A New Solution Found for Dirty Sock Syndrome

March 13, 2006
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Coils that fall victim to Dirty Sock Syndrome come in all shapes and sizes and not always with a common reason for the strange occurrence.
[Editor's note: A long-time, passionate advocate of the HVAC industry, David Debien, is quoted in this article. Debien passed away in January. This article is one of many that he contributed to for the betterment of this industry. Rest well, David Debien.]

"They call it ‘Dirty Sock' syndrome because that's what it smells like, just like a gym locker," said David Debien, owner of Central City Air in Houston and known throughout the country as an air conditioning guru.

"It started showing up 10 or 12 years ago and it has been a difficult problem to solve. We thought it only occurred in the hot and humid climates of the South, but recently a contractor in Boston reported a case. It's getting worse every year. Ten years ago we had one or two cases a year. Last year we had 20 cases at our business alone."

No one seems to know for sure what causes it, but nearly everyone agrees it is likely bacteria related. It is thought to be a precipitate on the indoor evaporator. Often Dirty Sock Syndrome (DSS) shows up after an old evaporator coil has been replaced. The building environment also contributes to the syndrome.

Airtron is a network of 15 HVAC contractor offices spread through the Midwest and South and has a lot of first-hand experience dealing with the syndrome. In a white paper on the Website of their San Antonio office, they discuss the difficulties involved in dealing with the problem:

"The Dirty Sock Syndrome plagues half to 2 percent of heat pumps in the Southern states with Texas representing the lower side of the percentage. The syndrome is not brand specific, with all manufacturers acknowledging complaints. The problem itself is sporadic and limited to isolated households and is somehow related to living style or products in the home. This can be proven as manufacturers have documented changing out systems with new product and the complaint returns.

"After removing a ‘stinky' unit from a complainant's house, the unit can be cleaned and installed elsewhere without a complaint surfacing. Changing the brand of equipment has met with similar unsuccessful examples. In one instance, a complaining couple underwent a divorce and when one of them moved out of the home, the problem went away. Much effort and expense has been given by this industry to research and to solve this syndrome."

The problem seems to be limited to heat pumps. In most gas-fired furnaces, the coil temperatures exceed 160°F, a temperature that would kill most microbial life. But in heat pumps, the typical coil temperatures during heating cycles is between 120 and 130°, a temperature that seems ideal for the supposed microorganism to thrive.

And what does heating have to do with a problem that is usually blamed on air conditioning?

"It's a problem unique to very hot, very humid conditions," said Debien. "In the winter in Houston, many days you'll need heat when you wake up in the morning, but by afternoon the air conditioner will be on. It's this short cycle of hot and cold that provides the perfect environment for the germs to prosper. But why did it suddenly appear when it hadn't happened before? I have a theory, with no way to prove it. Dirty Sock started appearing just about the time OEMs started using recycled aluminum in their coils instead of virgin. The belief is that the recycled is more porous and provides a kind of petri dish for bacteria growth."

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT?

That's the million dollar question. A lot of things have been tried. Some have worked for a while, but the dirty sock smell usually makes its way back. There has not been one tried and true method. The odor always seems to find its way back - often two times a year. And no matter who is at fault, it's the contractor who must take responsibility.

The more drastic solution has been to coat the coil. One manufacturer recommends coating coils with a mold preventative, but, since the problem is generally thought to be bacterial, it's difficult to see how that will help.

Coil coating is an expensive and time-consuming process. Since the coil must be removed from the system and shipped to a manufacturer of a coating service, the system is down for some time. In places like Houston that is not a welcome choice. And success with coated coils has also been limited.

A BATTLE WITH DIRTY SOCK

Debien had been fighting a personal battle with Dirty Sock Syndrome for the last decade and was determined to beat it.

"I'm a fanatic about HVAC. My wife says I not only talk about it day and night, I also talk about it in my sleep. And the steady increase of incidents every year made it even more important. We are completely determined to give our clients the very best systems and service that is humanly possible, and Dirty Sock was making that very difficult."

One of Debien's first-time clients was a Houston-area resident named Vince Richards. He and his wife had just bought a house and they soon noticed a powerful odor. The previous owners had had an air conditioning company clean the coils so they called that company. They recommended using ultraviolet light to kill bacteria.

"The problem was," said Richards, "that it didn't work. The smell came back. The smell was so bad we had to open all the doors and windows to air the house out. Since it always occurred after a heat cycle, we eventually stopped using the heat.

