Why Does My AC Smell Like That?

Have you noticed a musty smell around your home? The smell could be coming from your AC unit! When did you last change your air filter? Or, have your HVAC system cleaned? If these things are not done regularly, you can get a build-up which could lead to moldy, musty air being recirculated into your home.

Here are some things that might cause this smell in your home.

1. The drain pan is full.

If your drain pan is full, it could produce a musty smell. It could also indicate that your drainpipe is clogged and could lead to flooding. This extra production of water can also lead to more mold and bacteria growth.

2. The evaporator coils are frozen.

Your AC unit takes the warm air inside your home, removes the humidity and cools it, and then pushes it back through your vents. To make this process go smoothly, the air flow needs to be unobstructed. Dirt and debris can block and prevent smooth airflow if your air filters are old or ineffective. This makes the water droplets (caused by humid air indoors) to build up on the evaporator coils of your unit. As the AC unit cools the air, these droplets will freeze, leading to musty smelling air. Other signs of frozen evaporator coils are ice around the refrigerant line, a full drain pan, and ice around the evaporator coils. If you notice any of these signs, go ahead and call Advance Mechanical so we can send a technician out to you as soon as possible.

3. There is an excessive amount of moisture built up.

High humidity and drainage leaks can cause moisture to build up in your air ducts and vents. Mold and mildew can begin to grow in your ductwork because of it, causing your air to smell musty. Exposure to mold and mildew can also cause respiratory issues, meaning it’s all the more reason to get an HVAC technician out right away. Advance Mechanical offers duct cleaning, and we will make sure that your air ducts are mold-free and good as new in no time.

4. Your condensation line is blocked.

A condensation line is used to drain water from your AC unit. This pipe is one of the top locations for mold, mildew, debris, and sludge to build up. When clogged, the line cannot properly function, causing a musty smell as the water on the line sits.

5. Your AC unit is the incorrect size for your home.

If your AC unit is not the right size for your home, it will not work efficiently. If it is too small, it will turn on and off repeatedly and cause premature failure. If it is too large, the air will be cycled far too quickly, which can lead to moisture build up.

Your AC should produce clean, fresh smelling air. If you start to smell an unpleasant, musty odor throughout your home, call Advance Mechanical at 252-355-9191 to schedule an appointment with one of our trained technicians. We will diagnose your HVAC problem and make sure that your AC unit is running efficiently in no time.