When your air conditioner starts spewing weird or unappealing smells, it is important to take notice because it could be a sign of a major problem. Dismissing unpleasant smells coming from your cooling system can lead to further damage to your air conditioning or even pose a risk to your health and safety.

Depending on what you're smelling, the root of the problem could be bacteria or fungus in the system. On the other hand, it could also indicate something mechanically wrong with the air conditioning system. Some smells are a warning of a dangerous scenario, such as a natural gas leak.

At County Line Mechanical LLC, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something odd coming from your cooling system, chances are our team of qualified specialists has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned the reputation as the first call for air conditioning repair in Reinholds.

What does a specific odor wafting out of your cooling system mean? Here are several frequent air conditioner smells and what they might mean:

Your AC Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it might be caused by a buildup of bacteria or fungus inside of it. When moisture builds inside the unit, it can establish 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 possible explanation for the smell may be a dirty air filter. When your HVAC system's air filter becomes choked with dirt, dust and other particles, it can result in poor air quality and a musty smell that it similar to the smell of feet.

To fix this issue, 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 replace the air filter on a regular basis to ensure good air quality and restrict the formation of bacteria and fungus.

Your AC Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your stinks like rotten eggs, it may be the result of 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, 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, evacuate the building and call your gas company or emergency services at once.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Mildew

If your cooling system is giving off an odor like mildew, it may be due to a accumulation of moisture inside the unit. When moisture accumulates inside a cooling system, it can cultivate the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty stench that resembles mildew.

Another possible cause of the smell may be a clogged air filter. When the air filter becomes clogged, it can cause poor air quality and a musty smell that resembles mildew.

Regular air conditioning maintenance from County Line Mechanical LLC can help protect against 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!

Your AC Smells Like Urine

One of the most unpleasant situations is when the air coming out of your HVAC system smells like urine.

If your air conditioner stinks like urine, it could be traced back to a number of things. One potential 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 wet environment that can promote bacterial growth. The bacteria can create a foul odor that is like urine.

Another potential cause of the stink 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 choked with debris, it can cause water to back up and build up inside the unit. This can generate a musty smell that can stink like urine.

Your AC Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your AC smells like burning plastic, this could indicate an electrical problem with the unit. Over time, the electrical components in the air conditioning system can wear out or break, which can produce a burning smell that resembles plastic.

Another possible reason for the smell could be a foreign object stuck in the unit. If something foreign gets caught in the air conditioning system, it can become hot and cause a smell similar to burning plastic.

If you smell burning plastic coming from your air conditioner, it’s worthwhile to contact 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 your home. Natural gas has a distinct aroma, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because an odor is incorporated into natural gas to make it easily detectable.

As stated previously, a natural gas leak can be VERY harmful and requires 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 phone your gas company or emergency services right away.

Your AC Smells Like Fish

If your air conditioner smell like fish, you may have a situation where there's 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 strong odor that is often described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can result in 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 is possible if an animal such as a mouse or bird is trapped inside the unit and dies.

To solve the issue, it's worthwhile to have a professional examine and clean your air conditioning system. They can determine the source of the smell and take the correct steps to remove any contaminants and keep the problem from recurring.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Vinegar

There could be multiple reasons an air conditioning system smells like vinegar. One possible cause of the smell could be a clogged air filter. One other possible cause of the smell could be a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can generate a chemical odor that resembles vinegar.

To fix the issue, it's beneficial to have a skilled mechanic inspect and clean your air conditioning.  If the odor lingers after the cleaning and replacing of the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to identify and repair any hidden issues with your air conditioning. Or, they can tell you if your air conditioning needs to be replaced.

If you are planning to upgrade, County Line Mechanical LLC can help select the correct unit to fit your home’s needs. We offer dependable, expert air conditioner installation in Reinholds.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Chemicals

If the smell of chemicals is coming from your air conditioning unit, 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.

Another possible source of the smell could be a problem with the electrical wiring or elements inside the air conditioning system. This can result in 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 protect against injury or damage to your residence.

A Nasty Odor Coming from the Air Conditioning? Call the Pros at County Line Mechanical LLC

If your air conditioner smells nasty and you aren’t able to fix it smoothly on your own, reach out to the cooling specialists at County Line Mechanical LLC. We have years of experience working with a wide variety of AC systems. Our crew has fixed countless air conditioning problems over the years—including weird smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Reinholds!