"I found out that it was called Dirty Sock Syndrome and went on the Internet to find a solution. On one site, someone e-mailed me back that I should check out Central City Air. First I e-mailed him and David e-mailed back and told me the only solution was to coat the coil. He sent a technician out to assess the problem.

The technician was very informative. He told me that in most new construction the lowest bid for HVAC won, meaning the system is the minimum to do the job. He also discovered that our heater was about to go. I didn't see any sense in beating a dead horse, so I asked Central City to do it right. It was an expensive proposition, but now I had a newly zoned system that worked.

"The technician said that that they had just started using a new coating material that contained a special antibacterial agent and carried a 10-year warranty. The best thing about the whole job is that the smell never came back. Oh, did I mention? My energy bill is way down with the new system."

"A lot of air conditioning contractors are going to ultraviolet (UV) to solve Dirty Sock because it kills mold, mildew, and bacteria," said Debien.

"Several manufacturers are also offering it as an option. But it isn't ideal. UV only kills what it can ‘see' and, given the nature and shape of air conditioning coils, UV can't see everything. Even if you use two lamps, there are always nooks and crannies the light will miss; bacteria, mold, and mildew will grow. I know that we have found a better way."

THE SOLUTION TO SPECIAL COATINGS

That better way was the coating Debien used on Richard's coil in his new system. Debien had been so intent on defeating Dirty Sock Syndrome that he directed his key employees to look for a solution that worked. After several dead ends, one of them found a company on the internet that claimed to manufacture a coil coating that was antibacterial and would end Dirty Sock Syndrome.

"I was skeptical at first," said Debien. "We had been disappointed before. But I noticed that this outfit was located in Florida and figured they must know something about Dirty Sock because their winters are a lot like ours."

The name of the company they took a chance with is Bronz-Glow of St. Augustine, Fla. They are a manufacturer of a range of industrial coatings and have one line that focuses on coil coatings for the HVAC industry.

"We shipped them a number of coils that had been suffering from Dirty Sock Syndrome and installed them back in the clients' homes," said Debien. "In every one of them the syndrome did not return, so we kept sending coils to Bronz-Glow. That was about a year and a half ago and after a while we concluded we had found the solution we'd been looking for."

It worked for every client they tried. Keith Hendricks had the coils replaced in two of his 15-year-old units and soon developed Dirty Sock, even though a third and older coil didn't have a problem.

"Central City coated those two coils," said Hendricks, "and the smell disappeared and never came back."

The process of the ElectroFin coating system provides an electrodeposition connection of the coil surface and the coating.

ELECTRODEPOSITION AS AN OPTION

Another coating solution is provided by AST Electrofin of Louisville, Ky. and Jacksonville, Texas. It involves electrodeposition of the coatings on the coils.

"This technology is particularly effective against bacterial problems," said Mike Powell, sales and marketing manager at AST ElectroFin. The coating is attracted to the metal surface one molecule at a time and gets into the tiniest openings, so every metallic surface gets coated. It also results in uniform thickness. The result is a coating consistently 1 mil thick."

As for the use of antibacterial additives, Powell sees some problems. "We're currently developing an antibacterial additive that will have EPA registration and will outlive the coil. We anticipate introducing it very soon."

So, for contractors doing business in a hot, humid environment and dealing with Dirty Sock Syndrome, there are some solutions available today with a new one on the way.

Jack Sine is a freelance writer specializing in the HVACR marketplace. He can be reached at jack.sine@verizon.net or at 845-838-1466.

Publication date: 03/13/2006

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Dirty Sock Syndrone after replacing old unit

B Herrington
May 1, 2009
We have two Rheam heat pumps. Our house was built in 1971, two installed at that time. These two were replaced in the eighty's. Never had any smells with those. We replaced one of them two years ago, because it had broke down several times, with another Rheam heat pump. We started having problems with dirty sock syndrone winter 2008. Nothing has changed since it was installed. Our furnace man has checked under our house for problems with out duct work, found no problems with that and did not find any mold or other problems with our house. Our older unit is just fine. He ended up spraying the coil, and we did pretty well (only a few bouts of a slight smell that evaporated after a while) until we turned on our air conditioning this spring, and the smell got stronger. The only thing that makes since to me is, It Must Be The New Unit. I think the manufacture should step up and take care of this, but I doubt that will happen. The only reason we replaced it was to get rid of the headache of the other one breaking down at inoportune times, but instead we have a worse problem. We were planning on replacing the other one this year, but I hope we never have too. Any advice or hope you can give us would be appreciated.

