Where Are Those Air Conditioner Smells Coming From?

image of homeowner plugging nose due to bad air conditioner smell

An air-conditioned room should have a normal smell, meaning there is no distinct odor permeating the space. Essentially, turning on your air conditioning system should only deliver cool air in the room. No unpleasant or strange smells should be distributed with it. If you notice that your air conditioner smells foul, then you may have an air conditioner problem on your hands. It needs to be checked right away. Know the different smells your air conditioner might produce, the reason behind them, and what you can do to solve them.

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What Is Causing That Air Conditioner Smell?

Read on to find out the causes of the air conditioner odors your system is producing.

Air Conditioning Unit Smells Like Mold

image of mold that was on air conditioner

A dingy smell caused by mold is the most commonly reported odor when it concerns air conditioner odors. The smell is typically caused by accumulated water in the ducts, drip lines, or drain pan. The moisture encourages mold, mildew, and fungus to grow. These microorganisms can cause an unpleasant smell to circulate throughout your house.

If you have stale indoor air, this could be due to clogged or dirty filters. If the area you live in experiences high humidity and temperatures constantly, moisture can develop and build up in the filters, especially if the air conditioner hasn’t been in use for some time. Turning it on will allow the stale air to fill the room.

Solution: Empty the drain pan as often as you can. If the smell does not go away, call a professional HVAC technician to inspect your system, ducts, and lines. If there is water accumulation, the air conditioner might have a leak as well. A tune-up will benefit your central AC unit as it will help find the reason behind incorrect water draining. Maintenance is essential to prevent these issues from happening.

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AC Smells Like Cigarette Smoke

If someone smokes in your home, your air conditioner will absorb the tobacco particles through the air filter. Every time someone smokes inside your home, the smoke particles will be forced through the filter in your system. The particles are then trapped on the filter. However, switching on your air conditioner could lead to particles loosening and mixing with the conditioned air. These smoke particles could then be distributed throughout the house, and you’ll smell smoke even if no one is smoking at the moment.

Solution: Smoke next to an open door or window or step outside to smoke so that the smell dissipates in the open air instead. Ensure that the air filter is cleaned or replaced every month. Wipe off the dust and dirt on the air conditioner’s surface every week or two weeks. Be sure to schedule professional air conditioner maintenance once a year as well.

Burning Smell From Your Air Conditioning Unit

image of electrical wires in an air conditioning system

The burning smell could be because a component of your air conditioner is burning. This could be a damaged motor, wire, or cable. It could also be because you have not used your air conditioning unit for quite a while. When this happens, the accumulated dust in it was suddenly exposed to high temperatures, causing the burning smell. The smell should go away soon if this is the cause. However, if it doesn’t, turn off the air conditioner immediately and call an expert HVAC technician right away.

Solution: Do not conduct a DIY repair on an air conditioner that is emitting a burning smell. Seek a professional HVAC technician’s help instead.

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Rotten Egg Smell Coming From Air Conditioner

A rotten egg smell from your air conditioning unit is most likely because of a decomposing animal. This foul smell is caused by the gases that a decomposing body produces. Small animals like rodents or birds might have made their way inside your air conditioning system and died. Therefore, a rotten smell will permeate inside your house.

Solution: Find the dead animal in the ductwork or system. It should be removed carefully and thoroughly. Make sure to sanitize the area as well so that all traces are removed. If this is a difficult task, contact an HVAC technician to help you. They can conduct a thorough check and cleaning to remove the dead animal and the smell. They can also ensure that any openings the small animal might have used to get inside are repaired and sealed immediately.

Air Conditioner Gas Odor

Methyl mercaptan depicting natural gas leakIf you smell gas in your home, it could be because there is an actual gas leak. Gas does not have an odor. However, manufacturers add methyl mercaptan to the mix. Therefore, you will smell a rotten cabbage odor around the house. This should never be ignored as it is pointing to a gas leak. Methyl mercaptan is a colorless gas that causes symptoms like eye and skin irritation, dizziness, nausea, headaches, and upper respiratory tract problems. Prolonged exposure can also be fatal.

Solution: When you smell gas in your house, turn off the gas supply right away. Open the windows to let air circulate and go outside immediately. Once you are outside, call an HVAC technician as well. Try not to light up anything while the gas smell still lingers in your home because gas is easily ignited.

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Your air conditioning can emit different smells, and various reasons could cause these. Most of them are generally harmless. However, some smells should never be ignored as they point to hazardous issues that can be fatal. Some odors can be removed with cleanups or by replacing the filters. On the other hand, some need to be checked by a professional HVAC technician right away.

Ignoring the odors your air conditioner produces can be dangerous. It can lead to health problems if they are not resolved right away. You might also end up having to get costly repairs or replacements. Do not just sweep this issue under the rug. Have a professional help you pinpoint the cause and fix it for you.

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Call R.F. Ohl For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

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When you need excellent HVAC services in the Poconos and the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, contact R.F. Ohl. We only hire the best professionally certified and highly skilled technicians to help you with all your superior heating and cooling needs. Some of our services include HVAC repairs, maintenance, replacements, installations, and more. Each of our trained techs is knowledgeable and experienced to ensure all HVAC services are done correctly.

Our company offers one of the most affordable and competitive HVAC rates in the area. If you want to improve your home’s indoor air quality, comfort, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness, our maintenance services can help you. We can also recommend the best HVAC repair or replacement solutions that suit your needs and budget. All our services come with a guarantee because your satisfaction is essential to us. Schedule a service appointment and call R.F. Ohl today. We provide free, in-home estimates.

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