When your air conditioner starts putting out strange or funky smells, it is a good idea to take notice because it could be a sign of a big problem. Dismissing unpleasant smells coming from your cooling system may lead to additional damage to your air conditioning 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. Other times, it could also indicate something mechanically wrong with the air conditioner. Some smells are a sign of a hazardous problem, such as a natural gas leak.

At J & J Air Conditioning, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something weird coming from your AC, you can bet that our team of qualified professionals has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned a reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Eastland.

What does a particular smell coming coming from your air conditioning mean? Here are some typical air conditioner odors and what they may mean:

The Air Conditioning 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 collects inside the unit, it can create an environment that is conducive to the spread of bacteria and fungus. This can produce a foul odor that is often described as smelling like feet.

Another possible reason for the smell might be a dirty air filter. When your HVAC system's air filter becomes filled with dirt, dust and other contaminants, it can lead to substandard air quality and a musty smell that it similar to the smell of feet.

To fix this unpleasant situation, 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 on a regular basis to ensure good air quality and prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your smells like rotten eggs, it may be due to 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 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 ventilate 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 air conditioner is giving off an odor like mildew, it could be due to a accumulation of moisture inside the unit. When moisture collects inside a cooling system, it can cultivate the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty odor that bears a resemblance to mildew.

Another possible explanation for the smell might be a soiled air filter. If the air filter becomes clogged, it can result in poor air quality and a musty smell that is similar to mildew.

Routine air conditioning maintenance from J & J Air Conditioning can help avoid both of these problems, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a great way to keep your system working at its best!

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine

One of the most distressing scenarios is when an air conditioner smells like urine.

If your air conditioner stinks like urine, it could be due to a variety of factors. One likely cause is a collection of bacteria or mold in the your HVAC. This can happen if moisture accumulates in the system and creates a moist environment that favorable for bacterial growth. The bacteria can produce a foul odor that resembles urine.

Another possible cause of the stink could be a blocked 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 collect inside the unit. This can create a musty smell that is sometimes described as smelling of urine.

Your AC Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your air conditioning unit smells like burning plastic, it might be because of an electrical problem 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 cause of the smell could be a foreign object stuck in the unit. If something foreign gets caught in the air conditioning system, it can get hot and cause a smell that reminds people of burning plastic.

If you smell burning plastic coming from your cooling system, it’s essential to phone a professional right away.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner 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 of rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because this scent is put into natural gas so that it is easily detectable.

As mentioned 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 phone your gas company or emergency services straight away.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish

Should your AC smell like fish, this could be a sign of a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture produces an environment that is conducive to the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a disgusting odor that is sometimes 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 take place if an animal such as a mouse or bird is trapped inside the unit and dies.

To fix the issue, it's worthwhile to have a professional check out and clean your HVAC system. They will be able to identify the source of the smell and take the proper steps to remove any contaminants and keep the problem from recurring.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

There could be several reasons a home's air conditioning system smells like vinegar. One possible cause is a dirty air filter. A second likely cause of the smell may be a refrigerant leak. If 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 find and repair any underlying issues with your air conditioning. Or, they can tell you if your air conditioning ought to be replaced.

If you are wanting to upgrade, J & J Air Conditioning can help locate the correct unit to fit your home’s needs. We offer trustworthy, expert air conditioner installation in Eastland.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Chemicals

If the smell of chemicals is coming from your air conditioner, it could be caused by a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that some people describe 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 parts inside the air conditioning system. This can produce 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 down 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 protect against injury or damage to your home.

Strange Smell Coming from the Air Conditioning? Call the Pros at J & J Air Conditioning

If your air conditioner smells nasty and you aren’t able to fix it quickly on your own, call the cooling experts at J & J Air Conditioning. We have years of experience working with a wide variety of cooling systems. Our crew has fixed a multitude of air conditioning troubles throughout the years—including weird smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Eastland!