Why Does My Mini-Split Smell Like Cheese Or Dirty Socks?

Why Does My Mini Split Smell Musty Or Like Cheese Or Dirty Socks?

Why Does My Mini-Split Smell Like Cheese Or Dirty Socks?

A mini split giving off a musty smell or an odor like cheese or dirty socks most likely has a mold problem. Spores grow inside the air handler and spread through your home as the system circulates them with the air it’s heating or cooling.

If you’ve ever heard of “Dirty Sock Syndrome,” that’s what we’re talking about here. And, yes, it’s so widespread that it has a name.

And while Dirty Sock Syndrome applies to this problem with any sort of heating and cooling system, we’re here to tell you that, unfortunately, it’s prevalent with ductless systems.

But, the good news is that there’s a quick, easy fix. A mini split deep cleaning can usually take care of this problem in one visit.

That’s our specialty here at HydroKleen208: Restoring ductless systems, so they work just as well as the day they were installed. You’d be surprised at just how dirty the insides of these systems get — and how well they’ll work once you get them cleaned out.

But, we’ll get to all that later on. First, we’ll talk about why ductless systems are so susceptible to mold problems and how to spot an issue. Then, we’ll discuss how to address it.

And, if you have any questions about the ductless system or indoor air quality in your Treasure Valley home or business, call us at (208) 779-5596 for a free consultation.

Why (And How) Ductless Systems Get Mold In Them

It turns out that mini splits — particularly the air handlers — are perfect breeding grounds for mold.

There’s no light in there, but there’s plenty of warmth from the heat transfer process, plus moisture from the air and from the dehumidification process in the summer.

Those are the exact optimal conditions for mold growth. Then, to make matters worse, these units are really tough to clean.

Mold On Ductless Coils

Even if you’ve only lifted the front panel on your air handlers to clean the filter, you can get a sense of how packed everything is in there. And, in particular, you’ll see the coil: that blue block with all the tiny ridges on it.

That’s the main offender when it comes to mold.

Mold spores, along with bacteria and other microbial contaminants, settle in between those tiny ridges and cultivate. Since that’s where the heat transfer occurs, there’s plenty of warmth and moisture.

Other areas ripe for problems are behind the barrel fans or near the drain line if there’s a problem.

Related: How To Spot And Fix Mini Split Condensate Drain Line Clog

These problems take root in just about any system. But, the infestations get even worse if the system wasn’t installed properly. We start to see water building up in the air handler or leaking behind the walls. 

Cleaning Challenges

What To Expect For Your HydroKleen Mini Split Cleaning

Not only does mold grow quickly inside these units, but they’re also tough to clean out. For instance, we mentioned the barrel fans and the condensate line – you can’t even see those without taking the air handler apart! And, there’s more in there as well.

So, until recently, the only way to clean this stuff was to have a professional disassemble every component. Then, they’d have to scrub each piece manually.

It’s a delicate, time-consuming process. Each one could take hours. As a result, it’s usually hard to find an HVAC contractor that will do it. The price would be prohibitive when you factor in the labor hours.

Then, there’s still no guarantee they can eliminate the problem! Look at the coil again. Now, imagine having to scrub in between every one of those tiny fins without bending any.

You’ll get some cleaning when you get a tune-up or regular maintenance. But that only scratches the surface.

Dirty Sock Syndrome

All these factors lead to what’s called “Dirty Sock Syndrome.” All that junk building up in your system — especially mold — gives off a stale, cheesy smell. Then, the odor circulates through your house as the air flows through the system. 

It can — and does — occur in forced-air systems (think furnaces and central air). But, it’s much more common with mini splits. 

At best, it’s an inconvenience (and maybe a little embarrassing when you have people over). At worst, it can make you feel sick. 

Related: Six Telltale Signs Your Ductless System Needs To Be Cleaned ASAP

Mini Split Deep Cleaning

How Often Should Your Mini Split Be Cleaned?A general HVAC tune-up and cleaning will eliminate dirty sock syndrome if you’re lucky. But, if you have a ductless system, it’s essential to add a dedicated mini split deep cleaning to your strategy. In fact, these cleanings are important even if you don’t notice a bad smell yet.

