When your air conditioner starts emitting unusual or gross aromas, it is necessary to take notice because it could be a sign of a major problem. Ignoring unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioner can lead to further damage to your HVAC system or even pose a risk to your health and safety.
Depending on what you're smelling, the root of the problem might be bacteria or fungus in the system. On the other hand, it could also indicate something mechanically wrong with the AC. Some smells are a warning of a dangerous scenario, like a natural gas leak.
At E.B. Air, we have a nose for these sorts of things. If you smell something peculiar coming from your AC, chances are our team of skilled professionals has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned the reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in East Bernard.
What does a specific odor billowing from your cooling system mean? Here are a few common air conditioner smells and what they could mean:
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Feet
If your air conditioner smells like feet, it can be caused by a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the system. When moisture collects inside the unit, it can establish an environment that is favorable to the growth of bacteria and fungus. This can result in a bad odor that is often described as smelling like stinky feet.
Another likely explanation for the smell might be a dirty air filter. When your HVAC system's air filter becomes filled with dirt, dust and other debris, it can result in substandard air quality and a musty smell that it similar to the smell of feet.
To fix this dilemma, 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 on a regular basis to ensure good air quality and prevent the development of bacteria and fungus.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your air conditioning unit stinks like rotten eggs, it could be due to a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a recognizable odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur, that is added to it to make it easily detectable.
A natural gas leak is a situation that 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 air out the area, evacuate the building and call your gas company or emergency services right away.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew
If your cooling system smells like mildew, it may be due to a accumulation of moisture inside the unit. When moisture accumulates inside the air conditioning system, it can foster the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty smell that resembles mildew.
Another possible explanation for the smell could be a dirty air filter. When the air filter becomes clogged, it can lead to poor air quality and a musty smell that resembles mildew.
Routine air conditioning maintenance from E.B. Air can help prevent both of these situations, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a very good way to keep your system working at its best!
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine
One of the most undesirable scenarios is when your AC smells like urine.
If your air conditioning smells like urine, it could could be caused by multiple factors. One likely cause is a collection of bacteria or mold in the air conditioning system. This can happen in the event that moisture accumulates in the system and creates a moist environment that can promote bacterial growth. The bacteria can create a foul odor that is like urine.
Another possible cause of the scent of urine could be a blocked 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 accumulate 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 conditioning system smells like burning plastic, it might be because of an electrical problem with the unit. After a while, the electrical parts in the air conditioning system can wear out or malfunction, which can produce a burning smell that resembles plastic.
Another possible reason for the smell could be a foreign object stuck in the HVAC system. If something foreign gets caught in the air conditioning system, it can heat up and cause a smell like burning plastic.
If you smell burning plastic coming from your cooling system, it’s important to contact a professional right away.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like gas, there could be a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a distinct aroma, often described as smelling of rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because a smell is incorporated into natural gas to make sure that it is easily detectable.
As mentioned before, a natural gas leak can be VERY dangerous 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 conditioning equipment smell like fish, you may have a situation where there's a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture causes an environment that promotes the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a disgusting odor that is sometimes described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can cause a smell like dirty feet.
Another possible cause of the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material trapped within the air conditioning system. This often can take place 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 cooling system. They can identify 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 several reasons an air conditioner smells like vinegar. One possible cause of the smell could be a dirty air filter. One other possible cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can generate a chemical odor that is described as smelling of vinegar.
To fix the issue, it's essential to have a skilled mechanic look at and clean your air conditioning. If the odor persists after the cleaning and replacing of the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to find and repair any hidden issues with your air conditioning. Or, the tech can tell you if your air conditioning ought to be replaced.
If you are wanting to upgrade, E.B. Air can help find the correct unit to fit your home’s needs. We offer trustworthy, expert air conditioner installation in East Bernard.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If the smell of chemicals is coming out of your air conditioning equipment, it could be due to a refrigerant leak. In a situation where the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical scent that is often described as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.
An additional possible cause of the smell could be an issue with the electrical wiring or parts inside the air conditioning system. This can produce a burning smell that is like chemicals or burning plastic.
If you think your system has a refrigerant leak or an electrical concern, it's important to shut off your air conditioning system right away and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be dangerous and may require immediate attention to protect against injury or damage to your residence.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at E.B. Air
If your air conditioner reeks and you aren’t able to fix it quickly on your own, contact the cooling specialists at E.B. Air. We have years of experience working with a wide variety of air conditioning systems. Our crew has fixed countless air conditioning concerns throughout the years—including strange smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in East Bernard!