What is Dirty Sock Syndrome?

What Is Dirty Sock Syndrome?

Have you ever experienced a foul, unpleasant odor similar to that of a gym locker when turning on your heat or air conditioning for the first time? Or, maybe the odor you’ve smelled is not necessarily musty but similar to that of burning dust or hair. If you have, chances are you’ve experienced the effects of Dirty Sock Syndrome.

Dirty Sock Syndrome is a term used by HVAC professionals to describe the gross odor that occurs when dust, dirt, and moisture build up on an HVAC evaporator coil. This particle build up creates an environment for mold and bacteria to grow and be spread throughout the home. 

The problem typically starts in the Spring when the coil is cool and damp, creating a breeding ground for what homereference.net refers to as “mold and bacterial slime.” The mold and bacteria then gets blown out into the air. During the fall, the slime dries out. And, the heat pump is forced to run a defrost cycle to warm the house. This is usually what causes the moldy, burnt-dust odor around this time of year.

Is It Dangerous?

Sound gross? Dirty Sock Syndrome not only reeks, it can also be harmful to your health. For those with allergies, sensitivities to mold, or other respiratory issues, Dirty Sock Syndrome can be a major irritant. And, if the mold spores multiply and spread throughout the home, it can become a danger even to those who aren’t sensitive.

Although the dirty sock smell may go away after running the heat or air conditioning for a long period of time, it doesn’t mean that the issue is gone. Even if the heat from the furnace were to burn up the microorganisms, the dust still provides a breeding ground for future mold and bacteria. And, because moisture tends to build up on the coil in the Spring, it provides an easy opportunity for the cycle to restart until the issue is truly fixed.

How Can You Get Rid of It?

If you think your home is experiencing Dirty Sock Syndrome, it is important to have the evaporator coil cleaned. An HVAC professional may suggest replacing the entire coil depending how much build-up there is. 

For long term prevention of Dirty Sock Syndrome, we recommend installing Core Air Systems. Because Core Air Systems are installed in the HVAC system, they are able to prevent dust, bacteria, and mold build up on HVAC equipment. 

Not only do they prevent this build up in the HVAC system, Core Air Systems’ specialized technology works to continuously clean your whole home 24/7. Core Air Systems are also highly effective at neutralizing odors, such as dirty sock odors, along with other common household odors, including bathroom, garbage, and litter box odors.

Interested in eliminating Dirty Sock Syndrome once and for all? Email us at info@core.green for more information. Or, place an order on our site today!



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