Is Dirty Sock Syndrome a Real Thing?
Fall weather is a welcome relief from summer’s heat, and with it comes daily fluctuations in temperature. To keep your house at a constant temperature, your HVAC may run heat at night and AC during the day.
Switching back and forth between settings is what your system is meant to do, but it can cause problems in the long run like that dirty sock smell.
Why Does My House Smell Like Feet?
When your HVAC system switches from heating to cooling and back again, the cool coils tend to build up condensation. Everyday microbes that are normally found in the system will begin to multiply in that water.
When the microbes die, their decomposition gives off a nasty odor, one that many describe as smelling like feet or dirty socks. The term Dirty Sock Syndrome is used to describe this situation, which occurs almost exclusively in heat pump HVAC systems.
Heat pumps commonly form Dirty Sock Syndrome in the fall or spring because these seasons’ temperature changes allow condensation to build. These systems don’t heat up sufficiently to kill off the microbes that multiply, meaning the problem can compound over the course of a season.
Buildings with higher-temperature furnaces where the heating coil gets over 140 degrees generally won’t get Dirty Sock Syndrome as those heating elements just get too hot.
How Does Dirty Sock Syndrome Affect My Health?
Other than the nasty smell, Dirty Sock Syndrome is generally harmless. It’s caused by microbes that are normally in your system and won’t usually affect your health. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it fixed, however.
If the situation is allowed to progress, it could lead to a buildup of mold in your HVAC units and ductwork. That could turn a simple solution into a much larger project.
Take My HVAC’s Dirty Smell Away!
One of the most frustrating things about Dirty Sock Syndrome is that regular cleanings of the coils, drip pans, and drains in your system may not be enough to keep the microbes at bay.
We always suggest that you keep these areas of your system clean through regular maintenance, but any buildup of condensation can bring the problem right back.
Here at Jewell Mechanical, our HVAC professionals will install a permanent UV light downstream from the coolant coils to fix your HVAC unit’s dirty sock syndrome forever. The UV light will kill any germs that make the way into your system before they’re recirculated out into your home.
We care about the air quality of your home and we always give free estimates and second opinions. Please feel free to call us or reach out to us and we’ll get back to you right away. One of our licensed technicians will be happy to help you to get rid of that feet smell and ensure that you and your family are breathing clean air in your home.