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  1. #1

    Odor during defrost on Trane

    Being home more today and the outdoor temp being colder, I noticed my Trane dual fuel unit ( installed this summer) has defrosted more. We noticed a strong, almost sour odor when the thermostat showed stage 1 and 2 simultaneously, which is defrost. The air was blowing through the vents during this time and the odor is not so pleasant. It dissipated after a couple of minutes when the defrost cycle finished. I have mentioned this on another post before and was given good input as to the smell being sort of like opening a freezer. However, because of the strong odor, my wife asked for reassurance. Naturally when I contact my installer during the week, the unit is normal and everything is as it should be. it probably is but I would like to ask if this odor is normal. Thanks and I wish all of the great contributors here a Merry Christmas!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,509
    no it isn't normal
    trane has a method that seems to work well to solve this
    special cleaner that is sprayed on the Eva coil while the blower is on and let to dry and done again just for good measure the a trane stay-cleen coating is sprayed on the coil with the blower on and let to dry and sprayed on a second time
    have done this a few time and seems to work well
    also recommend a UV light between the coil and the blower as to help kill any bacteria growth and prevent the odor from coming back next year

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    512
    Maybe there's something cooking on the electric heat strips? Try emergency heat and see if you get the smell.

  4. #4
    Thank you for the input. I don't know if I have electric strips. The heat pump and natural gas are all the energy sources I know of in the unit. The smell is only with the defrost of the heat pump, as far as I understand. I was hoping it is something that will go away with time. During the summer months the defrost doesn't run so maybe it's a newness thing. However, I have sent my installer an email asking about the mold the other poster suggested. It makes sense to me. If you have any thoughts about this all, please share. Thank you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MD
    Posts
    3,384
    if you switch the thermostat to emergency heat an let the furnace kick on does the smell come back? it could be something to do with the a/c running in defrost or maybe your smelling exhaust fumes from the furnace?

    what type of furnace is installed. are the exhaust pipes hooked up?

  6. #6
    Trane 16 SEER dual fuel system. The exhaust is a part of the unit as far as I know. The unit is outside and I don't see how exhaust can get in the duct system. I only smell the odor when the thermostat indicate stage 1 and stage 2 simultaneously. Steam rises from all the vents found all around the coil during this operation.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,046

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bentonville View Post
    Trane 16 SEER dual fuel system. The exhaust is a part of the unit as far as I know. The unit is outside and I don't see how exhaust can get in the duct system. I only smell the odor when the thermostat indicate stage 1 and stage 2 simultaneously. Steam rises from all the vents found all around the coil during this operation.
    Lets clarify, the time and place that you smell the odor is at the outdoor unit during defrost when moisture is coming off of the outdoor unit, correct?

  8. #8
    The time and place of smelling the sour odor is all through the house coming from the vents as the unit is in the defrost mode. The thermostat indicates stage 1 and stage 2 simultaneously and steam is rising from the vents on the unit around the coils.
    I have to say that because of the good input I received on this forum, I contacted my installer who was quick to respond. I am very satisfied with my installer because of his desire to satisfy me as a customer.
    He first cleaned the coil with a solution and then sprayed it out with water. Then he applied a solultion that began witn an "E". Then he sprayed a mold killer. Following these treatments of the coil, he had me turn on the fan only and allow it to run for thirty minutes before using the heat pump.
    My installer said he rarely sees this problem and usually it is not in this time of the year when it does occur. He said that if this doesn't fix the problem, Trane does have an epoxy-coated coil for replacement but I would have to pay the labor. They would pay for the coil.
    If there is more input, please contribute. I am amazed that in all of my research about which system to purchase and all of my reading about AC/Heating systems, I never read about "dirty socks". Well, I have had dirty socks and I hope they are gone. KUDOS to my installer for driving the 30 miles one-way and spending about an hour and a half spraying, waiting, talking, spraying, etc. and no charge.
    If there is something I should know about all of this, please share more.
    Merry Christmas to all here.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,046
    Install a UV light in the apex of the coil

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MD
    Posts
    3,384
    is this a packaged unit or a split system?

    like a gas furnace in a basement with a h/p coil on top of the furnace?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Over Here
    Posts
    1,105
    This condition is classic 'Dirty Sock Syndrome'. We have dealt with it many times, but have not found the silver bullet yet. There are a lot of snake oil remedies, so research it out before you drop your dime.

    Link provided explains the phenomenon, and many comments follow the article. My point here is to point out the condition, set the stage for education, and kindly step aside.

  12. #12
    I will read the information. Do you know if it is dangerous or just unpleasant? I thought I did research before I purchased the system. Thank you for the input, all.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Over Here
    Posts
    1,105
    It's not dangerous.... Just odiferous. It's not brand specific, so don't be too hard on yourself or your installing company.

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