Arriving home from work is probably one of your favorite parts of the day. Walking into a home that smells like mold, though, is a reason to put a damper on your evening.

Before you start worrying that there may be structural damage to your home, consider that the smell might be coming from the air conditioner. If so, there are several things you can do to find the culprit and resolving the issue.

Why Does the Air Conditioner Smell Like Mold or Mildew?

If your home smells moldy when the air conditioner is running, the cause could be any of the following reasons.

3 Most Common Reasons Your AC Smells Musty

1. The Condensate Line is Clogged

An air conditioner works by absorbing the warm air inside your home, separating the moisture from it, and draining that water out of your home through a part called a condensate line. Since this part of the AC system is enclosed and wet, it’s prime ground for mold and mildew to grow.

The only way to prevent this from happening is by cleaning your AC drain line regularly. You can do this by following these steps:

  • Shut off the air conditioner at the panel and breaker box.
  • Locate the drain line (if you live in a single family home, it’s by the condenser unit outside your home. If you live in an apartment, it’s in the water heater closet).
  • Remove the cap at the end of the line and inspect it with a flashlight. Remove all visible gunk.
  • When you don’t see an obstruction, slowly pour one cup of distilled white vinegar, peroxide, OR bleach.
  • Let the solution sit for 30 minutes.

2. Moisture in the Air Ducts

Ladies and gentlemen, we live in Florida. This means that heat and humidity are the order of the day, year-round. If the air ducts in your home are not properly sealed, mold will have a party growing in there. The surefire way to know if there’s a leak in your ducts is if your energy bills are suddenly higher. You can confirm this suspicion by doing a home energy audit. If there is mold, an HVAC professional can take care of it.

3. Dirty Air Filters

Dirty air filters block air flow and can cause mold to grow on the filters. If you have pets, burn scented candles, or if there are smokers in your home, if you have a large family, or live in an area with poor air quality, the air filters in your home will get dirty quicker.

The more these circumstances apply to you, the higher quality air filters you should purchase. Pay attention to the MERV ratings. They range from 1 through 20. The higher the number, the better quality the filter. HEPA filters have the highest MERV ratings and catch the highest number of dust particles. Speak with a licensed HVAC professional to see which type of filter is best for your home and ask how often you should change them. A good rule of thumb is once a month.

The best way to prevent these scenarios is to schedule regular AC maintenance. Not only will doing so keep your home smelling fresh, but it’ll also keep your power bill costs down, and extend the lifespan of your air conditioner.

Call Blair’s Air Conditioning for AC Repair in Pinellas County and South Tampa

If you have any issues with your AC, let us know. Our experienced HVAC professionals will get it back up and running in no time. We offer 24/7 emergency AC repair services, and we’re open 365 days a year. If everything is working properly, we can do a maintenance check to ensure that your home is ready for the summer.

Call 727-592-8479 to schedule service.