Q - Last week when I came home from work my house smelled like a sour locker room.

It didn't smell like that when I left in the morning and I didn't have any piles of laundry lying about.

Yuck. Help.

Anne in Marrietta

A - Ahhhhh, welcome to summer.

OK, maybe not summer, but warmer weather in any case.

You remember in the fall when your furnace kicked on for the first time and you knew it because you could smell the faint aroma of the dust being burnt from your system?

Well, this is your air conditioners equivalent. It even has a name.

Dirty Sock Syndrome - and it no doubt occurred when warmer temps earlier in the week kicked your a/c unit on.

D.S.S. occurs when bacteria forms on your coils (ok - not your coils but you're a/c's coils). When the a/c kicks on the air blown across those dirty coils picks up the odor and carries it all over your home.

Unlike your furnace smell, which goes away after its first use of the season, your Dirty Sock Syndrome will not disappear over time.

You will need to call an hvac technician out to your home for a thorough cleaning and perhaps a coating for your coils. This requires more than a spritzing and wipe down, which is why I recommend a pro come to your house for service.

Every hvac pro in the Metro area will understand what your issues are when you say the words 'Dirty Sock Syndrome' so feel free to speak the lingo, as it were.

While they are there for your D.S.S. have them run a check-up on your a/c system for the upcoming season.

Then all will be well for your summer of indoor comfort.