Related: How Often Should A Mini Split Be Cleaned?

We mentioned before how difficult it is to clean these systems properly. That’s if you’re doing it manually. HydroKleen208 has a specialized process that makes flushing out these systems easy and effective. 

In this article, you can read more about how we work and get a behind-the-scenes look at an actual cleaning. 

The bottom line is that our parent company, HydroKleen Global, developed specialized tools, processes, and non-toxic cleaning agents that can reach into every nook and cranny in your system and clean it out. 

That includes the air handlers along with the heat pump outside. 

Since we do it without taking anything apart, it’s much less expensive than a conventional HVAC visit. And, our finely-calibrated equipment uses just the right amount of pressure to wash everything without causing damage. 

Related: What Does It Cost To Clean A Heat Pump? 

This doesn’t take the place of regular maintenance or tune-ups. Instead, it works along with those services to help keep you healthy and keep your system running great. 

If you live or work in Kuna, ID, or anywhere in Idaho’s Treasure Valley, you can call HydroKleen208 to learn more about our mini split cleaning. We serve homes and businesses from Boise Metro and as far north as Cascade. Click below or call (208) 779-5596 to set your appointment.

Are You Moving? Don’t Take Your Black Mold With You!

Are You Moving? Don’t Take Black Mold With You! (How Mold Travels)

Are You Moving? Don’t Take Your Black Mold With You!

A new home should always mean a new beginning. But, if your past involved mold problems in your house or where you work, that fresh start could be, well, not so fresh.

We all know that mold can grow in your home when the conditions are right (and they often are). But did you know that’s not the only way spores can take root and cause an infestation? It’s also possible for someone to introduce mold to your home from somewhere else. And, that person may even be you.

This article looks at how people can bring in mold problems from one place to another. And, in particular, we’ll cover what to watch for if you’re moving from a place that previously had a mold problem.

Yes, it’s entirely possible for black mold to “follow” you from one place to another! If you’re not careful, of course.

We’ll also cover the signs of a mold problem in your home, from physical symptoms you may experience to the kind of damage you could notice in your house.

Finally, we’ll discuss the all-too-common (but not well-known) problems with mini splits and mold. If your home or business uses one of these ductless heat pump systems, you’ll definitely want to read till the end.

Meanwhile, you can always reach out to us with questions about mold, indoor air quality, or problems with a mini split in your Valley County or Boise Metro home or businesses. You can reach us at (208) 779-5596, and you don’t need to pay for a cleaning or make an appointment just to get more information.

Related: Mold Toxicity And The Signs That Mold Is Making You Sick

Can Black Mold Spread From House To House?

Mold spores are tiny and pervasive, so it’s easy for them to travel from one place to another on surfaces, in boxes, or even on clothes. That makes cross-contamination possible after moving, especially if your previous home had a mold problem.

Different strains of mold grow in slightly different environments. Stachybotrys, for instance, is what people often refer to as black mold. It’s the kind that grows easily on walls and in bathrooms, damp basements, and wet carpets.

Related: How Long Does Mold Remediation Take In Homes And Businesses?

It doesn’t spread through the air nearly as easily as other strains. But, spores will travel and attach to other objects if you disturb a colony (a collection of spores large enough to see). 

That can happen by slamming a door near a wall with mold on it. And, if you’re packing, you may kick up spores that cultivated at the back of a bookshelf, in a closet, or other areas you don’t often access or clean. 

That increases the chance of it spreading and “following” you to your next home.

Can Someone Bring Mold Into My House?

Mold spores are virtually everywhere, and they can stick to clothes. As a result, it’s possible — and likely — for someone to bring mold into your home. However, that doesn’t mean it will lead to an infestation. In fact, that’s somewhat unlikely.

Spores require the right conditions to cultivate into a colony. That mostly means dark, damp, humid areas, plus “food.” If the spores don’t find those conditions, they won’t grow into a problem.

