Does anyone have an idea as to why my a/c smells like old stinky wood? The unit is less than 2 years old -

Donna McCrummen
by Donna McCrummen
we didn't have this problem last year - smells are hard to describe but the best I can say is it smells like old wood, it doesn't smell moldy but I guess it could be. Should I have the ducts cleaned I've always heard that's a total rip off. Help it stinks in here.
  10 answers
  • No sure what you are smelling. It's a good idea to change the filters every month. Mold can form in the condensate it's a good idea to periodically put a shot of bleach into it...look for the usually pvc tubing at the furnace that runs to the outside. Most installers will leave an open joint or a stubbed "t" piece where the cap will slide off..they do this for you to add that shot of bleach. If the ducts haven't been cleaned in many's probably actually a good idea but find a reputable company. My ex was having allergies in the old house and I had the ducts was amazing how much debris came out of them...and no more allergies. If course, now it's no more wife either....such is life sometimes!

  • Donna McCrummen Donna McCrummen on May 29, 2012
    The bleach sounds like the first try - The unit is in the attic and then of course there is the monster thing outside. Where should I look for this condensate line exactly?

  • What your smelling is the dust that has collected on the coil. When the water begins to collect on the coil it acts like a filter. Bleach will do nothing to solve this issue. The condensate line is the white plastic pipe that runs from the inside blower area to the outside, In your case I think its dumping next to the outside condensing unit. Does it smell more like a damp dish rag? Do not waste your money on having ducts cleaned. It is only really worth doing if they are filled with lots of dust, and I doubt yours are. Drop me a line and I will walk you through how to fix this odor. Also what is the story on your rear steps?

  • Donna McCrummen Donna McCrummen on May 30, 2012
    The steps are not done. The materials have been sitting all winter. Pat is so busy. I've started a new venture and haven't even thought about the yard, etc. How much will you charge to build them? We have everything you told us to buy. I will ask Pat to call you about the ducts, the smell is gross. The smell eventually goes away it's worse when we first turn it on.

  • all good answers, but one thing I havent read is possibly taking that line that evacuates the excess water, and piping it away from the house. In some cases, home inspectors will suggest this before a new homeowner closes on the home. I have used PVC piping to move this water away from the unit and more importantly the foundation of the home. If you have plants nearby, you can pipe this to move the water to that area, and then you are watering (hopefully water loving plants depending on your region of the country) those plants rather than just putting it outside of your home.

  • Clay B Clay B on May 31, 2012
    Many call this smell, "dirty socks" smell. In this case, get a areosal spray called "Dirty Sox" (I'm not kidding), should be able to order online, or get at a Mechanical supply outlet, call around, not many stock it. Now you have to spray this all over the coils on the indoor unit (not the outside unit). You may want to call and discuss with your sevice company, and watch them do it, so you will know how if it happens again, and save a service call fee. Once done, your house will smell a little like WD40, for just a day or two. Mine did it 1 year after installation of a TRANE 16 seer unit. Shouldn't happen if you ask me, but this should solve your problem. I've done the spray thing myself after watching my service tech do it. Then ordered my own spray. Again it is called "Dirty Sox". DONT FORGET TO SHUT DOWN THE UNIT BEFORE OPENING IT UP AND SPRAYING, once it's all closed up again, turn it back on.

  • Donna McCrummen Donna McCrummen on May 31, 2012
    @Straight Nails, did that right after we had the unit installed. The water goes straight to the azalea. @Clay, I'm kinda embarrassed to call around asking "do you have dirty socks" LOL

  • Cheryl C Cheryl C on Jun 01, 2012
    What you are smelling is MOLD. Have the duct work cleaned out.

  • I will be up in your neighborhood this weekend, if your around. I am dropping off this years fliers for Ride for the Cure at the feed supply. Let me know if your going to be home.

  • Donna McCrummen Donna McCrummen on Jun 01, 2012
    We should be around most of the weekend. Give us a call. I'll email you the number. Thank you! What a wonderful Hometalker you are.