Dirty Sock Coil

kwh9898
May 29, 2009
Manufactureres typically carry a warranty to cover dirty sock syndrome. The contractor that installed your unit should be able to help you resolve this issue. I am a custoemr servicem anager for an HVAC company and we deal with this at least 2-3 times a month. There has never been a problem getting a manufacturer to give us a new (dipped) coil, once we prove Dirty Sock.

Dirty Sock help!!!

Dennis & Kathy Brewer
November 27, 2009
We know all too well about Dirty Sock. We are on our 3rd Goodman heat pump. 1st one no problems, 2nd one installed in 2002 --problems the entire time with odor--nobody knew much about it--we researched. Bought $800 UV light that did nothing, company would clean coils to no avail. Finally I found a man in Myrtle Beach SC (on internet) that said coil cleaner plus some over the counter (Pine Sol)--my husband would clean twice a year--he feels like that is part of the reason the unit only lasted 7 years.--June 2010 (only 7 months ago we bought a BRAND new Goodman heat pump)---The nightmare is back. We cannot believe it :(--We have been told that Goodman does not even offer a coated coil. Can you pleeeeeeeeease help us find out what we can do. Is there help anywhere. We are just sick that we have spent all this money and out house smells like vomit right now---right before the Christmas season!

Brand New Stinking Air Conditioner

PJ
January 17, 2010
Old A/C-No stink. Brand new A/C in Aug. 2009. After using heat on unit then switching back to A/C....smells like stinking feet, dirty socks. So bad we have to turn it off and leave. The tech from Excel Air Conditioning in Fort Pierce, Fl. refused to listen to anything I said and insisted I needed to give them $600 MORE to do duct work at entry to house. The smell is when we switch from heat to a/c. Not when fan only is on or heat is on. Said he had never heard of this problem and treated us like it was our fault. Now I see on the internet it is a problem with the coil in many brand new units. To everyone who has this problem, please speak out. It is not you. Do not be embarrassed like I was at first. It is not our stinking feet. It is their defective coil. Look up DSS. It is a syndrome. Dirty Sock Syndrome. In brand new units. In brand new houses. With brand new ducts. I am going to insist they get me a coated coil. If they dont, I will report them to the Better Business Bureau, local news and anyone else that will listen.

dss - American Standard Heritage 15 + 4TEE

b n nc
February 5, 2010
sounds like our situation exactly. hope Am Std and our installer will comply. Only had it 1 1/2 yrs. Old system did not do this. lots of switching back and forth to cool the strips back down. we have the accu clean, too. So it is in effect producing more ozone as it competes with the bacteria/mold growing within our system. Great idea. Now we need to get a UV light and some fancy coating for the heat strips. Wonder what will be next?

defective coils

sway
February 6, 2010
Same problem as above. Near new unit. They need to recall these coils. Just using their defect to sell more stuff. Its a crime. Careful with that ozone stuff. Its not good for you to breathe if its set to high. Im going to demand they replace my whole unit. This is the craziest thing Ive ever seen. New HVAC system stinks to high heaven. Old one never did. Suddenly we need every purifying gizmo they can sell us.

Dirty sock syndrome

doug
February 7, 2010
Same problem as all above. The smell is so bad we have to go outside in 20* weather just to keep from throwing up. I'm going to demand a new pump with a coil that has been coated.

