When your air conditioner starts spewing weird or unappealing smells, it is necessary to take notice because it could be a sign of a significant problem. Disregarding unpleasant smells coming from your cooling system may 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 cause may be bacteria or fungus in the system. On the other hand, it could also indicate something mechanically wrong with the AC. Some smells are a sign of a harmful problem, like a natural gas leak.
At Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something odd coming from your air conditioner, chances are our team of talented pros has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned the reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Wyandotte.
What does a particular smell wafting out of your AC mean? Here are some common air conditioner odors and what they might 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 collects inside the unit, it can establish 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 possible explanation for the smell may be a dirty air filter. When your HVAC system's air filter becomes choked with dirt, dust and other debris, it can cause low air quality and a musty smell that resembles feet.
To correct this unpleasant situation, 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 regularly to promote good air quality and protect against the formation of bacteria and fungus.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your smells like rotten eggs, it may be the result of a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a distinct 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 a situation that is extraordinarily 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, get everyone out of the building and call your gas company or emergency services immediately.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew
If your air conditioner emits a smell like mildew, it might be due to a buildup of moisture inside the unit. When moisture accumulates inside an air conditioner, it can foster the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty smell that it similar to mildew.
Another possible explanation for the smell may be a clogged air filter. When the air filter becomes clogged, it can cause poor air quality and a musty smell that resembles mildew.
Regular air conditioning maintenance from Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning can help protect against both of these situations, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a very good way to keep your system running at its best!
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine
One of the most unpleasant things is when your AC smells like urine.
If your air conditioning stinks like urine, it could be traced back to a number of things. One potential cause is a collection of bacteria or mold in the your cooling system. This can happen if moisture accumulates in the system and creates a damp environment that favorable for bacterial growth. The bacteria can produce a foul odor that some people describe as smelling like urine.
Another possible cause of the scent of urine 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 stopped up by debris, it can cause water to back up and accumulate inside the unit. This can create a musty smell that resembles urine.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If your air conditioning system smells like burning plastic, this could indicate an electrical issue with the unit. After a while, the electrical parts 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 the air conditioner. If something foreign gets caught in the air conditioning system, it can heat up and cause a smell similar to burning plastic.
If you notice something that smells like burning plastic coming from your air conditioner, it’s essential to contact a professional right away.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like gas, it could be due to a natural gas leak in the unit or in another part of your home. 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 to make it easily detectable.
As mentioned previously, a natural gas leak can be VERY dangerous and requires immediate attention. If 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 straight away.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish
Should your AC smell like fish, it could be due to a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture causes an environment that fosters the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a strong odor that is often described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can cause a smell like dirty feet.
Another possible 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 is trapped inside the unit and dies.
To fix the issue, it's worthwhile to have a professional examine and clean your air conditioning system. They can 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 an air conditioner smells like vinegar. One possible cause of the smell could be a plugged air filter. A second potential cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can make a chemical odor that is similar to vinegar.
To fix the issue, it's beneficial to have a skilled specialist examine and clean your air conditioning. If the odor lingers after the cleaning and replacing of 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 tech can tell you if your air conditioning should be replaced.
If you are wanting to upgrade, Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning can help select the ideal unit to fit your home’s needs. We offer reliable, expert air conditioner installation in Wyandotte.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If the smell of chemicals is coming from your air conditioner, it could be the result of a refrigerant leak. In a situation where the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical aroma that some people describe as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.
Another possible reason for the smell could be something wrong with the electrical wiring or components inside the air conditioning system. This can cause a burning smell that is like chemicals or burning plastic.
If you believe there is a refrigerant leak or an electrical problem, it's important to shut 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 house.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning
If your air conditioner reeks and you aren’t able to fix it smoothly on your own, contact the cooling professionals at Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning. We have lots of experience working with a wide variety of AC systems. Our crew has fixed countless air conditioning concerns over the years—including strange smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Wyandotte!