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High efficiency HVAC units are designed to maintain optimal comfort with minimal energy waste. However, inherent in the heating and cooling process of these systems, and in our humid Martin County region, odor issues are quite common without preventive measures and regular maintenance. Here’s what you can do to rid your system of odors and increase efficiency.

Common Odor Issues

Most odors in your HVAC system are caused by bacterial growth, debris, mold and mildew. HVAC components provide an environment conducive for the growth of microorganisms, providing moisture, temperature, no sunlight and a food source (i.e. mold can even grow on an oily fingerprint). If mold and bacteria take up residence on your HVAC components, you’ll notice a musty, earthy and foul odor circulating through your home each time the system runs.

Odor Removal

The odor sources typically include the evaporator coil, the drip pan and inside of the drain line. Here’s what you can do to remove odors:

  • First, turn off the thermostat and circuit breaker to your HVAC system.
  • Next, remove the panel to your evaporator coil, which is located at the indoor air handler.
  • Then, inspect the evaporator and drip pan for mold and debris.
  • Use a soft brush and cloth to clean the components. You can use an evaporator coil cleaner as suggested by the manufacturer.
  • Pour some of the cleaner in the drip pan, so it cleans the drain line.
  • Then, change the air filter before spraying and wiping around the filter’s housing.
  • Lastly, turn the system on and let your nose check the results.
Odor Prevention

If odors persist, they could be originating from somewhere inside your air ducts. This requires an inspection by your HVAC professional. If your ducts have never been cleaned, it may be necessary to remove the contaminants and debris. Keeping your HVAC system clean is important for energy efficiency too. All the debris on an evaporator coil can block heat exchange, which makes your system use more electricity.

With a little professional and homeowner preventive maintenance, your high efficiency HVAC units can deliver exceptional heating and cooling capabilities for your Palm Beach home. To schedule an HVAC system inspection, please contact NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating.