When your air conditioner starts emitting odd or unappealing odors, it is a good idea to take notice because it could be a sign of a significant problem. Dismissing unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioning may lead to serious damage to your HVAC system or even pose a risk to your health and safety.
Depending on the smell, the culprit could be bacteria or fungus in the system. On the other hand, it could also indicate something mechanically wrong with the AC. Some smells are even indicative of an unsafe situation, such as a natural gas leak.
At Cooler Tymes LLC, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something odd coming from your AC, chances are our team of qualified professionals has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned our reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Litchfield Park.
What does a certain smell billowing out of your AC mean? Here are several typical air conditioner odors and what they might mean:
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Feet
If your air conditioner smells like feet, it can be because of a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the system. When moisture builds inside the unit, it can produce an environment that is conducive to the development of bacteria and fungus. This can cause a foul odor that is often described as smelling like stinky feet.
Another likely explanation for the stench of dirty feet might be a dirty air filter. When the air filter becomes filled with dirt, dust and other debris, it can result in low air quality and a musty smell that it similar to the smell of feet.
To fix this issue, it's important to have a professional inspect and clean your air conditioning system, including the evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain line. It's also important to change the air filter regularly to promote good air quality and prevent the formation of bacteria and fungus.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your air conditioning equipment reeks of rotten eggs, it may be due to a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a distinct 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 ventilate the area, get everyone out of the building and call your gas company or emergency services immediately.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew
If your cooling system emits a smell like mildew, it could be due to a collection of moisture inside the unit. When moisture accumulates inside the air conditioning system, it can cultivate the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty stench that it similar to mildew.
Another possible explanation for the smell might be a clogged air filter. Once the air filter becomes clogged, it can lead to poor air quality and a musty smell that has a resemblance to mildew.
Regular air conditioning maintenance from Cooler Tymes LLC can help avoid both of these issues, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a very good way to keep your system operating at its best!
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine
One of the most distressing things is when the air coming out of your HVAC system smells like urine.
If your air conditioning reeks of urine, it could could be caused by multiple factors. One likely cause is a collection of bacteria or mold in the your cooling system. This can happen in the event that moisture accumulates in the system and creates a wet environment that can promote bacterial growth. The bacteria can emit a foul odor that is like urine.
Another potential cause of the smell could be a plugged drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away properly, but if the drain line becomes clogged with debris, it can cause water to back up and build up inside the unit. This can produce a musty smell that resembles urine.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If your air conditioning unit smells like burning plastic, a possible cause could be an electrical concern with the unit. After some time, the electrical elements in the air conditioning system can wear out or bust, which can make a burning smell that resembles plastic.
Another possible cause of the smell could be a foreign object that somehow got in the the air conditioner. If something foreign gets stuck in the air conditioning system, it can become hot and emit a smell that reminds people of burning plastic.
If you smell burning plastic coming from your air conditioner, it’s essential to call a professional right away.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your AC smells like gas, it could be due to a natural gas leak in the unit or in your home. Natural gas has a distinctive odor, often described as smelling of rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because this scent is incorporated into natural gas so that it is easily detectable.
As stated previously, a natural gas leak can be VERY harmful and calls for immediate attention. When you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, open windows and doors to air out the home, evacuate the building and call your gas company or emergency services as soon as possible.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish
When your air conditioner smell like fish, this could be a sign of a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture produces an environment that promotes the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a foul odor that can be described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can create a smell like dirty feet.
Another plausible explanation for the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material caught within the air conditioning system. This often can happen if an animal such as a mouse or bird is trapped inside the unit and dies.
To fix the issue, it's worthwhile to have a professional check out and clean your air conditioning system. They should be able to identify the source of the smell and take the appropriate steps to remove any contaminants and stop the problem from recurring.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
There could be numerous reasons a home's air conditioning system smells like vinegar. One possible cause is a dirty air filter. Another possible cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. Sometimes after the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that is similar to vinegar.
To fix the issue, it's beneficial to have a skilled specialist look at and clean your air conditioning. If the odor continues after the cleaning and exchanging the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to diagnose and repair any hidden issues with your air conditioning. Or, the mechanic can tell you if your air conditioning needs to be replaced.
If you are looking to upgrade, Cooler Tymes LLC can help find the right unit to fit your home’s needs. We deliver dependable, skilled air conditioner installation in Litchfield Park.
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 odor that is often described as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.
Another possible cause of the smell could be an issue with the electrical wiring or components inside the air conditioning system. This can cause a burning smell that it similar to chemicals or burning plastic.
If you believe there is a refrigerant leak or an electrical issue, it's important to shut off your air conditioning system immediately and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be dangerous and may require immediate attention to avoid injury or damage to your residence.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at Cooler Tymes LLC
If your air conditioner reeks and you aren’t able to fix it quickly on your own, call the cooling specialists at Cooler Tymes LLC. We have years of experience working with a wide variety of air conditioning systems. Our crew has fixed many air conditioning problems over the years—including funky smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Litchfield Park!