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Musty Smell in the House? Your Return Air Ducts Could Be The Culprit

musty smellExperiencing a mildew smell coming from your vents? Or perhaps there’s a musty smell in your home you can’t escape? Unfortunately, mold or mildew growth from moisture in the air may be the root cause of the smell. As mold grows inside return air ducts, the air flowing through the ducts carries a musty odor to your rooms. These smells may cause headaches or aggravate health issues such as asthma or allergies. Of course, cleaning the ducts will eliminate the smell, but it is still essential to permanently remove the odor by finding the mold or mildew source.

What is Causing the Musty Odor in Your House?

If there’s a musty smell or musty odor you can’t get rid of, check out the following areas for mold or mildew growth:

  • Attics and basements: Moisture in attics and basements from leaking roofs or damp walls will enter loose joints or cracks in ductwork. Over time, this can result in mold growth in return air ducts. Additionally, if insulation covering ducts in unconditioned areas absorbs moisture, mold may grow. And the musty odors may enter through cracks in ductwork.
  • Condensate drain: The condensate drain carries excess water away from the air handler to the outdoors. When the drain becomes blocked, the excess moisture enters the ducts creating mold, mildew, and a nasty musty smell.
  • Evaporator coils: Excess moisture forms mold on the evaporator coils, and the air flowing over the coils circulates the mold spores through the ducts, leading to a musty odor in your house.
  • Fan speed: If the fan speed is set incorrectly for your unit, it can lead to moisture in your ducts. If too much moisture settles in your ductwork, mold or mildew will form, sending a musty smell into your rooms.
  • Filters:  Clogged filters will allow moisture to settle in your return air ducts, producing mold, mildew, and a musty smell.

Not Sure How to Get Rid of the Mildew Smell in Your Home?

Do you have a strong, musty odor coming from the return air ducts into your rooms? If so, it’s time to call a reputable HVAC company like Air-Tro. They will inspect your system and clean your ducts. Unfortunately, most homeowners do not have the appropriate equipment to locate the problem and prevent it from occurring again. A professional technician has specialized equipment to vacuum and clean your ductwork.

Air-Tro Helps Homeowners Get Rid of the Musty Odors in Your House, Once and For All

Do you have a mildew smell from your vents or a musty-smelling home? For more information on duct cleaning or if you have questions about musty odors in your return air ducts, contact the expert staff at Air-Tro, Inc. Heating & Air Conditioning, serving the greater Los Angeles and Pasadena area since 1969. We also serve the metro areas of Riverside and San Bernardino County.

 For over 50 years, our goal has been to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC and heating and cooling systems).  For more information about air ducts and other HVAC topics, visit our website.