Dirty Sock Syndrome

PJ
February 14, 2010
My dealer said he would replace the coil but so far he has not. I have heard nothing but lies, missed appts. etc, etc. I agreed to replace the duct the tech said had holes in it....until our home was inspected and they found no holes or any problem with the duct. Afterwards...now...the owner of company said the duct was not the problem. I see now this is their tactic to rip me off and drag this out until the warranty runs out. He picked the wrong person. I am hiring an attorney and taking him to court. I have a security cameras & the things they said to me are on tape. I bought a brand new A/C unit and I cannot use it because of the fumes that are infiltrating the air we breathe. There is no way all the people who have bought new HVAC units suddenly developed toxic mold, bacteria, algae on NEW coils but not in their 15 year old units. Some bizarre coincidence? This may have worked on a desperate homeowner thats family is being gassed with these fumes from their NEW system searching and willing to try anything they are conned into......but it wont work in a courtroom. To all of you who sells these things..demand the manufacturers replace these units before every one you sold that has this syndrome ends up in a courtroom. Otherwise, you will not only be responsible for giving the people their money back, you will be responsible for their medical bills, all the crap you sold them to "cure" the defective coil, costs of relocation, pain & suffering, etc, etc. All it takes it one case in court & the precedent is set. I personally am not waiting for the class action suit. I am taking the company that sold me this defective unit to court. At one point the "professionals" that I bought it from tried to act like they had never heard of Dirty Sock Syndrome in new units...now I find out something about Dirty Sock Syndrome is printed on the box the NEW evaporator coil from Nordyne/Maytag comes in??? What is this?? In the meantime, I will find every place on the internet I can to state what has been done to my family and my home by this company. I saw where Ripoff Report is one place to start. Im not sure but I think the complaint, including the name and address of the company that is doing this to you will show up in a google search. It has been 3 months of either not using a 6 month old Air Conditioner in Florida or breathing these fumes. Fumes which linger long after the thing is off in your sofas, clothes, etc. Is it infecting the whole unit including the ductwork into my home? This smell has never been in my home until I bought this new HVAC system. Which has been witnessed by all the people that have been in my home for over 15 years that ever smelled this in my house. Hopefully all of you who have this problem has better luck with your dealer than mine. Dont let them drag it out until the warranty is up.

Dirty Sock Syndrome

Comfort Time Live
April 3, 2010
To all who are concerned about this issue; I am a radio talk show host that would love to hear from anyone of you to discuss your issue and perhaps your resolution, live on the air. My talk show heard twice a week in South Florida, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach area on WPSL 1590AM or live audio and video on the internet at www.comforttimelive.com, is a consumer advocate, non-profit show, dedicated to helping educate consumers and guide them in the right direction. This is a great topic that would provide information, and for those that have found a fix, the opportunity to share with other listeners around the world how they over came it.

Dirty Sock Syndrome

datgrt
April 19, 2010
I posted the attached note on March 27th of this year concerning our experience with 'Dirty Sock Syndrome'. It has been almost one month since our new coated coils were installed and I am happy to say that we have not had any more odor/smell since that time! I hope this information might help others that are also dealing with this problem! Title: Dirty Sock Syndrome By: datgrt Posted: March 27, 2010 4:20 PM We had a new 3-1/2 Ton American Standard / Trane Heat Pump installed in January 2009. During the first heating and cooling season we did not have a problem with any odor. In November of that same year we did experience a very bad smell coming from the ducts every time the unit was running after the defrost cycle. I contacted the Dealer who installed our unit about the smell and he said that it sounded to him like we had "The Dirty Sock Syndrome". Never hearing about this issue before I did a Google search and read many of the pages of articles that had been posted about this problem online. After reading the posts about this problem there was no question in my mind that this was what was causing our smell! Prior to my internet research our Dealer had agreed to come out and 'clean' our coils which he did. Let me say that our Dealer is 'Outstanding' and the problem was not caused by anything that he had done it was caused by the company that made the unit!(American Standard / Trane / Ingersoll Rand) I shared with our Dealer that I appreciated him coming out to clean our coils but I didn't think that cleaning would solve our problem based on all of the posts that I had read online. Sure enough, a short time after he cleaned the coils the odor returned! I had already sent several email letters and made several phone calls to the National Customer Service Department of American Standard / Trane/ Ingersoll Rand about the problem I was having with our new Heat Pump. The responses I was receiving back from them were not good! Attached is part of the response I received back from them after my first email. "Thank you for visiting our web site. I appreciate you sharing your concerns with us. There is an issue known as "Dirty Sock Syndrome" which occurs in the evaporator coil of some heat pumps during the defrost cycle. Dirt Sock is an environmental issue and not equipment related." Believe me, I was not happy or satisfied with their response! How could the problem be 'environmental' when our old Heat Pump that we had in the same 'environment' for about 25 years never had this problem! After many more phone calls and email letters to them they agreed to replace my coils! This morning (3/27/2010) my new coated coils were installed! I feel sure that this should resolve our problem with the "The Dirty Sock Syndrome" smell. I know and understand the problem the odor causes but more importantly the health concerns and risks that everyone has when dealing with this issue! The "Dirt Sock Syndrome" has been a problem for 'many' years and the companies that manufacture HVAC equipment are aware of the problem and they do have a fix for it. The problem is 'money'! They are not willing to put the more expensive coated coils in the units that they sell to avoid these problems in my opinion because of the increased cost! Again, in my opinion cleaning the ducts or cleaning the coils won't fix this issue! I strongly believe that the problem is caused by the coils and the solution to the problem is to replace the coils with the new coated type! If it was not an equipment issue why would American Standard / Trane / Ingersoll Rand offer this as a solution to correct the problem? I really hope that everyone that is experiencing this problem are able to get it fixed soon! Thanks, datgrt

