Musty air conditioners produce an offensive odor called a musty smell. In this article, I will explain Its causes and how you can simply fix it with the use of some simple DIY (do it yourself) tactics. However, if you will prefer professional services to help in the maintenance of your musty air conditioner, go to HVAC San Diego King | Heat Pumps Installation and Repair and you will get the help you need without lifting a finger.

Go through the details below to get a full understanding of the musty air conditioner and to fix the condition yourself.

Why Does Air Conditioner Smell Musty?

Musty smells coming out from your air conditioner are caused by many unfavorable conditions that your AC system is left in. However, all the reasons are connected to a root cause: the build-up of dirt and moisture in the ductwork of the AC system. Hence, you must clean up your HVAC system regularly. The breakdown of the causes of the musty smell in your AC system include…

1. Mildew growth around dirty filters

Your AC system is designed to collect dirt in the room air through its filters. That is why after a month of usage, your AC filter should be normally dirty and you will need to clean it up, wash it or replace the filter. However, if the dirty filter is left too long, it will grow mildew and turn smelling musty.

2. Moisture 

Moisture refers to a liquid composition in the air, and this can get its way into your AC system filter through moist air or water leaks. Moist filters create a conducive environment for mildew and mold to grow and flourish, and therefore the evaporator is frozen. When the frozen evaporator coil receives a deposit of water and dirt, it causes the AC not to work properly and the deposited water and dirt will start to smell.

3. Dust build-up AC heating elements

Another condition that can cause your AC system to smell musty is when there’s a build-up of dust around the heating elements of your AC system. When there are diets around the heating elements while the element is turned on, you can perceive a burnt or musty odor. However, if the burnt smell persists, there may be deeper problems around the wiring and electrical parts. Hence, call a professional in this case.

4. Dirty or blocked drain pan

There is a drain pan in your AC system that the AC uses to collect condensed water stripped from the air as the air cools. The work of the drain pan is to direct this condensed water away from the AC system without stagnating. However, if the drain pan is clogged, there would be stagnant water which can provide a breeding ground for mold. When there is mold in your AC system, it smells musty.

5. Mold in the ductwork

Mold or mildew grows in moist environments where water condensation has built up over time. So also, ductwork having such a moisturized condition will be a perfect ground for mold to develop, and the spores from the mold will be blown into your home with the working of the AC fan. When your ductwork is built of dirt, dust, and mold, people breathing in the air in your room can get irritation and allergic reactions. This is because your home should not be left to smell musty due to an unkept AC system.

How Do You Fix Your Musty Air Conditioner

Follow the following procedures to clean your musty air conditioner yourself.  However, care must be taken to avoid causing accidents or damage to your AC system.

  • Remove the outer casing which will reveal the fans, coil, and compressor. 
  • Take the whole unit to a safe place for the cleaning process.
  • Blow in the air from a distance to make sure that the internal components do not get damaged.
  • Using a small brush or cloth piece, clean dust particles in the front and rear sides of the unit.
  • Gently wash the vent and duct with a detergent solution and rinse with water.
  • With little effort, flush debris and dust away from the drip tray.
  • Leave the AC unit to dry and wipe it with a clean cloth afterward.
  • After this, couple the AC unit.

By Manali