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Serving the Greater Los Angeles Area


Serving the Greater Los Angeles Area


JMS Air Conditioning and Heating Blog

Dirty Sock Smell? Here’s What’s Happening

This is quite a common phenomenon, no matter what you might think is going on. Homeowners sometimes panic when they detect a foul odor like this, and they can assume the problem is way worse than it actually is.

Look, mold and bacteria that exist in parts of your home that are far away and undetectable can be a lot worse. Mold can infiltrate crawl spaces, air ducts, basements, and other areas for years without detection. We want homeowners to feel good with the fact that just by smelling this foul odor, you’re one step closer to solving the problem and keeping your home safe and comfortable.

So, it’s time we conquered the age-old question of what happens to your AC when you detect a dirty sock smell? Likewise, do you need air conditioning repair in Pasadena, CA? We’ll answer all of these questions and more down below.

The Anatomy of an Air Conditioner

Before we go into detail about what could be happening to your air conditioner, we need to talk about some important components of the system.

For starters, let’s talk about your air conditioner’s ability to dehumidify the air in your home. Dehumidification is not the sole purpose of your AC, but it’s a natural byproduct of the cooling process. That’s why your air conditioner is fitted with a condensate drain, which is supposed to collect the moisture from the air and drain it outside where it’s not going to make you feel hot and uncomfortable.

The Condensate Drain

The condensate drain can become a problem when something blocks it. Think of this drain like any other drain in your home, and it can become clogged after years of use, or perhaps when something gets stuck in it. The more clogged your condensate drain becomes, the more likely you are to encounter mold.

Think about it, it’s dark and damp inside that drain. This is a perfect environment for mold to grow and thrive. This is when you’ll start noticing the dirty sock smell since that mold is growing right where your air conditioner is cooling all the air of your home. It’s not uncommon for it to send bad odors throughout the entirety of your home.

Dealing with a Clogged Drain

Luckily clearing out a condensate drain is rather easy when it’s done by a professional. We highly recommend that homeowners avoid trying to do any AC repair on their own since DIY repairs could both void the warranty of your system and also break sensitive components. Your AC’s condensate line needs to be handled by a professional.

Change Your Air Filter Too!

The condensate drain isn’t the only place where mold can grow. When was the last time you changed your HVAC air filter? This too can be a haven for mold growth, since it’s left alone for months on end and can mix a dark environment with incoming moisture from your humid home. Make sure you change out your air filter and clean it before you reinsert it, to eliminate any mold or contaminants that might have formed on it.

It’s time to call the pros at JMS Air Conditioning and Heating. We can help you with your clogged condensate drain and more!

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