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. Dismissing unpleasant smells coming from your cooling system can 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 culprit might be bacteria or fungus in the system. Other times, it could also signal something mechanically wrong with the AC. Some smells are a sign of a harmful situation, like a natural gas leak.
At County Line Mechanical LLC, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something weird coming from your air conditioner, there's a good chance our team of skilled specialists has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned the reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Reinholds.
What does a particular smell billowing out of your air conditioning mean? Here are several common air conditioner smells and what they may 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 system. When moisture builds inside the unit, it can establish an environment that is beneficial to the spread of bacteria and fungus. This can produce a bad odor that is often described as smelling like dirty feet.
Another likely reason for the stench of dirty feet might be a dirty air filter. When your HVAC system's air filter becomes clogged with dirt, dust and other particles, it can cause low air quality and a musty smell that it similar to the smell of feet.
To fix this dilemma, it's important to have a professional 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 routinely to provide 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 may 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 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 could be due to a accumulation of moisture inside the unit. When moisture forms inside an air conditioner, it can promote the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty stench that resembles mildew.
Another possible cause of the smell might be a dirty air filter. Once the air filter becomes clogged, it can cause poor air quality and a musty smell that is similar to mildew.
Routine air conditioning maintenance from County Line Mechanical LLC can help avoid both of these issues, 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 unpleasant scenarios is when an air conditioner smells like urine.
If your air conditioning smells like urine, it could be traced back to a number of things. One potential cause is a accumulation of bacteria or mold in the air conditioning system. This can happen in the event that moisture accumulates in the system and creates a damp environment that favorable for bacterial growth. The bacteria can create a foul odor that resembles urine.
Another potential cause of the scent of urine could be a plugged drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away effectively, but if the drain line becomes choked 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 unit smells like burning plastic, this could indicate an electrical concern with the unit. After a while, the electrical elements in the air conditioning system can wear out or bust, which can make a burning smell that resembles plastic.
Another possible root cause of the smell could be a foreign object lodged in the the air conditioner. If something foreign gets stuck in the air conditioning system, it can get hot and emit a smell similar to burning plastic.
If you smell burning plastic coming from your air conditioner, it’s essential to phone a professional right away.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like gas, it could be because of a natural gas leak in the unit or in another part of your home. Natural gas has a distinctive smell, often described as smelling similar to rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because a smell is put into natural gas to make sure that it is easily detectable.
As mentioned previously, a natural gas leak can be VERY harmful and needs 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 AC 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 promotes the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a foul odor that is often 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 caught inside 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 important to have a professional examine and clean your cooling system. They will be able to determine the source of the smell and take the appropriate steps to remove any contaminants and stop the problem from recurring.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
There could be numerous reasons your air conditioner smells like vinegar. One possible cause might be a plugged air filter. A second possible cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can make a chemical odor that resembles vinegar.
To fix the issue, it's essential to have a skilled specialist look at and clean your air conditioning. If the odor continues after the cleaning and exchanging the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to diagnose and repair any hidden issues with your air conditioning. Or, the mechanic can tell you if your air conditioning needs to be replaced.
If you are looking to upgrade, County Line Mechanical LLC can help find the ideal unit to fit your home’s needs. We provide dependable, skilled air conditioner installation in Reinholds.
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. When the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that people sometimes describe as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.
Another possible source of the smell could be an issue 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 issue, it's important to turn off your air conditioning system right away and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be hazardous and may require immediate attention to prevent injury or damage to your home.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at County Line Mechanical LLC
If your air conditioner reeks and you aren’t able to fix it simply on your own, call the cooling experts at County Line Mechanical LLC. We have years of experience working with a wide variety of air conditioning systems. Our crew has fixed many air conditioning troubles over the years—including funky smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Reinholds!