When your air conditioner starts putting out weird or gross odors, it is important to take notice because it could be a sign of a big problem. Ignoring unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioner may lead to further damage to your air conditioning or even pose a risk to your health and safety.
Depending on the smell, the root of the problem may be bacteria or fungus in the system. In other cases, it could also indicate something mechanically wrong with the air conditioner. Some smells are a warning of a harmful situation, like a natural gas leak.
At Solar Air Inc., we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something peculiar coming from your air conditioner, there's a good chance our team of talented pros has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned a reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Fort Lauderdale.
What does a particular smell coming coming from your air conditioning mean? Here are some common air conditioner odors and what they could 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 system. When moisture builds inside the unit, it can produce an environment that is favorable to the spread of bacteria and fungus. This can cause a nasty odor that is often described as smelling like stinky feet.
Another possible explanation for the stench of dirty feet may be a dirty air filter. If an 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 fix 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 exchange the air filter on a regular basis to ensure good air quality and protect against the growth of bacteria and fungus.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your air conditioning equipment smells like rotten eggs, it might 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 because of a substance added to it to make it easily detectable.
A natural gas leak 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 air out the area, evacuate the building and call your gas company or emergency services immediately.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew
If your AC emits a smell like mildew, it could be due to a buildup of moisture inside the unit. When moisture collects inside a cooling system, it can foster the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty stench that it similar to mildew.
Another possible explanation for the smell may be a clogged air filter. If the air filter becomes clogged, it can lead to poor air quality and a musty smell that has a resemblance to mildew.
Regular air conditioning maintenance from Solar Air Inc. can help protect against both of these situations, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a terrific way to keep your system running at its best!
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine
One of the most unpleasant scenarios is when your AC smells like urine.
If your air conditioning equipment reeks of 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 when moisture accumulates in the system and creates a wet environment that can promote bacterial growth. The bacteria can produce a foul odor that some people describe as smelling like urine.
Another potential cause of the stink could be a plugged drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away effectively, 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 can stink like urine.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If your air conditioner smells like burning plastic, a possible cause could be an electrical problem with the unit. After a while, the electrical elements in the air conditioning system can wear out or malfunction, which can produce a burning smell that resembles plastic.
Another possible cause of the smell could be a foreign object stuck in the the air conditioner. If something foreign gets stuck in the air conditioning system, it can become hot and emit a smell that reminds people of burning plastic.
If you think you smell burning plastic coming from your air conditioner, it’s essential to call a professional right away.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioning smells like gas, there could be a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a distinct smell, often described as smelling similar to rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because this scent is added to natural gas to make sure that it is easily detectable.
As we said previously, a natural gas leak can be VERY dangerous 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, evacuate the building and phone your gas company or emergency services as soon as possible.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish
When your air conditioner smell like fish, it could be due to a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture creates an environment that fosters the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a foul odor that is sometimes described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can create 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 take place if an animal such as a mouse or bird gets trapped inside the unit and dies.
To solve the issue, it's important to have a professional inspect and clean your cooling system. They will be able to find the source of the smell and take the appropriate steps to remove any contaminants and stop the problem from recurring.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
There could be several reasons a home's AC smells like vinegar. One possible cause is a clogged air filter. Another potential cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can make a chemical odor that is described as smelling of vinegar.
To fix the issue, it's essential to have a skilled specialist inspect and clean your air conditioning. If the odor continues after the cleaning and changing of the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to identify and repair any hidden issues with your air conditioning. Or, the tech can tell you if your air conditioning ought to be replaced.
If you are planning to upgrade, Solar Air Inc. can help locate the ideal unit to fit your home’s needs. We provide dependable, expert air conditioner installation in Fort Lauderdale.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If the smell of chemicals is emitting out of your air conditioning unit, it could be due to a refrigerant leak. In a situation where the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical aroma that is often described as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.
An additional possible reason for the smell could be an issue with the electrical wiring or elements inside the air conditioning system. This can result in a burning smell that it similar to chemicals or burning plastic.
If you believe there is a refrigerant leak or an electrical problem, it's important to shut down your air conditioning system immediately and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be dangerous and may require immediate attention to avoid injury or damage to your house.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at Solar Air Inc.
If your air conditioner reeks and you aren’t able to fix it quickly on your own, reach out to the cooling professionals at Solar Air Inc.. We have plenty of experience working with a wide variety of cooling 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 Fort Lauderdale!