I left chips in a bucket of water for weeks and no mold / foul smell as it could happen with bark.
I started growing orchids by buying closeout dendrobiums for a buck at the home improv store. the one that was potted in a chopped coco husk [not chips but slices] is the one that is thriving.
In my apt gets dry and hot in the winter.
old bark smells moldy, never get that with coco husks.
actually if potted in clay it can dry in a couple of days.