You want cool air to blow out your home's central air vents, not a strange earthy smell. That smell is a warning that you have a mold problem with your air conditioning unit.
Mold can grow on the condenser coil of your air conditioning unit. This occurs when the air conditioner does not drain properly and moisture collects inside of it. The mold releases spores that are blown through your home's air ducts and out the air vents, bringing a musty smell with them, according to the book "When Technology Fails" by Matthew Stein.
Removing the mold will stop the smell from coming through your home's central air vents. Using a solution of 1/2 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water, wash the condenser coil and pan of your air conditioning unit. This will remove the mold and disinfect the unit.
You can prevent the mold from returning by making sure your air conditioning unit drains properly. Having the unit serviced regularly can reduce your risk of mold building up inside of it, as well as the danger of mold growing inside the air ducts of your home, according to the book "Recognition, Evaluation, and Control of Indoor Mold" by Bradley Prezant, Donald M. Weekes and J. David Miller.
- "When Technology Fails"; Matthew Stein; 2008
- "Recognition, Evaluation, and Control of Indoor Mold"; Bradley Prezant, Donald M. Weekes, J. David Miller; 2008
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
What Can Cause Foul Odors in Heating Duct Work?
When winter arrives, you turn on your home's heating system to keep your family comfortable. There is nothing cozy about a foul...
How to Remove Bad Smells from a Central Air System
It's a hot summer day. You flip the switch to the air conditioner to enjoy your cool home. Some time later, you...
Musty Smell From Vents
Mold, dust and dust mites generally cause the musty smell coming from vents in your home. This happens when your ventilation system...
Foul Smell From Heating Vents in My House
When you turn on your central heating system in your house, you expect a warm blast of air to enter through the...
Ammonia Smelling Odors From the Ducts and Vents
Ammonia is a colorless, strong-smelling gas that occurs naturally. Ammonia in high enough concentrations can cause potentially serious health problems for your...
My Air Duct Has a Musty Smell
Musty smells and odors can be indicative of larger problems with your home air vents. Dust, debris, mold and other issues can...
What Causes the Mildew Smell in Air Conditioning Vents?
Almost nothing is as bad as having a mildew smell coming out of the air conditioning vents. Besides the bad smell, mold...