Is winter approaching, and you don’t know what to do? Then you might want to have a heating and air conditioning repair technician install a furnace. However, your furnace is also likely to experience various issues, just like any other air component or part of your HVAC system. Therefore, you should ensure that it has a routine air conditioning service done by a professional and licensed technician to ensure that you have a comfortable, warm home.
One of the signs that your furnace is due for maintenance is when you notice a smell. However, there are many smells that a furnace might throw, and each has a different meaning. In this article, you will learn why your furnace might be throwing a musty smell and the steps you can take to address the issue, one of which is calling a heating and air conditioning repair technician in Richardson, TX.
Causes of Furnace Musty Smell
Dirty or Clogged Air Filters
Can you recall the last time when you had an air conditioning service? Have you replaced or changed the furnace air filters recently? If you cannot and have started noticing a musty smell whenever you turn on your furnace, it might be due to the clogged or dirty air filters. When the filters are clogged or dirty, they result in air stagnation. This creates moisture that results in an unpleasant, musty odor. Hence, it is recommended that you replace the air filters after every several months and have a heating and air conditioning repair technician come over to your home regularly for furnace tune-ups.
Blower Motor Issues
The other potential reason your furnace might produce a musty smell is that your blower motor has probably blown out. This is the component of your furnace that pushes the conditioned or heated air into your indoor space. Being a mechanical component, the blower motor has a high potential of breaking down. The motor bearings might be damaged, or the entire component might be worn out. But how can you know that the blower motor is worn out? First, the musty smell. Second, you might notice a spike in heating bills as your home isn’t adequately heated. Hence, the next time you notice the musty smell, enlist a heating and air conditioning service provider’s assistance for further inspection.
Moisture in the Air Ducts
Have you noticed that musty smell? That could mean that the air ducts are over-sweating and have moisture. When the furnace blows the air via the ducts, it also pushes the musty smells into your indoor space. One of the remedies that can remove the excess moisture from the air ducts is drying and removing any stagnant moisture or water on the air ducts. You also can have a heating and air conditioning service provider install a dehumidifier at your home or insulate the air ducts. Hence, ensure that you have an air conditioning service done by a professional in Richardson, TX to catch issues with high humidity levels at our home.
Pet Dander and Fur
The other reason your furnace might produce a musty smell is if the air ducts are clogged with pet hair or dander. Whenever this happens, you want the air ducts and filters cleaned by an experienced heating and air conditioning service provider near you. The clogging might also have other repercussions, like raising the heating bills and exacerbating the allergic symptoms.
If the heating and air conditioning repair technician tests all the above and determines that they aren’t the reason you have that musty smell when you turn on the furnace, then there probably is mold. Mold is a notorious fungus that reproduces through separation and thrives in wet, warm, and dark conditions. The air conditioning service provider in Richardson, TX will have to inspect your air ducts, condensate drain lines, drain pan, air filters, and other elements where the mold might be present. The technician will also undertake the required repairs to ensure that the mold problem never returns.
How to Get Rid of the Musty Furnace Smell
In most places, the furnace sits for most of the year without use. The down period results in the accumulation of dirt, dust, and, most likely, mold. If the furnace smells musty when you turn it on, you should have it thoroughly cleaned and inspected by a heating and air conditioning service provider. Below are some steps that you can take to get rid of that musty smell from your furnace or ensure that it never arises.
A heating and air conditioning service provider will vacuum the surrounding area and above your furnace to get rid of any dust. After that, the professional will turn off the unit’s power and use a non-contact multimeter to ensure no electricity is still going to it. Then, the pro removes the door at the front chamber and begins cleaning. However, each furnace unit is different and will have another way to accomplish this, but for the most part, doors can be opened, lifted just a little, and then pulled off. If the appliance runs on natural gas, turn off the gas and vacuum the burners.
The technician then vacuums the blower compartment after removing the door from underneath the area where the unit is. They can also use a scrub brush to remove any trapped debris and vacuum the area to remove any remaining dust and filth. After cleaning everything, the heating and air conditioning service provider might replace the doors if worn out, restart the gas, and reconnect the unit’s power.
Air Filter Replacement/Changing
If your home has a chronic musty odor, it can be caused by a blocked air filter. Unfortunately, many homes will put off changing their air filters because they are still determining how often they should. However, if you don’t change or clean your air filters, debris, bacteria, and mold spores can accumulate in the ducts. Investing in a high-quality air filter like the HEPA can help keep your home’s air pure by removing dangerous airborne particles. Changing the air filters every 1-3 months is what we advise. Depending on where you live, the kinds of activities you engage in at home, including hobbies, and whether you have pets, will determine how quickly your filters get dirty. Your air filter should be replaced every 30 days if you have many pets.
