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Dirty Sock Syndrome: What It Is and How You Can Eliminate It

Have you ever wondered what that stinky smell you've noticed around your home is? If so, you're not alone; many other homeowners have also been faced with what air conditioning and plumbing services providers call  “Dirty Sock Syndrome”.

The smell commonly referred to as Dirty Sock Syndrome is actually the scent of decaying organic material, which is often the result of the buildup of mold and bacteria on your air conditioner. This is actually a hazardous condition, as the mold and bacteria can affect your home’s indoor air quality and thus the health of your household members. Thankfully, there are ways to fix and outright prevent Dirty Sock Syndrome from occurring.

In this post, WM Buffington Co. discusses the different ways you can prevent or remedy Dirty Sock Syndrome.

Cleaning the Evaporator Coil

One of the ways you can eliminate Dirty Sock Syndrome from your home is by having your air conditioning and insulation installation services provider clean the evaporator coils of your air conditioner. Once they remove the mold and bacteria from the coil with compressed air, brushes or specialized commercial cleaning products, Dirty Sock Syndrome should be eliminated from your home.

Replacing the Evaporator Coil

On the other hand, if cleaning doesn’t work the first time around, it might be time to replace your evaporator coils. While this may sound like a costly solution, if your system is still under warranty from the manufacturer you might actually be able to get a new coil for free. Make sure to get one that's coated with black epoxy to prevent dirt, dust and the buildup of organic material on the coil and leave fewer opportunities for microbial growth.


Believe it or not, it is possible to prevent mold growth that causes Dirty Sock Syndrome. To do so, you’ll need a UV air purifier that can be used on your drain line and drain pan to give your home extra protection. UV lights can also be added to kill mold spores and bacteria.

For assistance with installing heat pump systems in your home, don’t hesitate to turn to WM Buffington Co. We're your number one provider of heating and air conditioning services. Give us a call at (717) 609-4020 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve homeowners in Harrisburg, PA, and nearby areas.

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