A musty smell coming from your HVAC system is a sign that something’s wrong. However, you may not need to call an HVAC company just yet.
It could be a simple issue with a simple solution, like a dirty filter that needs changing, or it could be a more serious problem, like mold that impacts your indoor air quality. Either way, it’s important to investigate and remedy the situation as soon as possible.
Does Your Old HVAC System Smell Musty?
If you’ve noticed a damp, stale, or musty smell emanating from your HVAC system, take the following steps to see if the problem improves, starting with the simplest solutions:
- Check the Furnace Filter
The most common reason for odors that develop in an HVAC system is a dirty filter that’s overdue for a change. HVAC filters should be changed roughly every month, depending on how often the system runs.Dirty filters restrict airflow and cause a system to work harder than it should. This can diminish the life and efficiency of your HVAC system and lead to a buildup of heat and moisture, creating an ideal environment for mold growth.
- Check the Drain Pan
The drain pan is at the bottom of your HVAC unit. Its job is to collect condensation from the evaporator coil. If this drain pan gets full, it will overflow and cause water damage to the surrounding floor.Make it a point to check the drain pan regularly and empty it if you notice it’s full. f this sounds like too much for you, it’s okay, because a local HVAC, with trained professional can certainly assist you in any of the suggested steps.
- Check the Evaporator and Condenser Coils
The evaporator and condenser coils inside your HVAC unit transfer heat from the air in your home to the outside. Dirty coils prevent that transfer from effectively happening, leading to a buildup of heat and moisture, which mold and mildew feed off of over time.
- Check for Leaks
Leaks can form in many different places with an old unit, and this is a problem that can lead to the need to upgrade HVAC systems. First, you’ll have to perform a thorough inspection to check for leaks in the pipes, the ductwork, the pans, or the unit itself. This is a more complicated task than simply changing the filter. If you’re unsure where to look or don’t have the experience needed to look for leaks yourself, call a reputable HVAC company like Paraco HVAC for help. If you happen to find a leak, hire a technician to perform the necessary repairs as soon as possible.
- After Sending Out an SOS
Keep the area around your HVAC system clean and free of clutter and debris prior to your technician’s visit. You can also consider using a dehumidifier for HVAC systems to help prevent mold from setting up camp in your home.
As you maintain your appliance, schedule semi-annual appointments with HVAC professionals to perform regular maintenance on your system. With routine check-ups conducted, you’ll have a chance to discover small issues before they become larger and inconvenient problems that affect the lifespan of the product.