Controlling humidity and keeping your home clean goes a long way toward preventing mold. If you have a mini split for heating and cooling, some additional risks are involved. But we’ll get to that later.

At any rate, bringing in mold is the bigger problem when you’re moving. In that situation, you may disrupt a colony on your way out. Or take the colony with you if it’s in a box or on the furniture.

Then, it’s easier for those spores, already in a colony, to take root in their new home.

Symptoms Of Mold Exposure And Mold Allergies

What Are Some Of The Symptoms Of Mold Toxicity?

Mold allergies and other mold exposure symptoms can be tough to spot because they’re similar to symptoms of other health issues. They run the gamut from light respiratory problems to skin rashes, headaches, nausea, or difficulty concentrating.

For instance, people with a mold allergy react to spores the way people with seasonal allergies react to pollen: Sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and runny noses.

Related: Excellent Indoor Air Quality At Home Is Crucial For People With Asthma 

Some people develop a rash from mold exposure, which can also be caused by chemicals, different fabrics, and plenty of other products or substances. 

And all those more severe symptoms — particularly “brain fog,” forgetfulness, or irritability — could stem from depression, neurological issues, stress, or other factors. 

So, it’s essential to also look for signs of mold in your home if you’re experiencing these symptoms.  

Five Signs Of Black Mold In Your Home

Five common signs of mold growing in our home are:

  1. General Musty Smell
  2. Discolored Grout Around Tiles
  3. Water Damage Spots
  4. Warped Walls Or Wallpaper
  5. Bad Smell From Your HVAC System

Remember that mold often grows in out-of-the-way places. So, in some cases, you’re looking for related signs like water damage or warping. The spores can travel through drywall but likely take root inside the wall before you can see it in the room.

Mold And Your Ductless Mini Split

Mini splits, or ductless heating and cooling systems, are common sites for mold colonies. The insides of the air handlers are dark and warm, and they get humid from moisture in the air. Plus, they’re tough to clean entirely without the right equipment.

As a result, black mold and other microbial contaminants that get sucked in with the air take root on the coil and other components. Once that happens, your system spreads them throughout the house when the air blows back out.

Related: How Mold In Ductless Mini Splits Cause Biotoxin Illness

If you’ve had a mini split for more than a year, then it’s time to consider a cleaning. That’s especially so if you notice any of the problems we’ve outlined here — or even general heating and cooling issues. 

For instance, here’s a picture of a coil from one of our recent jobs. Part of our process is to stop halfway through the cleaning so the homeowner can see the progress. 

In this case, we snapped a picture so you can see how dirty these get and how clean we make them once we’re done:

You Can See How Dirty A Mini Split System Can Get

Related: How Often Should A Mini Split Be Cleaned?

Mini Split Cleaning In Caldwell, ID

HydroKleen208 guarantees the best mini split cleaning in Kuna, ID and across the Treasure Valley. Our custom equipment, unique process, and environmentally-friendly cleaning agents flush out and eradicate all mold spores, bacteria, dust, dirt, and more from your ductless system. Click below or call us at (208) 779-5596 to find out if a HydroKleen visit is the best way to address your HVAC, mold, or indoor air quality concerns.

How To Heal Your Body From Mold Toxicity Or Mold Exposure

How To Heal Your Body From Mold Toxicity Or Mold Exposure

How To Heal Your Body From Mold Toxicity Or Mold ExposureThe effects of mold exposure or mold toxicity range from mild physical ailments to possibly even serious neurological issues. So, as you take steps to remove mold from your home, it’s also important to focus on healing the damage your body has taken as a result of exposure.

In this article, we’ll clear the air about the different types of health issues that stem from mold in your home. Then, we’ll look at recovering your health and how to prevent it from happening again.

Related: X early warning signs of mold toxicity

Now, you may be wondering why an HVAC cleaning service is writing about a health-related topic. The reason is simple: It turns out that mini split systems are excellent breeding grounds for mold and other biotoxins.

