In the 1970s, heat pumps were touted as the energy efficient HVAC systems of the future. New markets typically have new problems, and for heat pumps the nature of the problem related to odors. A particular foul smell was so prevalent that the moniker Dirty Sock Syndrome was coined and universally accepted.
The problem is a common one: A smell like dirty socks emanates from HVAC ducts. When the people in one facility complained, Warren Lowe, an HVAC maintenance mechanic for a major Midwest electric utility, packed up his tools and headed for the site.