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5 Ways To Prevent Dirty Sock Syndrome

If your HVAC system smells like a gymnasium every time you turn it on, it may be due to dirty sock syndrome. This chronic condition occurs when mold, mildew and bacteria builds up within the HVAC unit, causing that tell-tale musty, moldy odor that leaves your nose begging for relief. If left unchecked, it can easily trigger allergy and asthma symptoms and negatively impact your home's overall air quality.

Prevention is always the best option when it comes to dirty sock syndrome. Here are a few steps you can take to keep this problem from taking over your HVAC system.

Change Your Air Filter Regularly

A clogged air filter does more than just reduce the amount of air that freely flows into your HVAC system. The resulting suction created by your HVAC system's blower fan can suck mold spores and bacteria past the clogged filter and directly into the HVAC system itself.

To keep this problem from happening, it's best to change the air filter on a regular basis. Some experts recommend changing it once every three months, while others recommend monthly changes to achieve the best possible air quality.

Consider Upgrading Your Air Filter

If you're using a standard fiberglass air filter for your HVAC system, it may be time to consider an upgrade. Air filters made with pleated paper elements offer superior filtration compared to woven fiberglass. Pleated air filters rated between MERV 7 and MERV 13 are usually as effective as true HEPA filters at removing mold spores and other harmful airborne pollutants.

Keep the Evaporator Coil Clean

The evaporator coil can get dirty over time, giving mold and bacteria a foothold on which to flourish. It's a good idea to periodically clean the evaporator coil using a soft bristle brush, mild dish detergent and warm water. You can also use a spray-on cleanser with foaming and self-rinsing action to minimize contact with the fragile coil.

Consider Installing UV Germicidal Lamps

Ultraviolet light has proven effective at eliminating most types of bacteria and other organic growth on a wide variety of surfaces. You can install a set of UV germicidal lamps around your evaporator coil and other areas where mold and bacteria are likely to grow.

Have Your HVAC System Inspected Frequently

It's a good idea to have your HVAC system checked out by an HVAC technician at least once a year. In addition to the usual maintenance and inspection items, your technician will be able to spot potential mold and mildew problems before they have an opportunity to get out of hand.

For more information, contact a business such as CLIMATE CONTROL LTD.