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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    14

    heat pump stinks

    I have a heat pump with the blower in the attic. Recently the weather has been such that the unit will be in the heating mode during the night and the cooling mode during the day. I have noticed that the air coming out of the vents stinks when in cooling mode, but not heating mode. I assume the stink is because the trap is dried out and gungy air is being sucked in through the trap. Why would this not happen, or why would it not be noticeable, while in the heating mode?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6,285
    Describe the smell.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by BigJon3475 View Post
    Describe the smell.
    I'll try.

    It is not as putrid as the rotting rat I found in the crawl space last week. I would say it is musty with just a hint of sweetness.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    11
    Refrigerant leak? R410?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,597
    dirty sock syndrome.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by deprodigy View Post
    Refrigerant leak? R410?
    It is R410a. Does it have a smell that might be what I described?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    No you wouldnt be smelling the refrigerant.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6,285
    If it's got a sweet smell only in cooling mode are you sure there is not a smelly filter attachment or something stuck to the coil you would only smell when it gets wet. Are your filters getting replaced also?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    McKinney, TX
    Posts
    470
    its dirty sock syndrome as previously stated

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    DC Metro Area (MD)
    Posts
    3,368
    Here's some information on dirty sock syndrome incase you are unaware of what is being discussed Marka: http://www.hannabery.com/dirtysock.shtml

    At this point I'd suggest calling a contractor to check to see if you have this issue and go about treatment.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    6,285
    Dirty sock syndrome is usually smelled in heating mode. His explination explains it's happening in cooling mode.

    Still seem like dirty sock syndrome?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,986
    How about it's stinking shoe syndrom?

    My "guess" is that what's happening is that the coil and/or the drain pan is dirty.

    You wet it up and get the "gunk" all slimy during the day during ac mode then dry it out at night in heating mode.

    Next day you start wetting down whatever is there again and for whatever reason it's giving off the smell you're experiencing.

    No matter what it is....... a smell from your ductwork needs to be addressed by cleaning and possibly some form of other remediation. In some instances smells come from molds that are not healthy for the occupants for the home.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    14
    Thank you for all the replies, especially the link explaining "dirty sock syndrome". I believe I will contact my HVAC service company (also installed the system) to see if one of those UV devices would be helpful.

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