Dirty Sock Syndrome - Update

datgrt
April 19, 2010
Hello Everyone, I just viewed the Radio Talk Show 'Comfort Time Live' that was aired on April 3rd of this year. The topic of the show was ........... Tom discusses Dirty Sock Syndrome, a SMELL that can originate in your air conditioning system. I thought Tom did an 'Outstanding' job in pointing out and discussing the history of 'DSS' as well as the causes and also the solution to the problem! I have attached the link to that broadcast if you would like to view it. I believe it would be worth your time. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/ http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/ Thanks Tom, I really enjoyed listening to your show and hope that others will also find it very informative! It was great to hear your comment that Trane would be manufacturing their Heat Pumps with the new coated coil in the future! That is 'Excellent' news and I sure hope that it happens soon! Believe me, I think this is something that should have been done a long time ago but thank goodness based on what you shared maybe it will help others in the future! Thanks Again, datgrt

dirty socks syndrome

Jill
May 4, 2010
Does anyone know if the coated coils are dangerous to our health? What are they coated with? Thank-you

coated coils

Betty
July 11, 2010
Does anyone know if the coated coils are dangerous to our health. What are they coated with.

Amana Heat Pump / Dirty Sock Syndrome

Christine
August 31, 2010
My brother and I discovered that the drain opening for the water-collecting pan in the bottom of my unit is 3/8 above the bottom of the pan. The entire bottom of my unit holds water. We are certain this is the cause of so much mold and mildew. Goodman (mnfr) will take no responsibility. We are going to drill a 1/8" hole in the bottom of the pan to release the water and provide an escape for future condensation, and see if that does the trick. I advise all of you to check and see if your heat pump, like mine, does not adequately drain the condensation and runoff from the melting ice from the coils.

DSS Cure

Robert
November 1, 2010
Contact Bronz-Glow at Bronz-Glow.com. Coating works with an anti-microbial.

Post Coated Coil Problem

Don
November 7, 2010
Last year a coated coil was installed in out Trane heat pump system due to the dirty sock smell. Several weeks after that, red colored debris that looks like onion skins or peanut skins were coming out of the air ducts. An analysis of the debris said it was algae. The unit was cleaned, but with the start of this heating system, large amounts of red debris are comong out of the ducts AGAIN! Could this be from the coated coil rather than algae? Any one else having this problem?

DSS

Brad's H@A
November 27, 2010
I installed an Amer. Std. for a custmer 1.25 yrs. ago and they have DSS now. She said the unit makes her sick and when they turn it off and use the infa-red wall heater that makes her sick also. This is the first Amer. Std out of about 150 I've installed with this symptom. I cleaned the coil with coil cleaner and you could see the spores on it in an area about the size of a plate. I then used the Trane recommended Pre-cleaner and even though I had just used coil cleaner that spot about the size of a plate was giving off a foam sort of like the coil cleaner did. It was kind of scary looking because I knew I was looking at live bacteria! I let the fan run and dry it like the directions said and then sprayed some Stay-Kleen on it and let it set for 130 minutes. Stay Kleen is supposed to prevent DSS from coming back for 2-3 years. I also installed 2 total fresh 8 oz. containers in the unit to help. They are supposed to kill mold, mildew, and other air-borne bacteria. They are made by Totaline. I got a call a few hours later right after the first defrost cycle and guess what? The unit is still stinking! I only washed the evaporator (Indoor Coil) because I've always heard the problem is there but when you put this machine in defrost you smell it coming out the top of the unit. I'm gona wash the outdoor coil also but was wondering if the problem started on the outdoor coil and could have been sucked up through the drain trap since it doesn't hold water in the winter. They also have tall grass around the drain and it looks like the ground isn't soaking up the water. That would be a great place for bacteria to form. I feel I shouldn't be responsible after my 1 yr. labor warranty is up but I have been trying to fix the problem for free anyway. I tried to get them to buy a 5 yr. extended labor warranty when I installed the unit. I can get them an epoxy coated coil but Why should I have to put it in for free? If this problem started because of a poor drainage situation that is not my fault! This is an older couple that knows everyone in the small area I'm from and they probally would tell no telling what if I don't put a coil in for free. This is a good example of why you should by an extended warranty. From now on I'm figuring one in the price no matter what. If you give them a choice they will try to save 250.00 and tell you no! If you have DSS and must have heat, put the t-stat in emergency heat and the unit should heat the home with-out stinking but you still have airborne bacteria if you use it.

