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Got a Smelly A/C? Repair Your System with These Simple Tips

What’s that terrible smell? If you can smell mold in your house, the source of it may be your air conditioner. Since your unit is outside, it can attract dirt and other contaminants. When combined with the constant moisture your system accumulates, it can, if not properly cleaned, lead to mold and bacteria buildup.

This buildup can lead to some very unpleasant odors. Fortunately, these smells can be prevented with regular cleaning and maintenance. Here’s what you need to do:

Clean the condenser pan. First, turn off your A/C power at the circuit breaker. Then, remove the evaporator coil cover. Clear out any clogs in the pan drain by running a piece of wire (such as a clothes hanger) through it. Then, remove the pan from the unit, drain any water and wash it thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean the evaporator coils. Wipe away any dirt or debris from the coils using a clean cloth. Then, spray the coils with a foaming coil cleaner, being careful to follow the instructions on the packaging. Next, rinse everything off with a hose, until the water draining out appears relatively clean and clear.

Replace the filter. Your condenser pan and evaporator coil should be cleaned at least once a year to prevent odors. In contrast, your A/C’s air filter needs to be replaced every three months. Otherwise, dirt and other contaminants can build up, creating bad smells and restricting airflow.

Slide your filter out and check if it’s still white and translucent. If it’s grey and opaque, you should replace it. Your filter should be checked about once a month to maintain efficiency and prevent bad smells.

When you’re done cleaning, let everything dry completely, replacing the drain pan and the coil cover. Then, turn the circuit breaker back on. If bad odors persist, call your HVAC technician.

For more help fixing smelly A/C problems, contact Rinaldi’s Air Conditioning Service in Orlando today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/C systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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