The following remarks were made regarding the article “Contractors Discuss the State of HVAC System Odor Complaints” written by Angela D. Harris, technology editor of The NEWS, published June 10.
System Odors Hang On
Through the years, I have tried to find and abate the smells in the home with some very interesting findings. All-aluminum heat pump coils pick up and hold odors more than any other type of coil. Every instance of dirty sock that I have run across is a heat pump with nonstandard returns and supplies — restricted airflow causing reduced pressure in drain line — with a condensate drain line connected to the washing machine drain. In the winter, the condensate trap dries out and the washing machine hot soapy vapor rises in the drain line all the way up to the coil. Not only does this cause the coil to smell bad, but the soapy vapors condense on the inside of the drain pipe causing the drain line to be restricted. After about 10 years, there will be about a 1/6-inch hole left that will stop up in the summer. Blowing the line out with compressed air will only open up a small portion of the line.
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Publication date: 7/8/2019