When your air conditioner starts putting out strange or gross aromas, it is a good idea to take notice because it could be a sign of a significant problem. Ignoring unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioning may lead to additional damage to your AC or even pose a risk to your health and safety.
Depending on the cause of the odor, 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 air conditioner. Some smells are a sign of a hazardous situation, such as a natural gas leak.
At Speed Air, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something peculiar 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 first call for air conditioning repair in Tannersville.
What does a particular smell coming out of your cooling system 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 may be because of a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the system. When moisture collects inside the unit, it can create an environment that is beneficial to the growth of bacteria and fungus. This can result in a bad odor that is often described as smelling like dirty feet.
Another possible reason for the smell might be a dirty air filter. If an air filter becomes filled with dirt, dust and other particles, it can cause poor air quality and a musty smell that bears a resemblance to feet.
To fix this unpleasant situation, it's important to have an experienced specialist 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 development of bacteria and fungus.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your smells like rotten eggs, it might 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 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, 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 may be due to a accumulation of moisture inside the unit. When moisture forms inside an air conditioner, it can foster the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty smell that it similar to mildew.
Another possible reason for the smell may be a clogged air filter. Once the air filter becomes clogged, it can result in poor air quality and a musty smell that is similar to mildew.
Regular air conditioning maintenance from Speed Air can help protect against both of these situations, 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 distressing things is when the air coming out of your HVAC system smells like urine.
If your air conditioning equipment stinks like urine, it could could be caused by multiple factors. One possible cause is a buildup of bacteria or mold in the your cooling system. This can happen if moisture accumulates in the system and creates a damp environment that is conducive to bacterial growth. The bacteria can emit a foul odor that some people describe as smelling like urine.
Another possible cause of the stink could be a clogged 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 create a musty smell that resembles urine.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If your air conditioning unit smells like burning plastic, this could indicate an electrical issue with the unit. Over time, the electrical parts in the air conditioning system can wear out or break, which can produce a burning smell that resembles plastic.
Another possible root cause of the smell could be a foreign object stuck in the the air conditioner. If something foreign gets caught in the air conditioning system, it can heat up and emit a smell like burning plastic.
If you smell burning plastic coming from your AC unit, it’s essential to phone a professional right away.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioning smells like gas, it could be due to a natural gas leak in the unit or in your home. Natural gas has a distinct aroma, often described as smelling similar to rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because a smell is put into natural gas so that it is easily detectable.
As we said before, a natural gas leak can be VERY harmful and calls for immediate attention. Should you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, open windows and doors to air out the home, leave the building and contact 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, this could be a sign of 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 strong odor that can be described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can create a smell like dirty feet.
Another potential 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 becomes trapped inside the unit and dies.
To solve the issue, it's important to have a professional check out and clean your cooling system. They can identify the source of the smell and take the appropriate steps to remove any contaminants and keep the problem from recurring.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
There could be multiple reasons an AC smells like vinegar. One possible cause is a plugged air filter. A second possible cause of the smell may be a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that is described as smelling of vinegar.
To fix the issue, it's beneficial to have a skilled specialist examine and clean your air conditioning. If the odor lingers after the cleaning and exchanging the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to diagnose and repair any underlying issues with your air conditioning. Or, the tech can tell you if your air conditioning ought to be replaced.
If you are planning to upgrade, Speed Air can help locate the correct unit to fit your home’s needs. We deliver trustworthy, professional air conditioner installation in Tannersville.
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. If the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical scent that is often described as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.
Another possible reason for the smell could be a problem with the electrical wiring or parts inside the air conditioning system. This can result in a burning smell that is like chemicals or burning plastic.
If you suspect a refrigerant leak or an electrical concern, it's important to shut off your air conditioning system as soon as possible and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be dangerous and may require immediate attention to prevent injury or damage to your house.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at Speed Air
If your air conditioner smells nasty and you aren’t able to fix it quickly on your own, contact the cooling specialists at Speed Air. We have years of experience working with a wide variety of cooling systems. Our crew has fixed many air conditioning troubles over the years—including funky smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Tannersville!