We find anything from traces of mold to full-blown infestations in the ductless air handlers we service. Those mold spores circulate through your home and affect your health.

We’ll get into that later in the article. For now, you can call us at (208) 779-5596 with any questions about the mini split in your Boise Metro or Treasure Valley home.

Mold And Your Health: Four Terms To Know

There’s a lot of confusion — and some controversy — about the effects mold can have on your health. So, we want to start by distinguishing four terms when it comes to hold and your body. Each of these are a different topic:
  1. Mold Exposure
  2. Mold Allergy
  3. Mold Infection
  4. Mold Toxicity

Mold Exposure

Mold exposure is simply being around mold spores, usually in dark or damp places. If you’re allergic to mold, you’ll notice symptoms. Exposure itself isn’t necessarily harmful — after all, mold isn’t always necessarily toxic. But, being around it too long and breathing it in all the time can lead to health problems

Related: Indoor AIr Toxins (And Their Symptoms) In Boise Metro And Valley County Homes

Mold Allergy

A mold allergy is when your immune system overreacts to the presence of mold spores in your body. Symptoms include itching and skin irritations, runny nose, coughing, and watery eyes. It can also cause restricted breathing and trigger asthma attacks.

Related: Excellent Indoor Air Quality At Home Is Crucial For People With Asthma

Mold Infection

Mold infection is caused by exposure to Aspergillus, a specific type of mold that harms people with weakened immune systems. Along with allergy symptoms, people with other medical conditions experience coughing, coughing up blood, fever, chest pains, and shortness of breath. 

Mold Toxicity

Mold toxicity is a variety of physical and neurological symptoms from prolonged exposure to mold spores. Along with allergy-like symptoms, people report vertigo, tinnitus, digestive issues, fatigue, memory issues, and disorientation. 

Mold toxicity is a controversial diagnosis. Parts of the medical community say it’s allergies or the more generalized “Sick Building Syndrome.”

Recovering From Mold-Related Illness

Most symptoms and illnesses are treatable with simple remedies and easy-to-follow practices. Of course, we can’t diagnose you or promise these will work. But, here’s an idea of what it takes to recover from mold-related illnesses:

  1. Consult Your Doctor
  2. Remove Mold From Your Home
  3. Over-The-Counter Medications
  4. Eat A Healthy Diet

Consult Your Doctor

Your first step toward treating any mold-related illness is to consult your doctor. They often start with antihistamines, decongestants, medications to combat inflammation and sinus problems, or inhalers to address breathing issues.

Over-The-Counter Medications

You can combat allergy-like symptoms the same as you would seasonal allergies with over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, and skin treatments for rashes.

Eat A Healthy Diet

Eating well helps your body’s immune system fight off infections. Avoid processed food or items with a lot of sugar. Focus on non-sugary foods, focus on non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruit. 

Stay away from foods that often contain fungi or mold; These include mushrooms, cheese, meat or fish, soy sauce, vinegar, salad dressing, or ketchup. And avoid leftovers left around for more than a day.

Remove Mold From Your Home

One of the most important ways to avoid a relapse or new infection is getting rid of mold in your home. This often involves mold remediation from a certified, professional mold removal company.

Related: How Long Does Mold Remediation Take?

Preventing Mold Buildup In Your Home

The best way to avoid mold-related illnesses is to prevent mold buildup in your home. You can do that by:

  • Controlling Humidity
  • Using Exhaust Fans
  • Replacing Soaked Upholstery Or Carpets
  • Keeping Your HVAC System Clean

Control Humidity

Keep your home’s relative humidity between 30 and 60 percent. This is most challenging in the summer. Your mini split or central air acts as a dehumidifier, and you can add room dehumidifiers or whole-home units.

Use Exhaust Fans

Along with getting rid of bathroom and cooking smells, exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen remove excess moisture in the form of steam from showers and cooking.

Replace Soaked Upholstery Or Carpets

Don’t just dry out carpets or upholstery that becomes soaked. Even if it doesn’t feel wet, that dampness is enough for mold spores to take hold. Get rid of these items altogether.

