You just turned on your air conditioner and are relaxing at home after a long day's work only to realize that a weird smell is coming from your air conditioner that smells like dirty socks.
This problem is actually known as “dirty sock syndrome” and is actually quite common and is caused by mold and mildew when they build up in your air conditioner's evaporator coil.
Dirty Sock Syndrome is a by-product of continued air conditioner use because it’s fueled by dust that collects in the air conditioner and also from an air filter that’s not been changed in some time which will cause the air going into the air conditioner to be improperly filtered.
It’s also very common to notice the gym sock smell if you use your heater in the morning then transition to using your air conditioner in the afternoon.
What Can Solve This Problem?
Some of the simple things that you can do to eliminate the dirty sock smell from your home are to change your air conditioner's air filter then check drainage pans to see if they are full, if they are full you should empty them.
You should also clean your air conditioner's evaporator coil as well especially if you’ve found mold growing on it.
To do this all you need to do is turn off your air conditioner at the thermostat then (wearing gloves and goggles) you will want to clean the evaporator coil with a vacuum cleaner then scrub off the mold that’s left using a combination of water and bleach.
Is Dirty Sock Syndrome Dangerous?
Dirty Sock Syndrome can be dangerous to people who have allergies or breathing issues if this problem is left unchecked for a long period of time so if you’ve noticed a gym sock smell that won’t go away, this is most likely the cause of the problem.