When your air conditioner starts spewing unusual or gross smells, it is necessary to take notice because it could be a sign of a big problem. Dismissing unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioning may lead to further damage to your AC or even pose a risk to your health and safety.

Depending on what you’re smelling, the culprit could be bacteria or fungus in the system. Other times, it could also sign something mechanically wrong with the air conditioning system. Some smells are a warning of a hazardous scenario, like a natural gas leak.

At Myers Furnace Company, we are experienced at getting to the root cause of stinky smells. If you smell something peculiar coming from your AC, 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 Belton.

What does a specific odor coming out of your air conditioning mean? Here are a few common air conditioner aromas and what they could mean:

Your AC Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it could be due to a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the system. When moisture builds inside the unit, it can create an environment that is beneficial to the growth of bacteria and fungus. This can produce a bad odor that is often described as smelling like feet.

Another potential cause of the stench of dirty feet might be a dirty air filter. When the air filter becomes choked with dirt, dust and other particles, it can result in poor air quality and a musty smell that resembles feet.

To fix 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 routinely to provide good air quality and protect against the growth of bacteria and fungus.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your air conditioning equipment reeks of rotten eggs, it might be because 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 can be 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.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Mildew

If your AC emits a smell like mildew, it may be due to a collection of moisture inside the unit. When moisture forms 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 reason for the smell could be a soiled air filter. If the air filter becomes clogged, it can cause poor air quality and a musty smell that is similar to mildew.

Routine air conditioning maintenance from Myers Furnace Company can help avoid both of these problems, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a very good way to keep your system working at its best!

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Urine

One of the most unpleasant scenarios is when an air conditioner smells like urine.

If your air conditioner smells like urine, it could could be caused by multiple factors. One potential 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 moist environment that can promote bacterial growth. The bacteria can create a foul odor that some people describe as smelling like urine.

Another feasible 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 choked with debris, it can cause water to back up and accumulate inside the unit. This can produce a musty smell that is sometimes described as smelling of urine.

Your AC Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your air conditioning system smells like burning plastic, a possible cause could be 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 HVAC system. If something foreign gets caught in the air conditioning system, it can heat up and emit a smell that reminds people of burning plastic.

If you think you smell burning plastic coming from your AC unit, it’s important to call a professional right away.

Your AC Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioning smells like gas, there could be a natural gas leak in the unit or in another part of your home. Natural gas has a recognizable smell, often described as smelling similar to rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because a smell is incorporated into natural gas to make it easily detectable.

As we said earlier, a natural gas leak can be VERY hazardous and calls for immediate attention. When you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, open windows and doors to air out the home, leave the building and call your gas company or emergency services right away.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Fish

If your AC 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 fosters the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a disgusting odor that is often described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can result in a smell like dirty feet.

Another plausible explanation for the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material caught in the air conditioning system. This often is possible if an animal such as a mouse or bird is trapped inside the unit and dies.

To correct the issue, it’s often necessary to have a professional check out and clean your air conditioning system. They should be able to determine the source of the smell and take the appropriate steps to remove any contaminants and prevent the problem from recurring.

Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

There could be multiple reasons a home’s air conditioning system smells like vinegar. One possible cause is a plugged air filter. A second potential cause of the smell may be a refrigerant leak. Sometimes after the refrigerant leaks, it can generate a chemical odor that is described as smelling of vinegar.

To fix the issue, it’s important to have a skilled mechanic examine 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 persistent issues with your air conditioning. Or, the tech can tell you if your air conditioning should be replaced.

If you are planning to upgrade, Myers Furnace Company can help select the right unit to fit your home’s needs. We deliver trustworthy, skilled air conditioner installation in Belton.

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 scent that people sometimes describe as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.

An additional possible cause of the smell could be something wrong with the electrical wiring or hardware inside the air conditioning system. This can produce a burning smell that resembles chemicals or burning plastic.

If you think your system has a refrigerant leak or an electrical problem, it’s important to turn off 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 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 stinks and you aren’t able to fix it easily on your own, reach out to the cooling experts at Myers Furnace Company. We have years of experience working with a wide variety of air conditioning systems. Our crew has fixed countless air conditioning concerns through the years—including weird smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Belton!