When your air conditioner starts spewing odd or gross smells, it is a good idea to take notice because it could be a sign of a significant problem. Ignoring unpleasant smells coming from your cooling system can lead to serious damage to your HVAC system or even pose a risk to your health and safety.
Depending on the cause of the odor, the root of the problem might 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 harmful situation, such as a natural gas leak.
At Bell Air Conditioning Inc, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something odd coming from your air conditioner, you can bet that our team of talented professionals has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned the reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Temple/Belton .
What does a certain smell coming coming from your cooling system mean? Here are some frequent air conditioner smells and what they might mean:
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Feet
If your air conditioner smells like feet, it may be caused by a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the unit. When moisture collects inside the unit, it can produce an environment that is favorable to the development of bacteria and fungus. This can produce a foul odor that is often described as smelling like dirty feet.
Another potential reason for an odor of stinky feet might be a dirty air filter. When your HVAC system's air filter becomes filled with dirt, dust and other contaminants, it can cause substandard air quality and a musty smell that bears a resemblance to feet.
To correct this problem, 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 promote good air quality and protect against the development of bacteria and fungus.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your air conditioner reeks of rotten eggs, it might be the result of 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 very 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 right away.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew
If your air conditioner emits a smell like mildew, it could be due to a accumulation of moisture inside the unit. When moisture collects inside a cooling system, it can promote the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty stench that bears a resemblance to mildew.
Another possible reason for the smell may be a soiled air filter. If the air filter becomes clogged, it can cause poor air quality and a musty smell that has a resemblance to mildew.
Routine air conditioning maintenance from Bell Air Conditioning Inc can help prevent both of these problems, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a terrific way to keep your system working at its best!
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine
One of the most undesirable scenarios is when your AC smells like urine.
If your air conditioning smells like urine, it could be due to a variety of factors. One possible cause is a collection of bacteria or mold in the your HVAC. This can happen in the event that moisture accumulates in the system and creates a wet environment that can promote bacterial growth. The bacteria can emit a foul odor that is like urine.
Another feasible cause of the smell 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 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 air conditioning unit smells like burning plastic, this could indicate an electrical issue with the unit. After a while, the electrical elements in the air conditioning system can wear out or bust, which can produce a burning smell that resembles plastic.
Another possible reason for the smell could be a foreign object stuck in the the air conditioner. If something foreign gets caught in the air conditioning system, it can become hot and cause a smell similar to burning plastic.
If you think you smell burning plastic coming from your air conditioner, it’s essential 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 the surrounding area. Natural gas has a recognizable smell, often described as smelling similar to rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because an odor is incorporated into natural gas to make sure that it is easily detectable.
As mentioned before, a natural gas leak can be VERY harmful and needs 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 phone 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 causes an environment that is conducive to 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 cause a smell like dirty feet.
Another plausible explanation for the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material stuck in the air conditioning system. This often can take place if an animal such as a mouse or bird becomes trapped inside the unit and dies.
To fix the issue, it's often necessary to have a professional examine and clean your cooling system. They can identify the source of the smell and take the proper steps to remove any contaminants and prevent the problem from recurring.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
There could be several reasons a home's air conditioning system smells like vinegar. One possible cause might be a dirty air filter. One other likely cause of the smell may be a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can generate a chemical odor that is described as smelling of vinegar.
To fix the issue, it's essential to have a skilled tech 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 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, Bell Air Conditioning Inc can help find the right unit to fit your home’s needs. We deliver trustworthy, professional air conditioner installation in Temple/Belton .
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If the smell of chemicals is coming out of your air conditioning equipment, it could be due to a refrigerant leak. In a situation where the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that some people describe as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.
Another possible cause of the smell could be problems with the electrical wiring or parts inside the air conditioning system. This can cause a burning smell that resembles chemicals or burning plastic.
If you suspect a refrigerant leak or an electrical concern, 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 avoid injury or damage to your residence.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at Bell Air Conditioning Inc
If your air conditioner reeks and you aren’t able to fix it simply on your own, call the cooling professionals at Bell Air Conditioning Inc. We have plenty of experience working with a wide variety of air conditioning systems. Our crew has fixed a multitude of air conditioning troubles through the years—including strange smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Temple/Belton !