When your air conditioner starts emitting weird or funky aromas, it is important to take notice because it could be a sign of a big problem. Ignoring unpleasant smells coming from your cooling system could lead to additional damage to your air conditioning or even pose a risk to your health and safety.
Depending on the cause of the odor, the cause could 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 even indicative of a hazardous problem, like a natural gas leak.
At B&D Air Conditioning, we are experienced at getting to the root cause of stinky smells. If you smell something peculiar coming from your air conditioner, there's a good chance our team of qualified specialists has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned a reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Safford.
What does a certain smell wafting out of your AC mean? Here are several 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 because of a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the unit. When moisture accumulates inside the unit, it can produce an environment that is beneficial to the growth of bacteria and fungus. This can produce a foul odor that is often described as smelling like feet.
Another potential cause of the smell might be a dirty air filter. When the air filter becomes filled with dirt, dust and other contaminants, it can cause low air quality and a musty smell that bears a resemblance to feet.
To solve this issue, 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 promote good air quality and prevent the formation of bacteria and fungus.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your air conditioning unit stinks like rotten eggs, it might be because of a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a distinctive 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 air out the area, make everyone leave the building and call your gas company or emergency services immediately.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew
If your cooling system smells like mildew, it might be due to a accumulation 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 cause of the smell might be a clogged air filter. If the air filter becomes clogged, it can cause poor air quality and a musty smell that resembles mildew.
Annual air conditioning maintenance from B&D Air Conditioning can help protect against both of these problems, 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 undesirable things is when an air conditioner smells like urine.
If your air conditioner stinks like urine, it could could be caused by multiple factors. One potential 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 is conducive to 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 blocked drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away correctly, but if the drain line becomes stopped up by debris, it can cause water to back up and accumulate inside the unit. This can generate a musty smell that resembles urine.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If your air conditioner smells like burning plastic, it might be because of an electrical issue with the unit. After a while, the electrical elements in the air conditioning system can wear out or malfunction, which can produce a burning smell that resembles plastic.
Another possible root cause of the smell could be a foreign object that somehow got in the HVAC system. If something foreign gets caught in the air conditioning system, it can heat up and result in a smell that reminds people of burning plastic.
If you smell burning plastic coming from your AC unit, it’s worthwhile to phone a professional right away.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your AC smells like gas, it could be because of a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a recognizable smell, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because an odor is added to natural gas so that it is easily detectable.
As stated previously, a natural gas leak can be VERY dangerous and requires immediate attention. When 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 contact your gas company or emergency services straight away.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish
When your air conditioner smell like fish, it could be due to a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture creates an environment that fosters the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a foul 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 in the air conditioning system. This often can happen if an animal such as a mouse or bird becomes trapped inside the unit and dies.
To fix the issue, it's often necessary to have a professional check out and clean your air conditioning system. They can identify the source of the smell and take the appropriate steps to remove any contaminants and prevent 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 clogged air filter. A second likely cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can make a chemical odor that is similar to vinegar.
To fix the issue, it's important to have a skilled tech examine and clean your air conditioning. If the odor persists after the cleaning and changing of the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to find and repair any underlying issues with your air conditioning. Or, the mechanic can tell you if your air conditioning should be replaced.
If you are planning to upgrade, B&D Air Conditioning can help select the right unit to fit your home’s needs. We provide trustworthy, professional air conditioner installation in Safford.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If the smell of chemicals is emitting out of your air conditioning equipment, it could be caused by 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.
An additional possible source of the smell could be problems with the electrical wiring or components 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 issue, it's important to shut down your air conditioning system right away and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be harmful and may require immediate attention to protect against injury or damage to your home.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at B&D Air Conditioning
If your air conditioner smells nasty and you aren’t able to fix it simply on your own, contact the cooling professionals at B&D Air Conditioning. We have lots of experience working with a wide variety of HVAC systems. Our crew has fixed many air conditioning problems through the years—including weird smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Safford!