When your air conditioner starts emitting strange or funky aromas, it is important to take notice because it could be a sign of a significant problem. Dismissing unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioning could lead to serious damage to your AC or even pose a risk to your health and safety.
Depending on what you're smelling, the culprit could be bacteria or fungus in the system. On the other hand, it could also sign something mechanically wrong with the AC. Some smells are a warning of a hazardous situation, including a natural gas leak.
At Edington Heating & Cooling Inc, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something peculiar coming from your air conditioner, chances are our team of talented specialists has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned our reputation as the go-to team for air conditioning repair in Troy.
What does a particular smell coming from your cooling system mean? Here are a few frequent air conditioner aromas 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 inside of it. When moisture builds inside the unit, it can produce an environment that is favorable to the spread of bacteria and fungus. This can result in a foul odor that is often described as smelling like feet.
Another likely explanation for an odor of stinky feet could be a dirty air filter. When your HVAC system's air filter becomes filled with dirt, dust and other debris, it can lead to low air quality and a musty smell that bears a resemblance to 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 restrict the formation of bacteria and fungus.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your air conditioner reeks of rotten eggs, it might be due to 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 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, get everyone out of the building and call your gas company or emergency services right away.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew
If your AC is giving off an odor like mildew, it might be due to a buildup of moisture inside the unit. When moisture forms inside a cooling system, it can promote the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty smell that resembles mildew.
Another possible cause of the smell could be a clogged air filter. Once the air filter becomes clogged, it can lead to poor air quality and a musty smell that is similar to mildew.
Regular air conditioning maintenance from Edington Heating & Cooling Inc can help prevent 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 unpleasant things is when an air conditioner smells like urine.
If your air conditioner reeks of urine, it could be traced back to a number of things. One likely cause is a buildup 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 emit a foul odor that resembles urine.
Another feasible 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 stopped up by debris, it can cause water to back up and collect inside the unit. This can generate a musty smell that can stink like urine.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If your air conditioning unit smells like burning plastic, it might be because of an electrical concern with the unit. After some time, the electrical parts in the air conditioning system can wear out or bust, which can make 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 trapped in the air conditioning system, it can become hot and result in a smell that reminds people of burning plastic.
If you think 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, there could be a natural gas leak in the unit or in another part of your home. Natural gas has a distinct aroma, often described as smelling of rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because this scent is put into natural gas so that it is easily detectable.
As stated earlier, a natural gas leak can be VERY harmful and requires immediate attention. If 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 right away.
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 strong odor that is sometimes described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can create 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 happen if an animal such as a mouse or bird becomes trapped inside the unit and dies.
To fix the issue, it's worthwhile to have a professional inspect and clean your cooling system. They should be able to determine 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 several reasons your air conditioner smells like vinegar. One possible cause of the smell could be a clogged air filter. Another potential cause of the smell may be a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that is similar to vinegar.
To fix the issue, it's essential to have a skilled specialist inspect 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 identify and repair any underlying issues with your air conditioning. Or, the mechanic can tell you if your air conditioning needs to be replaced.
If you are wanting to upgrade, Edington Heating & Cooling Inc can help select the ideal unit to fit your home’s needs. We provide dependable, expert air conditioner installation in Troy.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If the smell of chemicals is coming out of your air conditioning equipment, it could be caused by a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical aroma that is often described as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.
An additional possible source of the smell could be an issue with the electrical wiring or elements 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 issue, 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 dangerous and may require immediate attention to avoid injury or damage to your home.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at Edington Heating & Cooling Inc
If your air conditioner reeks and you aren’t able to fix it smoothly on your own, reach out to the cooling experts at Edington Heating & Cooling Inc. We have plenty of experience working with a wide variety of cooling systems. Our crew has fixed a multitude of air conditioning troubles throughout the years—including funky smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Troy!