Allergies and AC filters

Tips For Overcoming Musty Odors In Your HVAC System

Musty ducts can be a problem whether you are running the AC or the furnace. The stale odor can be unpleasant, and in some individuals, it even leads to breathing difficulties. The root cause is usually moisture and dust, which has provided the means for mold and mildew to grow. The following tips can help you deal with the problem.

Tip #1: Clean your AC drip system

Most air conditioning units have a trip tray and a drainage hose. Occasionally, the hose becomes blocked and then water builds up in the tray. This results in a damp environment that allows mold to grow and then be blown through the house. Empty the tray and then wipe it down with a household bleach cleaner to kill any mold spores. Remove the drain line and clean it out with a narrow bottle brush or pipe cleaner, and then rinse it with the bleach cleaner before replacing it.

Tip #2: Replace the filters

Both AC units and furnace filters can trap dust that contains mold and mildew spores, which will then grow and circulate through the house if there is any moisture in the air. Changing your filters every one to two months can remedy the issue. You may also want to upgrade to HEPA filters, which trap more dust and debris so the chances of recirculating spores is even lower.

Tip #3: Clean the vents

The openings of your heat and air registers tend to collect the most dust and to be exposed to the bulk of moisture in the house. Make a point to remove the covers and vacuum them out with your vacuum's hose once a month. This will minimize the dust in the most exposed part of the vents, which can completely control the musty odor if this is the main cause.

Tip #4: Schedule duct cleaning

If the odor persists even after doing the above, then it could be coming from deeper within the ducts. This is especially common if you live in a humid climate or if you have recently had work done in your home that lead to a lot of remodeling dust in the air. In this case, schedule a full duct cleaning. The cleaners will place special vacuum hoses into the ducts that will snake through and clean all surfaces. The result should be fresher air and less odor.

For more help in diagnosing HVAC system issues, contact an HVAC contractor in your area. Visit websites like to learn more.