Picture this: You pull into your driveway after a long, long day of work. You step out of your car, and with each step, you become more excited to get inside and relax. Perhaps you even start anticipating the sweet smell of home that will wash over you as you step inside. Maybe it will be the smell of fresh laundry. Or better yet, the scent of a homecooked meal! You can only find out by stepping inside, but as you do, your nose twinges, and you smell nothing but a musty odor that is hard to cope with.
That’s the brutal reality of coming back to a home with an air duct problem. And it’s anything but a fun time. It’s certainly not the type of smell that welcomes you or any guests you might want to have over.
So what do you do? How do you remove that awful, moldy smell that has invaded your sweet home? Well, just below in this post, we’ll tell you exactly how to do it. In fact, we aren’t going to stop at just one method. No. After all, you deserve to have a couple of methods in your back pocket to ensure that you can get rid of it.
That’s why we’ll give you a couple of proven methods of eliminating bad odors from air ducts. All you need to do is continue scrolling to start learning. And thus, inch ever closer to the sweet smell of home that you used to have welcome you.
When we say thorough, we mean thorough. If you want to see real results, then you’re going to have to step up and do some work to produce them. And so, we recommend wearing some protective gear during this process to keep you safe and clean. But don’t worry. It’s not as daunting as that makes it seem.
In fact, we’ll walk you through it to ensure that you aren’t left in the dark.
There are three things that you need to focus on as you clean your system.
- The evaporator coil.
- Condensate drain line.
- The Air filter.
Simple enough, right?
Now, bear with us. We will talk about how you can clean each—starting with the evaporator coil.
The importance of the evaporator coil cannot be understated. It’s essentially the key component of your HVAC system, keeping your home cool during those brutal summer months. But unfortunately, if the evaporator coil becomes too dirty, it turns from a heaven-sent piece of machinery into nothing more than a breeding spot for mold. Here’s how you can go about cleaning it:
- Step 1: Grab a mixture of 10 percent bleach water—that’s just the right amount to kill anything leading to mold and not do any unintended damage to your HVAC system itself. However, if using bleach makes you a little uncomfortable, then you can go with a standard coil cleaner that is available at most hardware stores.
- Step 2: Remove the access panel on the back of the HVAC unit to reveal the metal fin-type parts that cover the condenser coils.
- Step 3: Now, grab your vacuum and, using the brush attachment, suck any bit of dust or other debris from the metal fins and coils.
- Step 4: If any metal fins are bent, you can just correct that with a screwdriver or a fin comb that you can pick up at the same hardware store as the coil cleaner. Then, remove all of the fins by taking out any of the screws holding them into place.
- Step 5: Using your bleach solution or cleaner, spray it onto the coils, then wipe them down as best as you can. Also, pull out the collection pan near the bottom and give that a wipe down too.
- Step 6: Put everything back together and assess the situation to see if the musty smell has left you alone.
Do you remember the pan that we had you clean? Well, connected to that, there is a drain line allowing any water to runoff from the pan. Unfortunately, if that drain were ever to become clogged, the water would be trapped and inevitably build up in the pan—certainly leading to rampant mold growth.
So if you spot a lot of water in the pan, go ahead and target the condensate drain line. Most times, you can simply deploy your own vacuum to unclog the line. But, if that doesn’t work, you’ll need to call a professional to handle the job.
The air filter is the simplest of the three. But it can have a heavy influence on your air quality. So, we recommend taking it out and giving it a good clean with a vacuum and a wipe down. However, if that doesn’t do it, you may need to replace it completely.
If, after all of that cleaning, your odor is still there, you likely have a problem that is out of your hands. And that leaves you only one option. Call in the professionals. It’s a tough thing to accept after investing your own time and energy to find a solution. But at this point, for your safety, this is the best option.
So do some quick research and find a professional air duct cleaning service with good reviews and close proximity to your home—then call them out. Soon after that, you can get back to having a fresh-smelling home. We hope that your moldy odor problem finds a fast solution. If you have any other issues with your air ducts, we’d be happy to give you an answer. All you need to do is check out the rest of our website!