne particles. Those with higher ratings will prove more apt at absorbing spores causing moldy odors.

If all else fails, schedule an appointment with us for residential indoor air quality services. 

Clean Coils

Coils are responsible for heat exchanges in the HVAC system and come into regular contact with the outside air circulating throughout, so it’s essential they are kept clean. HVACs have two main sets of coils: the interior, evaporator coil; and the exterior, condenser coil. However, it’s most likely that a dirty evaporator coil is the culprit. To alleviate smelly odors, as well as prevent a build-up of allergens, dust, grime, and spores in the HVAC’s coil system, be sure the coils are routinely cleaned.

Given the wide range in coil models, it’s best to let an AC repair professional handle the maintenance so as not to run the risk of damaging the coils yourself.

Check For Excess Moisture

A common cause for a home’s mildewy smell is a clogged condensate drain line. As condensation forms on evaporator coils, the water drips into the condensate pan and down the drain line, taking with it the dirt that has fallen into the pan. Over time, neglected evaporator coils allow the excess moisture to create perfect conditions for mold growth in the condensate pan.

Our professionals check and clean condensate pans on routine visits. However, if it’s been a while since your HVAC was last serviced and excess moisture is noticed, clean the clogged condensate pan by removing water from the drip pan with a towel or vacuum. Then, remove and cleanse the drip pan with mild soap to clear any algae or contamination.

Clear Air Ducts Of Debris

There are several ways air ducts can become dirty or obstructed, resulting in reduced airflow, poor indoor air quality, and unwanted odors. While issues such as vermin inhabiting vents, obstruction due to severe dirt and dust build-up, or leaky ductwork are better left to a professional, there are some do-it-yourself solutions to try. 

Sprinkling baking soda just inside the ducts can help reduce some of the smells emanating from within. However, this is only a temporary solution. Use duct filter pads that are designed for inhibiting offensive particles and are inserted on the inside of the vent grates. If neither of these approaches yields results, it’s time to consult an expert.

Have Regular Maintenance Conducted

The most-effective way to eliminate musty odors while improving indoor air quality and helping prevent heating and AC system breakdowns is by scheduling regular maintenance with an HVAC repair company. 

That’s why Bloomington Heating & Air offers a residential HVAC planned maintenance program. As part of our full-service maintenance program, we provide HVAC cleanings, checks, and repairs across the entire system, so members can benefit from extended equipment life, paying less to utility providers, and peace of mind. Sign up and start benefiting from planned maintenance — and an odorless HVAC system — today!

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