Dirty Sock Syndrome
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  1. #1

    Question Dirty Sovck Syndrome

    Hi:

    I am in a home that needs a remodel badly. I am not sure if I going to remodel or sell the place. I was wondering if I had an Air Purifier/Cleaner going if that would make a difference with Dirty Sock Syndrome. I am located in Arizona. The A/C runs 24 hours a day from April through October. The rest of the year it's used rather sporadic. The odor is worse by the air intake and in one of the bedrooms and is pretty much present 24/7. Some people are oblivious and don't notice the odor. Others like myself will take a deep breath and smell it towards the ceiling like I do. The Refrigeration company that we have used for years has cleaned the coil and the odor comes back in 2 weeks. They have no idea how to solve the problem.

    I appreciate suggestions!

  2. #2

    Question Dirty Sock Syndrome

    Hi:

    I am in a home that needs a remodel badly. I am not sure if I going to remodel or sell the place. I was wondering if I had an Air Purifier/Cleaner going if that would make a difference with Dirty Sock Syndrome. I am located in Arizona. The A/C runs 24 hours a day from April through October. The rest of the year it's used rather sporadic. The odor is worse by the air intake and in one of the bedrooms and is pretty much present 24/7. Some people are oblivious and don't notice the odor. Others like myself will take a deep breath and smell it towards the ceiling like I do. The Refrigeration company that we have used for years has cleaned the coil and the odor comes back in 2 weeks. They have no idea how to solve the problem.

    I appreciate suggestions!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,012
    Are you sure they cleaned it right if so maybe you need new ducts or a new coil. I wouldn't recommend duct cleaning. You rally should look into a high performance air purification system like april air with uv lights to handle the problem these solutions usually are not very expensive.

  4. #4

    Cleaning

    I am not sure if they cleaned it correctly. I'd like to believe they did as we have used them for years. I was hoping a portable air purifier may help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,012
    Sure one of those ozone creating air purifiers would probably help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Springer123 View Post
    Hi:

    I am in a home that needs a remodel badly. I am not sure if I going to remodel or sell the place. I was wondering if I had an Air Purifier/Cleaner going if that would make a difference with Dirty Sock Syndrome. I am located in Arizona. The A/C runs 24 hours a day from April through October. The rest of the year it's used rather sporadic. The odor is worse by the air intake and in one of the bedrooms and is pretty much present 24/7. Some people are oblivious and don't notice the odor. Others like myself will take a deep breath and smell it towards the ceiling like I do. The Refrigeration company that we have used for years has cleaned the coil and the odor comes back in 2 weeks. They have no idea how to solve the problem.

    I appreciate suggestions!

    Just Wondering, Is this Trane equipment? A few years back Trane had a special cleaner and coating chemical to put on the coil. First you had to clean the coil with their cleaner, then spray the coil with this special coating.

  7. #7

    Brand of A/C

    It's not Trane. I know a new A/C system would cost about 3000-3500 for this 1400 sq ft home. Any idea how much new ducts would be? The A/C company said last September that a Central A/C Unit will last about 10 years, so this one has about 2 years to go. I hate to investate in all this as I am not sure if I am going to keep the place.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    5
    It's most likely not the duct work. Some contractors have done complete system change outs and the smell returns in the new equipment. There's really not a tried and definite solution, but some contractors have had some success.

    Read this article, it discusses some of the theories as to the cause of dirty sock syndrome. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Stamas; 02-14-2011 at 07:42 AM. Reason: Removed link

  9. #9

    Another Question or Two

    I did read the article. It's great to know I am not only one dealing with this. Today for example the HVAC system has not been on for at least 9 hours and I still can smell it! I wonder why it so strong in one bedroom and not the other or in the other rooms? Also how do I fund someone here in Phoenix/Scottsdale that deals with Dirty Sock?

    Thank You!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pacific Time Zone
    Posts
    4,185
    AC or swamp cooler?
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  11. #11

    Dirty Sock Syndrome

    It's AC

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    phoenix
    Posts
    106
    Odors are hard to definitely classify from one person to another, plus you can be desensitized after a short time inside. I would suggest looking at the following:

    1. Is the odor worse in the summer ? If so then concentrate on the AC coil, look for mold or any suspicious growth. It is soooo dry in Phx, hence I don't suspect this, it's not common. More common is the condensate drain leaking or not installed properly, not allowing the condensate water to drain quickly. Should your AC coil be the problem, it was probably caused by poor draining of condensate water.
    2. Happen all year long? Look for telltale signs of water damage, paint discoloration, moist carpet, or anything that may signal a small plumbing leak in the wall, slab or attic.
    3. Possible sewer gas odor? Is there a bathroom, sink or trap that never gets used ? The low humidity will dry out plumbing traps if not being used regularly, which allows sewer gas to come back up through the trap into the house. Commercial buildings even use trap primers to avoid this situation.
    4. Dead animals in the attic? A dead rat or mouse can give off an odor for months. Attics are the most common grave for the rodents.

    Most AC guys aren't great at looking at the complete house picture. Home inspectors charge a few hundred bucks and they can look at the entire home. Their prices are very reasonable considering all the work that they go through. Home inspector will be able to point out any short comings too, in case that you put the home on the market. You may want to consider hiring a home inspector if the AC company and yourself can't find the problem. Dirty sock syndrome is not common but it can happen in Phx. Good Luck !

  13. #13

    Question Dirty Sock Syndrome

    I had a Home Inspector come out during the fall to give me an overview of the house as what needed to be done as it needs a renovation. I mentioned the DSS and told him to look for possible causes. He said he had allergies and couldn't really smell anything. I had a Mold company come out a couple of weeks ago. They were highly recommended on Angie’s list. They guy found mold in two areas, and will be starting tomorrow to treat the problem. I also had the Critter Control people that we have used for years with good luck come out. The guy sealed some areas, but didn't see any rodents or signs of them. The AC people were out here last fall and cleaned the coil. It did smell better for about a week. After I spoke with them a couple of times and mentioned the odor they really didn't know what it was or where to go for help...pretty much will check on it but never get back to you! I smell different odors in different parts of the house. Any thoughts you have are appreciated

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