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Ever Heard of Dirty Sock Syndrome?

Have you ever turned your heater on as the weather cools down and been hit with an odor that is reminiscent of dirty socks? Does turning on your air conditioning in the summer months cause a smell of mildew? You may be dealing with an HVAC issue that’s commonly referred to as Dirty Sock Syndrome.

What is Dirty Sock Syndrome?

Dirty Sock Syndrome involves bacterial growth that can be the result of improper maintenance of the HVAC system in a home. While the problem has been detected in heating and cooling system in all states, Dirty Sock Syndrome is most common in hot and humid climates. These types of climates give bacteria the best chance to rapidly grow inside a home.

While the odor associated with Dirty Sock Syndrome can be very unpleasant, health problems have not been connected with the HVAC issue.

Causes of Dirty Sock Syndrome

Dirty Sock Syndrome is caused by the growth of bacteria within the coils of both air conditioners and heating units. Homeowners may not realize there’s a problem with bacterial growth until the system is turned on when the weather changes.

The first indication that a homeowner is dealing with Dirty Sock Syndrome is a smell of mildew that is noticed when a heating or cooling unit is turned on.

Treating the Problem

An HVAC professional will start treating Dirty Sock Syndrome by applying a disinfectant to the bacterial growth. This disinfectant must be constantly in contact with the bacteria for a minimum of 10 minutes, and reapplications to ensure that the area stays wet with disinfectant will probably be necessary to properly treat the issue.

The disinfectant will be rinsed once the cleaning process in finished. Any mildew smell that was noticed while a heating or cooling system was experiencing Dirty Sock Syndrome should subside once the coils have been cleaned.

Prevention of Dirty Sock Syndrome after the problem has been treated can be done with the assistance of San Antonio heating and air conditioning specialists at ABC Home & Commercial Services. Contact ABC today to discuss San Antonio HVAC repair options and learn about how regular maintenance can prevent the need for repair in the future.

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