6 Common Air Conditioner Smells Answered and How to Repair the Issue

April 21, 2021

When your air conditioner is clean and working right, you shouldn’t be smelling anything strange. Abnormal air conditioner noises and strange smells are a hint that something is out of whack. If your air conditioner is aging or you haven’t had maintenance completed recently, they can be an obvious sign you need pro air conditioning repair in Belton.

Here are six of the top air conditioner smells and how you can solve them.

1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, especially a chemical scent, isn’t a good sign. You could also report your:

  • Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
  • Home air conditioner smells sweet

These sweet, chemical odors are typically a clue that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak. Your system relies on this gas to shift heat through copper coils, which can wear out as time passes.

4 Clues You Are Dealing with a Refrigerant Leak

Aside from the weird smell, here are four other clues that you are experiencing a refrigerant leak.

  1. Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is operating.
  2. Frost on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
  3. Difficulty keeping your residence cool or reaching your set temperature.
  4. Higher energy bills.

How You Can Fix It

A refrigerant leak calls for skilled repairs from a heating and cooling company like Bell Air Conditioning Inc.. Your cooling pro will locate and mend the leak before recharging your AC with refrigerant.

Repairing a refrigerant leak often costs between $225 and $1,600, per nationwide averages compiled by HomeAdvisor. Your total cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how many hours it requires to repair.

If your air conditioner was installed prior to 2010, it’s likely it runs on R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made because of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Consequently, repairs can be significantly expensive so it may be wisest to do air conditioning installation in this situation.

2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s likely nothing wrong with it. But there’s a significant likelihood you have a natural gas leak in your house. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to warn you when there’s a leak, because the gas can be fatal in large amounts.

How You Can Repair It

If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we recommend:

  • Shutting off your gas supply.
  • Opening windows.
  • Evacuating your home promptly.
  • Contacting your gas company immediately.

3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty

Homeowners who contact us to report this problem frequently say their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s on. Also known as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is typically linked to a grubby evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Excess water can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most often seen in climates where you use heating at night and during the morning before transitioning to cooling later on.

How to Solve It

The best method for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to frequently change your air filter and schedule regular air conditioning maintenance with Bell Air Conditioning Inc.. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unclogged, as standing water can also create nasty odors.

4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

If you are experiencing air conditioner mildew smell or an acidic, vinegar-like odor, it could be caused by several issues, such as:

  • A dirty filter
  • Excess condensation
  • Plugged condensate pan or drain line
  • Moldy air conditioner or ductwork

How to Repair It

Examine your filter first. If you haven’t changed it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, you should replace it. If that doesn’t fix the issue, contact Bell Air Conditioning Inc. at 254-307-9572.

5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic

If you’re dealing with an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be several things wrong. These entail:

  • Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
  • Motor that should have lubrication.
  • Broken fan belt.
  • Electrical malfunctions.

Electrical malfunctions should be inspected quickly to stop a fire. If you detect burning plastic when your air conditioner is on, shut it off and reach us at 254-307-9572 immediately.

6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee

A strong ammonia odor means there may be mold growing inside your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold produces.

How to Repair It

Mycotoxins are hazardous to your wellness. That’s why it’s important to have a pro like Bell Air Conditioning Inc. examine your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when necessary.

Our Specialists Can Eliminate Weird Air Conditioner Smells Quickly

You deserve to be comfortable in your home and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you need relief from your smelly air conditioner, reach us at 254-307-9572. We’ll determine the problem quickly and take care of it at a competitive.