What’s that Smell? 3 Common Spring HVAC Smells and What They Mean

Heating and air conditioning make life grand, but oh, what’s that smell?

Thank goodness for heating and air conditioning! And as we turn toward spring and the warmer months of summer, we’re grateful for the cool that AC brings. All of the goodness, but…what’s that smell? There are always those weird odors that come in the spring when you first turn on the AC. Here are the three most common, and what they mean:

#1: A Musty Smell from a Dirty Air Filter

If your AC filter is separate from your heating filter, it’s been sitting there full of dust and potentially mold and mildew since last summer. When the air conditioner fires up the first time, the air gets pulled in through that dirty filter. That mold, mildew, and dust can smell bad and then that smell fills your house as air circulates through it.

#2: A Moldy Smell from the Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is another place that mold and mildew can build up during the winter months when the AC is at rest. When air passes over the coils, it can pick up the smell of that mold and mildew and send it into your house with the cool air.

#3: An Unexplained Odor from the Drain Pan

There is a drain pan that collects the condensate that you’re AC generates when it runs. If there is mold or algae on the pan, it can block the drain. The algae and mold can have a bad odor, but the smell can get worse if and when the drain gets blocked.

Don’t get stuck in a stinky house when the weather gets warm. Spring maintenance and system cleaning can get rid of the mold and prevent the smell. For all of your heating and air conditioning maintenance questions and needs, contact the team at G+S Heating, Air, and Energy Services.

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