Mildew. Musky. Moldy. Sounds like dirty socks. These are not terms anyone wants associated with their HVAC system. Unfortunately, with all the precipitation and storms this year, Dirty Sock Syndrome can become a reality in your building or home.
What is Dirty Sock Syndrome?
Dirty Sock Syndrome (aka “DSS”) is the accumulation of decaying debris caused by microorganism activity in the heat pump coil and drain pan. The heating cycles of heat pumps are not hot enough to kill the microbes on their own. Dust eventually gathers throughout the HVAC system over time due to usage or an inadequate filtration. When the dust buildup mixes with the natural moisture in the air, then the air conditioner can release spores and toxins into the air which is the cause of the musky smell.
DSS commonly occurs when units are being run continuously, especially when heating at night and cooling during the day, which occurs predominately in the Fall and Spring.
Dirty Sock Syndrome can result in illness for many people. Our sense of smell is an indicator of comfort. Odorous compounds act as a stimulus, triggering reactions that include eye, throat, and nose irritation. Continued exposure to mold within your HVAC system can lead to coughing, sneezing, asthma, allergies, hypersensitivity, pneumonitis, and bleeding lung disease. According to the World Health Organization, 60% of indoor air quality problems are mold related.
In addition to pressing health concerns, mold growth within you HVAC system causes the system to run inefficiently because it is working harder and producing mediocre results. Many people assume that poorly working systems need to be replaced although they may just need a professional air duct cleaning to clear the system of the mold or debris buildup. Once the system is cleaned it often returns to normal, including running easier and creating less energy costs.
If you are concerned that your HVAC system has Dirty Sock Syndrome, a professional air duct cleaning may just be the solution. A National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA) certified company will follow procedures to ensure your system is rehabilitated to a healthy state. Call Airtek Indoor Air Solutions at 1-877-858-6213 for your free quote today.