When your air conditioner starts spewing unusual or funky odors, it is important to take notice because it could be a sign of a significant problem. Ignoring unpleasant smells coming from your cooling system may lead to further damage to your AC or even pose a risk to your health and safety.
Depending on the cause of the odor, the culprit might be bacteria or fungus in the system. Other times, it could also sign something mechanically wrong with the air conditioning system. Some smells are even indicative of a harmful situation, such as a natural gas leak.
At Myers Furnace Company, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something odd coming from your cooling system, chances are our team of talented specialists has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned a reputation as the first call for air conditioning repair in Belton.
What does a certain smell wafting out of your AC mean? Here are some 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 caused by a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the system. When moisture builds inside the unit, it can create an environment that is favorable to the growth of bacteria and fungus. This can result in a nasty odor that is often described as smelling like stinky feet.
Another possible reason for an odor of stinky feet might be a dirty air filter. If an air filter becomes clogged with dirt, dust and other contaminants, it can cause low air quality and a musty smell that it similar to the smell of feet.
To correct this issue, it's important to have a quality service tech inspect and clean your air conditioning system, including the evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain line. It's also important to replace the air filter regularly to provide good air quality and restrict the formation of bacteria and fungus.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your air conditioner stinks like rotten eggs, it may be caused by 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 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 at once.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew
If your AC emits a smell like mildew, it could be due to a collection of moisture inside the unit. When moisture collects inside the air conditioning system, it can cultivate the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty smell that bears a resemblance to mildew.
Another possible explanation for the smell might be a clogged air filter. When 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 Myers Furnace Company can help avoid both of these situations, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a great way to keep your system operating at its best!
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine
One of the most distressing things is when the air coming out of your HVAC system smells like urine.
If your air conditioning equipment smells like urine, it could be due to a variety of factors. One likely cause is a collection of bacteria or mold in the your HVAC. This can happen if moisture accumulates in the system and creates a wet 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 properly, 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 conditioner smells like burning plastic, this could indicate an electrical problem with the unit. After a while, the electrical elements in the air conditioning system can wear out or malfunction, which can make a burning smell that resembles plastic.
Another possible root cause of 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 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 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 your home. Natural gas has a distinctive odor, often described as smelling similar to rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because an odor is added to natural gas to make it easily detectable.
As stated 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, evacuate the building and contact your gas company or emergency services straight away.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish
When your AC smell like fish, you may have a situation where there's a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture produces an environment that promotes 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 result in a smell like dirty feet.
Another possible cause of the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material stuck within 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 correct the issue, it's worthwhile to have a professional check out and clean your air conditioning system. They can identify the source of the smell and take the appropriate steps to remove any contaminants and keep the problem from recurring.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
There could be numerous reasons your AC smells like vinegar. One possible cause is a dirty air filter. One other possible cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that is similar to 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 identify and repair any hidden issues with your air conditioning. Or, the mechanic can tell you if your air conditioning should be replaced.
If you are planning to upgrade, Myers Furnace Company can help locate the ideal unit to fit your home’s needs. We provide dependable, skilled air conditioner installation in Belton.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If the smell of chemicals is coming from your air conditioner, it could be caused by a refrigerant leak. In a situation where the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that is often described as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.
An additional possible reason for the smell could be something wrong 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 believe there is a refrigerant leak or an electrical problem, it's important to turn off your air conditioning system as soon as possible 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 residence.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at Myers Furnace Company
If your air conditioner reeks and you aren’t able to fix it easily on your own, call the cooling professionals at Myers Furnace Company. We have lots of experience working with a wide variety of cooling systems. Our crew has fixed countless air conditioning problems through the years—including strange smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Belton!