Why Your Air Conditioner Smells and How to Fix It
When your air conditioner starts spewing weird or gross odors, it is important to take notice because it could be a sign of a major problem. Dismissing unpleasant smells coming from your cooling system may lead to additional damage to your AC or even pose a risk to your health and safety.
Depending on the smell, the cause could be bacteria or fungus in the system. Other times, it could also indicate something mechanically wrong with the air conditioner. Some smells are a warning of an unsafe scenario, like a natural gas leak.
At Abilene Air-Tech Inc, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something odd coming from your cooling system, there’s a good chance our team of skilled professionals has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned a reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Abilene.
What does a specific odor wafting coming from your air conditioning mean? Here are a few typical air conditioner smells and what they may mean:
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Feet
If your air conditioner smells like feet, it can be due to a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the system. When moisture accumulates inside the unit, it can create an environment that is favorable to the spread of bacteria and fungus. This can cause a foul odor that is often described as smelling like stinky feet.
Another potential reason for the stench of dirty feet may be a dirty air filter. If an air filter becomes filled with dirt, dust and other contaminants, it can cause substandard air quality and a musty smell that bears a resemblance to feet.
To correct this unpleasant situation, it’s important to have a quality service tech inspect and clean your air conditioning system, including the evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain line. It’s also important to replace the air filter regularly to ensure good air quality and protect against the growth of bacteria and fungus.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, it might be caused by a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a unique odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur, which is because of a substance added to it to make it easily detectable.
A natural gas leak is extremely dangerous and requires immediate attention. If you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, immediately open windows and doors to allow gas to escape the area, evacuate the building and call your gas company or emergency services immediately.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew
If your air conditioner is giving off an odor like mildew, it might be due to a collection of moisture inside the unit. When moisture forms inside the air conditioning system, it can cultivate the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty smell that it similar to mildew.
Another possible reason for the smell might be a clogged air filter. If the air filter becomes clogged, it can lead to poor air quality and a musty smell that is similar to mildew.
Routine air conditioning maintenance from Abilene Air-Tech Inc can help protect against both of these problems, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a terrific way to keep your system operating at its best!
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine
One of the most undesirable situations is when your AC smells like urine.
If your air conditioner smells like urine, it could could be caused by multiple factors. One potential cause is a accumulation of bacteria or mold in the air conditioning system. This can happen when moisture accumulates in the system and creates a moist environment that can promote bacterial growth. The bacteria can create a foul odor that some people describe as smelling like urine.
Another feasible cause of the smell could be a plugged drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away correctly, but if the drain line becomes filled with debris, it can cause water to back up and build up inside the unit. This can produce a musty smell that is sometimes described as smelling of urine.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If your air conditioner smells like burning plastic, a possible cause could be an electrical problem with the unit. Over time, the electrical components in the air conditioning system can wear out or break, which can make a burning smell that resembles plastic.
Another possible root cause of the smell could be a foreign object that somehow got in the unit. If something foreign gets caught in the air conditioning system, it can heat up and emit a smell similar to burning plastic.
If you notice something that smells like burning plastic coming from your AC unit, it’s worthwhile to call a professional right away.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioning smells like gas, it could be because of a natural gas leak in the unit or in another part of your home. Natural gas has a distinctive odor, often described as smelling similar to rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because an odor is put into natural gas to make it easily detectable.
As mentioned previously, a natural gas leak can be VERY hazardous and requires immediate attention. Should you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, open windows and doors to air out the home, get everyone out of the building and phone your gas company or emergency services right away.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish
When your AC smell like fish, this could be a sign of a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture causes an environment that fosters the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a foul odor that is often described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can result in a smell like dirty feet.
Another possible cause of the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material caught within the air conditioning system. This often can take place if an animal such as a mouse or bird gets trapped inside the unit and dies.
To fix the issue, it’s often necessary to have a professional check out and clean your HVAC system. They should be able to find the source of the smell and take the correct steps to remove any contaminants and prevent the problem from recurring.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
There could be multiple reasons a home’s air conditioner smells like vinegar. One possible cause is a plugged air filter. A second likely cause of the smell may be a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can make a chemical odor that is described as smelling of vinegar.
To fix the issue, it’s important to have a skilled mechanic examine and clean your air conditioning. If the odor lingers after the cleaning and replacing of the air filter, it’s best to reach back out to a professional to diagnose and repair any persistant issues with your air conditioning. Or, they can tell you if your air conditioning ought to be replaced.
If you are looking to upgrade, Abilene Air-Tech Inc can help select the right unit to fit your home’s needs. We provide reliable, professional air conditioner installation in Abilene.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If the smell of chemicals is coming out of your air conditioning unit, it could be the result of a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical scent that some people describe as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.
Another possible source of the smell could be an issue with the electrical wiring or hardware inside the air conditioning system. This can result in a burning smell that is like chemicals or burning plastic.
If you believe there is a refrigerant leak or an electrical problem, it’s important to turn off your air conditioning system immediately and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be hazardous and may require immediate attention to protect against injury or damage to your house.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at Abilene Air-Tech Inc
If your air conditioner stinks and you aren’t able to fix it simply on your own, reach out to the cooling professionals at Abilene Air-Tech Inc. We have lots of experience working with a wide variety of air conditioning systems. Our crew has fixed countless air conditioning concerns through the years—including weird smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Abilene!
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