There are many things that can contribute to poor indoor air quality in our homes and offices but one that isn’t always easily identified is something known as Dirty Sock Syndrome (DSS). Yes, while this contributor to poor indoor air quality has a comical moniker, its effects can still be detrimental to our health. It’s also another reason why we at Purely Green provide mold testing in NH.
DSS is named after the pungent smell it gives off when present in a home or office’s heating system. The odor DSS emanates is similar to that given off by dirty socks, hence the peculiar, yet accurate name. DSS occurs in heating pumps and is most commonly noticed during the spring and fall seasons. It is a phenomenon that happens when heat pump coils aren’t able to reach high enough temperatures to “burn off” built up mold and bacteria. Mold and bacteria are prone to grow on the inner coils of heat pumps and, when left untreated, are able to build up significantly.
The Prevalence of DSS
During the spring and fall months, heating systems are generally switched between heating and cooling more often, leading to the heat pump’s inner coils’ inability to burn off built up mold and bacteria. The presence of this mold and bacteria has the same potentially harmful effects that all mold and bacteria have. It can lead to structural damage in the home as well as cause adverse health effects in humans with or without pre-existing health conditions like asthma or a weakened immune system. If you start to notice a foul odor emanating from your heating system, it is important to let Purely Green conduct professional mold testing in NH to determine the overall quality of your home or office’s indoor environment.
It seems that DSS is also aggravated and intensified by the presence of certain VOCs in the home and can therefore be unpredictable. While a home can have a heating system that is switched between heating and cooling a great deal, it may not have problematic VOCs in its environment so DSS isn’t guaranteed to occur. Another home can have a less active heating system but have an environment full of VOCs that will cause DSS to occur. This is why mold testing in NH is such an important service to take advantage of.
Purely Green Environmental recommends your air be tested. That is a service we provide. It is also important to have a qualified HVAC technician examine your heat pump’s actual coils. If an issue is uncovered, we’ll provide reputable resources that can clean your coils and ducts for you. As a follow up product to help maintain a healthy environment, we recommend that you install an inline air purification system (one on the return side near the coils, and one on the supply side) to inhibit future growth.
If you think that DSS might be occurring in your home and you’re interested in mold testing in NH, contact us at 888-291-3773.