High Contrast Mode:

What Is Dirty Sock Syndrome?

What Is Dirty Sock Syndrome?

July 3rd, 2023


Despite its name, “dirty sock syndrome” has nothing to do with your laundry or your socks. It’s an air conditioning problem, but as you’ll soon find out, it’s a problem that has earned its name.

We’ll start by explaining an important part of how your home’s air conditioning system works.

The Evaporator Coil 

The evaporator coil is the place in your AC where heat is removed from the air to cool it down. Cold refrigerant runs through this coil, and as the refrigerant evaporates from contact with the warm air getting blown over it, it absorbs heat. It also causes moisture in the air to condense and form along the coil. Most of this water drips down into a drain pan and out of the AC and the house.

But where there’s moisture, there’s always the chance for mold and mildew to start. And that’s when you get “dirty sock syndrome.”

The Musty & Moldy Air Conditioner

Mold, mildew, and bacteria can all start to form in an AC because of poor drainage that leaves behind too much water on the evaporator coil or in the drain pan. This build up creates a bad odor that will travel on the air from the blower fan and into the rest of the house. The odor is similar to what you’d smell from dirty socks because the origin is the same: the growth of bacteria. 

The odor is bad all on its own, but the buildup in the AC will cause the system to lose energy efficiency and cooling power, and a clogged condensate drain can cause the AC to shut down entirely. 

You can wash dirty socks to get rid of the smell. But how in the world do you “wash” your air conditioning system to get rid of the smell and ensure the AC can operate properly?

Cure & Prevention

When you notice dirty sock syndrome occurring in your house, the best step is to call our technicians for AC and indoor air quality service in Acworth, GA. We can take care of the “washing” of your air conditioner: this involves removing and cleaning the coil with chemicals and also cleaning the condensate drainage system 

But we’ll go farther than just getting rid of the offending mold and bacteria. We’ll help to prevent the trouble from returning. We’ll check if there is any malfunction that caused the moisture buildup to happen (such as a faulty condensate pump). Then we’ll install a UV blue tube, which is a light that shines onto the evaporator coil. The ultraviolet light from the tube is harmful to microorganisms, either killing them outright or rendering them inert and harmless. This UV treatment will keep organic growths from coming back, and it will also help improve general air quality in your home.

Right now we’re offering a special: a UV blue tube and dirty sock cleaning spray for $1,150. So if you’ve got a bad-smelling AC because of dirty sock syndrome, call us today and we’ll not only see that it’s taken care of, but that it won’t come back.

Dayco Systems has been Metro Atlanta’s choice for more than three generations. Call us today for your AC needs.