DDS Smell in new Air Conditioner

what to do
March 4, 2011
This is something that should not happen to a new HVAC system. Contact one of the law firms that sued the makers of tobbaco companies, breast implants, etc. Show them this page and the other one on this site. Find a way to leave contact info or get one of the law firms to advertise it. This is happening because people bought new HVAC systems and it is making them sick. Then they are being blamed for an embarrassing smell when it is the material that the coil is made of. To all of you that sell and service these things, please stop blaming the customer. Join in the effort to get the manufacturers to stop producing these coils. Otherwise you will be on the wrong side of the lawsuit. Coated coils and all of these chemicals that are being sprayed into peoples air quality in hopes to "kill" the smell is just adding to this.

A POSSIBLE CURE FOR DSS

Tom
April 14, 2011
I bought top of the line Trane--two totally new systems throughout. Heat pumps with back-up gas furnaces. Two years later . . . DSS. No doubt. The old two units had been AC with back-up gas . . . builder's grade Carriers. They lasted 11 years--no DSS. I replaced the furnaces, too, to obtain complete best new systems. I had a pretty easy time getting my new coated coils. The Regional Rep from Trane was quick to recommend new coated coils (all parts and labor fully covered because I had the 10-year extended warranty). The new coated coils were put in today. It took one man about five hours and he is an outstanding technician. I only had to wait about a month from ordering to installation. Trane sends new coils to TechniCoat, they coat them and send them to the dealer. The dealer replaces the old coils with the new coated ones. No gas is lost in the process if they do it all right. They were replaced today. I will report back periodically, but the Trane rep seemed to think that this was THE answer and nothing else would work. I have read a thousand complaints about DSS and I have a few theories about it. First, Trane is not the only company getting hit with this problem. I think that all HIGH EFFICIENCY HEAT PUMPS made in about the last ten years are susceptible to DSS. I recommend getting AC units with high efficiency gas furnaces (some are now about 98% efficient) instead of heat pumps. I think it is a bacteria that can live on microscopic dust particles and that thrive in dark, damp places like inside the indoor coils (I don't know about the outdoor coils . . . maybe there, too, but people don't notice it because they are outdoors . . . don't know). I also think that that the new efficient heat pumps have coils that are made from aluminum (I think the old copper coils were naturally anti-bacterial). I think the aluminum is recycled and has microscopic pores that the bacteria can live in and not be washed off of when the coils cause condensation; thus, the epoxy coatings seal the pores and give a smooth surface that give the bacteria no footing and that will drain the water quickly because it is so smooth (and the bacteria need the water over a period of time in order to thrive). Note that the new high efficiency coils are also thinner, closer together, and there are more of them . . . all factors adding to the problem, I think. I did find that I could use only my back-up furnace for heat and cut down on the smell . . . but not cut out on it. That is why I think that heat pumps are affected and AC units with gas furnaces are immune. Because the gas furnaces heat at higher temperatures than the heat pumps, high enough to kill enough of the bacteria colonies to keep the problem either away or at a very low level. Btw, my problem seemed worse when switching from AC to heat mode, but I didn't keep records, so I'm not sure that was the worst; but I don't think someone would ever have DSS if they never used their AC because the water from the AC mode condensation on the coils is necessary for the bacteria to grow. Also, if you want to keep the DSS at bay whilst you wait for your new coated coils, use just the gas furnace for heat and have the company spray the coils with Oceanic Mold and Bacteria cleaner. This ought to keep the DSS tamped down for a month; especially if they use an atomizer to apply it. The material and labor will probably not be a warranty issue and would have cost me 185 bucks, but I was in a season where I didn't need any air conditioning so I didn't get it done (the Trane rep had told me that would help a lot for a while if I wanted to tamp the problem down whilst I waited for the new coils). Someday they will either coat all the new coils or go back to copper, I think, . . . right after the huge class action lawsuit that is bound to happen if they don't solve this problem soon.

Doug
October 10, 2012
This guy found an easy and inexpensive cure for Dirty Sock Syndrome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VclGuogRPCY It worked for me. Pass this on.

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