Thanks to our HVAC systems, we keep our homes warm and cool throughout the seasons. However, to ensure your home stays comfortable, it’s crucial to have regular maintenance. Otherwise, your home may have airborne contaminants floating in the air and a musty smell in your home. Musty smells indicate mold and mildew build-up in the ducts. Mold and mildew growth in the home can cause allergies and respiratory symptoms.
Removing Musty Smells From Your Home
If you have been dealing with musty smells in your home, Filti has some helpful tips. Read more for the top tips on how to clean up the air and remove foul odors by performing simple routine cleaning, HVAC checks, and maintenance.
Replace Your Air Filters
If your air filter is clogged, it could be the reason behind a persistent musty smell in your home. Unfortunately, many homeowners are uncertain how frequently the air filters should be changed and will put it off for some time. However, not replacing or cleaning your air filters can build up debris, mold spores, and bacteria in the ducts. Purchasing a quality air filter can help eliminate harmful particulates in the air and help keep the air in your home clean. We recommend changing your air filters every 30 to 90 days. How quickly your filters become dirty depends on where you live, the types of activities you do in your home, such as hobbies, and whether or not you have pets. If you have more than one pet, you will probably need to change your air filter every 30 to 60 days.
If you have changed your air filters and still feel that your home has a lingering musty smell, you should consider upgrading your filter to one with a higher MERV rating. The MERV rating shows how effective a filter is at trapping various airborne particles in your home. Filters with a higher rating are better at trapping the spores that cause moldy smells. However, if the smell persists, there is a more significant issue that may require you to make an appointment for residential air duct cleaning.
Clean Your HVAC Coils
The coils in your HVAC system are for heat exchange purposes. Since they often mix with the air outside that is circulating, you need to keep them clean. There are two types of coils in your HVAC system; the inside coils, the evaporator coil, and the condenser coil, which is the exterior. When your HVAC coils become dirty, they can cause issues. To stop smelly odors from the coil and prevent allergens, spores, grime, and dust from accumulating, you must clean these coils.
At a minimum, clean your evaporator and condenser coils once a year. Keeping them clean may also cut down on energy use and utility expenditures. For example, unclean evaporator and condenser coils can raise your air conditioner’s energy consumption by more than 30%!
Maintain a Clean Evaporator Coil
One of the essential components of your air conditioner is the evaporator coil, which is the primary component that cools your home. However, it creates the ideal environment for mold to thrive when it becomes unclean. Clean it out as follows:
To begin, prepare a 10% bleach water solution. This is sufficient to eliminate the mold without causing harm to the coil system. (Note: It is critical to dilute your bleach since undiluted bleach can corrode metal. Alternatively, you might use a regular coil cleaner, which is readily available at most hardware stores.)
The majority of central air conditioning systems have an access panel on the rear. Remove this to reveal the metal fins just in front of the condenser coils.
Suck up any loose dust or dirt from the fins and coils using your vacuum’s attachment brush.
Next, spray the coils with the bleach solution and wipe them clean. Finally, remove the collecting pan and clean it as well.
Once thoroughly cleaned everything, put the system back together and test to see whether the musty smell is gone.
Inspect Your Home for Moisture
One of the common causes of a musty smell in the home is a clogged condensate drain due to evaporation and condensation of the evaporator coils. Water droplets go into the condensate pan during the condensation process then flow through the drain line. It means the dirt in the condensate pan flows with the water. Over time, if you neglect the evaporator coil, it can have too much moisture, which will lead to mold growing in the pan.
If your HVAC system has not been cleaned and serviced in a while, you can check for excess moisture yourself. Once you notice it, clean the condensate pan by removing the water with a towel. After removing the excess water, clean the pan with some mild soap to ensure it is clear of contamination.
Drain Your Condensate Line
Excess condensation accumulates on the evaporator coil and drains through a drain line into a pan. However, if this drain line becomes clogged, water can back up into the pan, increasing the likelihood of mold growth.
If you see water accumulating around the interior of your air conditioning unit and it smells musty or moldy, this is most likely the cause. Fortunately, you may occasionally remedy this issue by utilizing a wet/dry vac to attempt to clear the drain line (and also suck up any pooling water).
If your wet-dry vac is unable to unclog the drain line, you will almost certainly need to hire a professional.
Clean Debris from Your Air Ducts
The air ducts in your home can accumulate dirt and debris over time, causing issues with insufficient airflow and potential allergens building up. What follows is poor indoor air quality, musty smells in your ducts, and potential health hazards. In some instances, you can even get infestations of rodents because of the dirt and debris build-up. The best way to get rid of musty smells and mold growth in your ducts is to call a professional to have your ducts cleaned. It is recommended to have your ducts cleaned every three to five years.
Another home remedy to help reduce odors caused by air ducts is to put baking soda inside the ducts. You can place a dish of baking soda or even the whole box in your air ducts. Baking soda will help to absorb foul odors; however, be sure that your HVAC filter is clean before doing this.
Consider Regular HVAC Maintenance
Be sure your system is functioning at its best. Regular HVAC maintenance keeps your system working correctly. It also helps to cut down odors from dirt and grime. In addition, scheduling routine cleaning and maintenance for your HVAC system will prevent inconvenient breakdowns and heating and cooling problems.
Contact Filti for All Your Air Filter Needs
We hope you found this article on getting rid of musty smells from your HVAC helpful! Maintaining air quality is more than just having a fresh-smelling home; it can also impact your health. At Filti, our mission is to provide the best air filtration products available for residential and commercial use. For more information on Filti, our products, or our mission, visit our online store or contact us at (913) 274-9843. Breathe easy with Fili filtration products.