Herriman Musty AC Smell: Moisture, Mold, Drain Pan

Herriman Musty AC Smell: Moisture, Mold, Drain Pan

The current spring period is one where many homeowners are starting up their air conditioner units again for the year in Herriman and other parts of Utah, and there are a few minor issues that may crop up around this time in some situations. One example: An AC unit that has a musty, unpleasant odor coming from it, often one that’s noticeable as soon as you power up the unit for the first time in the spring after several months of winter inactivity.

At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re proud to offer air conditioning repair and replacement services, plus simple tune-ups and maintenance for all your HVAC components. We’ve assisted many clients who are dealing with a musty or similar odor from their AC unit, whether during the spring or at another point in the year. Both when emanating from the outdoor unit itself and/or within the air it’s pumping to your home, what might these odors signal and how can you remedy them? This two-part blog series will go over every area you need to know.

Moisture Concerns

Perhaps the single largest concern in this area is one that will have often built up over the prior winter: Excess moisture. In some cases this can be caused by high humidity levels, though this is slightly less common in a dry place like Utah; rather, the more common cause of excess moisture in this state is a drainage leak that you haven’t noticed, which is entirely understandable during the long winter.

Moisture backing up in the AC system, however, is not a good thing. It can lead to multiple issues, including those that are harmful to human health, but also interferes with basic operation of the system.

Mold and Mildew

One specific potential outcome of excess moisture that deserves its own section is the risk of mold and mildew forming. These are not only annoying growths that create a poor odor, they’re also contaminants that risk human health and may lead to increased risks of allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions on top of potential long-term health concerns.

If you smell mustiness as soon as you turn on the AC, it’s possible or even likely mold has formed. You will need to call our team right away for a duct and vent cleaning, plus to remove the mold from its source.

Drain Pan

When humidity builds up over time in your system, moisture that’s removed during your system’s basic operation causes water droplets to fall. These are collected in what’s known as the drain pan, also called the drip pan.

However, this pan can experience some wear-and-tear over time, and may not last as long as the rest of the unit. It also may build up mold if it’s not attended to. You may need to replace the drip pan if it’s the cause of your odor issues, plus check for any spreading mold it’s helped create.

For more on the potential causes of a musty smell from your AC this spring, or to learn about any of our HVAC services in Herriman and nearby areas, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.