Consider calling a heating and air conditioning service provider in Richardson, TX to change your air filter to one having a higher MERV rating if you’ve changed your air filters but your house still smells musty. The MERV rating indicates how well a filter captures different airborne particulates in your house. Higher-rated filters are more effective in capturing the mold spores that give off musty odors. However, if the stench continues, there may be a more severe problem, necessitating that you schedule a residential duct cleaning appointment.
Removing Any Dirt or Debris from the Air Ducts
Your home’s air ducts may gather debris and dirt over time, leading to problems with inadequate ventilation and the possible accumulation of allergies. After that, you’ll have poor IAQ, musty odors in your ducts, and potential health risks. The accumulation of dirt and debris might occasionally even result in rodent infestations. Calling a heating and air conditioning service provider to clean your ducts is the best approach to getting rid of musty odors, mold, and mildew growth. You should get your ducts cleaned semi-annually or annually by a professional heating and air conditioning repair technician.
Inspect Your Indoor Space for Moisture
Blocked condensate drains caused by condensation and evaporation in the evaporator coils is a typical reason for a musty odor in the house. Water droplets enter the condensate pan and pass via the drain line during the condensation process. It implies that the water and the dirt within the furnace condensate pan are in motion. If the evaporator coil is neglected over time, it may accumulate too much water, which will encourage mold growth in the pan. You can examine the area for excess moisture if it has been a while since your HVAC system was cleaned and serviced. However, this is better for a trained or experienced heating and air conditioning service provider in Richardson, TX.
Empty the Condensate Line
On the evaporator coil, extra condensation builds up and drips into a pan via a drain line. But if the drain line gets blocked, water might flow back into the pan, making mold growth more likely. This is highly likely because you notice water gathering within your furnace, which has a moldy or musty smell. Fortunately, a heating and air conditioning service provider can occasionally fix this problem by attempting to empty the drain line with a wet/dry HVAC.
Ensure That the Evaporator Coils Are Always Clean
An evaporator coil is a critical part of your HVAC system, especially the furnace. It helps the unit absorb the heat from the surrounding air. However, the evaporator coils create the ideal conditions for mold growth whenever they become dirty. Fortunately, you can ensure that they never become dirty, to begin with, by ensuring that you have an air conditioning service done by an experienced heating and air conditioning service provider in Richardson, TX.
These professionals have the training and tools to clean your evaporator coils, air filters, or ducts in a manner that ensures they are free of any dirt or dust. Unfortunately, some homeowners decide to work on these tasks themselves to save a fortune. However, this might prove detrimental when you damage the coils and call an HVAC repair technician to repair them. As a rule of thumb, HVAC repairs must be left to professionals.
Dealing with Mold
As mentioned above, mold growth is another reason your home might have a musty smell. This issue needs to be handled with utmost care owing to the dangers posed by mold growth. Mold is a fungus that can cause you and your family to start showing allergic symptoms. It likes growing in hot, moist, and dark environments. In most instances, when you smell the musty odor, you can eliminate it by cleaning.
On the other hand, mold requires more extensive work than that. If you have had a heating and air conditioning repair technician inspect the air ducts and your furnace for mold, they will be able to effect the required cleaning if they detect it. While your favorite DIY instructor on YouTube might have told you that you can eliminate the mold through bleach and soap, that is a temporary remedy that could expose you to severe injuries and health complications.
On the other hand, a professional will come donning gloves, face masks, and additional safety or personal protective equipment. The air conditioning service provider will also use antimicrobial foggers to clean the mold and completely eradicate them. They will also address the problem that contributed to its growth in the first place. Hence, hiring a professional certainly has more benefits than cleaning it yourself.
Future musty odor problems can be avoided by cleaning your furnace each season, changing the filter frequently, and keeping your ducts dry. If you are dealing with mold, make sure to eliminate the moisture contributing to its growth; otherwise, you’ll have to take on this expensive and time-consuming project once more. Regular filter checks and annual maintenance performed by a heating and air conditioning service provider before the start of the cold season can help you save money and time in the long run.
There are many reasons you are smelling that musty odor upon turning on the furnace. Fortunately, there are many measures you can take to ensure it doesn’t arise in the first instance. Contact us at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas, your reliable heating and air conditioning service provider in Richardson, TX for routine furnace maintenance that ensures no musty smell.