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Why Does My AC Smell Like Mildew?

Posted On: June 21, 2013

Are you noticing a musty mildew smell coming from your air conditioning system? Sometimes it may also smell like mold or dirty laundry, but why?

Most often, your air conditioner smells like mildew because you are smelling mildew. If your air conditioner is not draining condensation away properly, mildew will grow in the damp surroundings.

The good news is, this is a relatively minor problem in most cases that can be easily remedied. In most instances, the drain pan under your air conditioning coil in the air handler is not draining properly. There should be a condensate drain line running from near the air coils to the drain pan. If the line is blocked, you will notice that the location by the air handler is wet. This can also sometimes lead to the air filter becoming wet—allowing for mold and mildew growth.

Getting Rid of the Mildew Smell

If the above information is true of your cooling system, the smell can easily be removed a couple different ways. If your issue is that the drain pan itself is not draining, you can simply unclog the drain and add a little bleach to kill the mold or mildew. If the drain line is blocked and mildew has grown in the drain line, you can replace the line or simply clean it with bleach.

If your air filter is wet, it is best to simply replace the air filter—but only after you have fixed the source of the problem!

Just to ensure that all of the most likely sources of the smell are eliminated, clean the evaporator coils with bleach or a mixture of bleach and water. Leave the bleach or bleach and water solution on the coils and in the drain pan for at least 10 minutes to ensure that all the mildew, mold, and/or bacteria is killed.

Unfortunately, sometimes air conditioner installers will make these components of your cooling system very difficult to get to. You can cut an access hole to the area, but you must be very careful because the equipment on the other side of the panel can be easily damaged. We recommend simply calling a professional heating and cooling repair company if your coils and drain pan are not easily accessible. If you accidentally puncture the coils, your repair costs have increased exponentially.

Air Conditioner Repair in Scranton, PA & Wilkes-Barre, PA

If you are in the Scranton, PA or Wilkes-Barre, PA area and are having problems with your air conditioner smelling like mildew or mold, contact the air conditioning repair experts at T.E. Spall & Son today.

Contact us today to schedule air conditioner repair in Scranton, PA with the leading heating and cooling company in the northeastern Pennsylvania area.

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