When your air conditioner starts spewing strange or unappealing aromas, it is necessary to take notice because it could be a sign of a big problem. Ignoring unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioner may 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 conditioning system. Some smells are even indicative of a hazardous problem, such as a natural gas leak.
At J & J Air Conditioning, we are experienced at getting to the root cause of stinky smells. If you smell something weird coming from your air conditioner, there's a good chance 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 Eastland.
What does a specific odor wafting coming from your AC mean? Here are several typical air conditioner odors and what they may mean:
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Feet
If your air conditioner smells like feet, it may be due to a buildup of bacteria or fungus inside of it. When moisture builds inside the unit, it can create an environment that is beneficial to the growth of bacteria and fungus. This can result in a foul odor that is often described as smelling like stinky feet.
Another potential explanation for the smell may be a dirty air filter. When the air filter becomes choked with dirt, dust and other particles, it can cause substandard air quality and a musty smell that it similar to the smell of feet.
To correct this problem, 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 change the air filter routinely to promote good air quality and restrict the growth of bacteria and fungus.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your air conditioner stinks like rotten eggs, it could be because 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 can be extraordinarily 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, 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 collects inside an air conditioner, it can cultivate the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty odor that resembles mildew.
Another possible cause of 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 resembles mildew.
Regular air conditioning maintenance from J & J Air Conditioning can help prevent both of these issues, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a great way to keep your system running at its best!
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine
One of the most distressing situations is when your AC smells like urine.
If your air conditioning equipment stinks like urine, it could be traced back to a number of things. One likely cause is a collection of bacteria or mold in the your cooling system. This can happen in the event that moisture accumulates in the system and creates a damp environment that can promote bacterial growth. The bacteria can produce a foul odor that some people describe as smelling like 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 properly, but if the drain line becomes clogged with debris, it can cause water to back up and accumulate inside the unit. This can create a musty smell that is sometimes described as smelling of urine.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If your AC smells like burning plastic, this could indicate an electrical concern with the unit. After some time, the electrical elements 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 that somehow got in the HVAC system. If something foreign gets caught in the air conditioning system, it can become hot and emit a smell similar to burning plastic.
If you notice something that smells like burning plastic coming from your AC unit, it’s worthwhile to call 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 distinct odor, often described as smelling of rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because a smell is incorporated into natural gas to make sure that it is easily detectable.
As mentioned previously, a natural gas leak can be VERY dangerous 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, get everyone out of the building and contact your gas company or emergency services as soon as possible.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish
Should 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 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 stuck 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 correct the issue, it's often necessary to have a professional inspect and clean your cooling system. They will be able to identify the source of the smell and take the correct 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 dirty air filter. Another potential cause of the smell may be a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that resembles vinegar.
To fix the issue, it's essential to have a skilled mechanic examine 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 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, J & J Air Conditioning can help select the correct unit to fit your home’s needs. We provide reliable, expert air conditioner installation in Eastland.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If the smell of chemicals is coming out of your air conditioning equipment, it could be the result of a refrigerant leak. If 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 hardware inside the air conditioning system. This can cause 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 hazardous and may require immediate attention to protect against injury or damage to your home.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at J & J Air Conditioning
If your air conditioner stinks and you aren’t able to fix it simply on your own, call the cooling experts at J & J Air Conditioning. We have lots of experience working with a wide variety of cooling systems. Our crew has fixed many air conditioning troubles over the years—including weird smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Eastland!