Keep Your HVAC System Clean

Mold cultivates incredibly well in the air handlers for ductless mini splits. The insides are the perfect combination of dark, warm from hot air passing through, and damp from water condensing during the cooling process.

It’s common to open a unit and find microbial buildup on the coil that’s this severe:

A Ductless System Can Get Moldy If Not Taken Care Of

A professional deep cleaning flushes out these toxins. It’s essential to get this done because mold spores and other contaminants spread through the air you breathe when the system is running. 

Related: How Often Should A Mini Split Be Cleaned? 

Mini Split Cleaning In Donnelley, ID

HydroKleen208 guarantees the most effective mini split cleaning for your home or business in Donnelly, ID or anywhere in Valley County or Boise Metro. Our process and non-toxic cleaning agents flush out all mold spores and other contaminants from your ductless system. To learn more or schedule a cleaning, call us at (208) 779-5596.

The Hydrokleen Story: Who Are And What Makes Us Special

The HydroKleen Story: How (And Why) We Offer The Best Mini Split Cleanings

Regular Service Is The Best Way To Avoid RepairsLike any superhero, HydroKleen208 has an origin story!

Okay, maybe we’re not that amazing. But, talk to any homeowner who’s had us out for a cleaning. They’ll let you know about the tremendous impact we made on their home. 

As of early 2022, HydroKleen has cleaned more than 1.5 million mini splits in nearly 40 countries. 

Homeowners around the globe know our cleanings make their homes more comfortable, improve their indoor air quality, and even help reduce their electric bills. 

And that’s all with one quick visit. 

As mini splits become more popular in the United States, and especially in the Treasure Valley, HydroKleen208 is here to continue that tradition for families and businesses in Idaho.

Related: The Gold, Silver And Bronze Reasons You Need A HydroKleen208 Cleaning

Still, you may be wondering who we are, exactly. And how we get to make these sorts of claims.

If so, you’re in the right place.

In this brief article, we’ll tell you about how our parent company, HydroKleen Global in Australia, recognized a critical need and developed the best tools and processes in the world to address it.

Keep reading to learn more. Or, click below or call us at (208) 205-9078 to ask questions or set an appointment.


What We Discovered About Mini Splits

Mini splits are catching on now in the U.S. But, they’ve been around much longer in other countries like Australia. That’s where John Sanders founded HydroKleen in 2009.

Sanders discovered that, for all the great benefits ductless systems offered, they developed problems as they got older. Their energy efficiency dropped significantly. And, respiratory issues, including toxic mold syndrome, were rising among people with mini splits.

Both problems stemmed from the same source: Dirty air handlers.

Microbial contamination built up inside these units even when homeowners had them serviced regularly and cleaned the filters each month. These measures weren’t enough to stop the inside from looking like this:

The Hydrokleen Story: Who Are And What Makes Us Special

Sanders and his partners set out to do two things: Raise awareness about the risks a dirty mini split can pose. And eliminate that risk one cleaning at a time.

Our Research And Development

The HydroKleen team has always made research and development the top priority. The team spent years designing pumps and equipment strong enough to clean even the dirtiest coils and barrel fans inside your air handler without breaking or bending any parts.

Next, they developed a comprehensive water catchment system. After all, a cleaning wouldn’t work if the techs left dirty water or residue in people’s homes and on their stuff.

But the most challenging aspect was the cleaning solution.

It took years to develop a non-hazardous cleaning agent that could eradicate microbial contamination without affecting people or their pets in their homes. Or the environment at large.

Today, the cleaning solution is 100-percent non-toxic and non-allergenic. And it exceeds the world’s strictest national guidelines for health and safety standards.

With all this in place, HydroKleen made a considerable impact in their native Australia. The next step was taking it across the world.

Our Licensing Model

The HydroKleen team knew quality control was crucial as they expanded. After all, they couldn’t be in every office and home across their world. But, their licensees could. And they needed to uphold the same standards as the original team.

With that in mind, HydroKleen created a robust business model to maintain those high standards anywhere in the world.

