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Dirty Sock Syndrome

What is that smell?!?  Dirty Sock Syndrome

It’s that time of the year in Houston, Texas – day to day temperature swings that have us running our Air Conditioners one day and the Heater the next.  This back and forth can be accompanied by a foul, moldy odor that is similar to dirty, old gym socks.

What Causes it?

The odor is caused by organic material and microbial decay on the cooling coils and other air conditioning equipment.  When switching to air conditioning, the system produces condensate which fuels growth of these microbes.  Moisture and temperature lead to the growth and death of these microorganisms leading to the decaying matter which produces the unpleasant odor.

Is it Dangerous?

Typically, the presence of this odor is not dangerous – it is simply unpleasant.  However, those with allergies, asthma or weakened immune systems are more susceptible to indoor air quality issues.  Some people are strongly affected by the unpleasant odor and feel sick or need to leave the area.

How can I get rid of it?

Great news – the smell can be treated!  While some home remedies may work, its best to work with a licensed HVAC technician.  A comprehensive approach includes a specialized coil cleaning for the evaporator coils and a full system evaluation.  Additionally, installing an indoor air quality device such as a UV light, media filter or air scrubber can greatly improve the quality of your air year-round!

Even better news! We have a special on media filters!