With hours of online video training modules and dozens of guides, strategies, and resources, HydroKleen ensures that anyone with their name, logo, van, or equipment lives up to the company’s very high standards.

That brings us all the way from Molendinar in Australia to the Treasure Valley here in Idaho.

Mini Split Cleaning In Caldwell, ID

HydroKleen208 brings more than a decade of experience and research and development to cleaning the mini splits in Caldwell, ID homes and businesses. We offer our 100-percent satisfaction-guaranteed service to Boise Metro and Valley County. Click below or call us at (208) 205-9078.

HydroKleen’s Cleaners And Process Are 100% Environmentally-Safe

HydroKleen’s Cleaners And Process Are 100% Environmentally-Safe

HydroKleen’s Cleaners And Process Are 100% Environmentally-SafeIndoor air quality is one of the most common reasons people call HydroKleen for mini split cleaning. We know you’re concerned about the air you breathe and the water you drink. And that you care about your neighbors — and the environment at large — as well.

And, we designed our services with that in mind. The tools, processes, and cleaning agents we use for our mini split deep cleaning are 100-percent non-toxic and safe for the environment.

It’s part of our guarantee and commitment to your peace of mind.

This article talks about why we’re committed to being environmentally friendly and how we do it. If you still have questions when you’re done reading it, give us a call at (208) 779-5596. We’re happy to answer all your questions about keeping your home and community healthy and safe.

Why We’re Committed To Being Environmentally-Friendly

The biggest concern many of our customers have is indoor air quality. They call us because they’ve experienced symptoms of toxic mold syndrome. They’ve had asthma, COPD, or allergy flare-ups at home. Or, they’ve noticed that the air in their home doesn’t feel clean anymore.

We’re committed to helping them feel better. So, why would we add something harmful to our customers’ homes or environment?

Our commitment to your health extends well past your heating and cooling system. That’s why we never bring harmful chemicals into your home. Nor will our process spread any contaminants (chemical or organic) around your house. Or leave any behind.

Our Process Is Simple And Non-Invasive

How Often Should A Mini Split Be Cleaned? | HydroKleen208We spent more than a decade perfecting our process. From the start, we knew it was essential to remove all the contaminants and toxins building up in your air handlers without leaving any trace behind.

Our tools are specially made to reach between and behind the coils inside your air handler. This way, we can flush out every trace of dust, dirt, and organic contaminants. And, by using a liquid solution, we don’t “kick up” or spread anything through the air as we clean.

Finally, our catchment bags are custom-made to fit air handlers perfectly. They capture every drop of water that drains the unit during the cleaning. This way, we take everything harmful to your health out with us.


HydroKLeen’s Cleaners Are Non-Toxic And Safe

Our cleaning solutions are non-toxic, non-allergenic, biodegradable, and 100-percent safe for the environment. We don’t bring any harmful chemicals into your home. And, we don’t dump anything toxic into the ground, sewers, or water.

The Cleaning Solutions In Your Home

HydroKleen’s liquid cleaning agent doesn’t need nasty chemicals to do the job. Instead, its primary purpose is to break down dirt, skin flakes, and other tiny particles. These objects are somewhat greasy and tend to stick to the parts inside your system.

We combine this with equipment that sprays the water-based solution at just the right pressure to clean the coils, barrel fans, and other components thoroughly. But, that pressure is not so strong that it damages any parts. Nor will it cause the spray or particles to escape the cleaning area.

The HydroKleen Waste Water Is Safe And Easy To Dispose OfNon-Toxic Waste Water Removal

We take every last drop of dirty water from the cleaning out of your home in our customized catchment bags. Since the agent is non-toxic and biodegradable, we can empty them into any drain. Nothing in them damages pipes or sewers or contaminates water.

Mini Split Cleaning In McCall, ID

HydroKleen208 guarantees the best mini split cleaning for your home in McCall, ID or anywhere in the Treasure Valley. And we do it without bringing toxic chemicals into your home or community. To learn more or make an appointment, call (208) 779-5596.