Air Conditioner Odors And What They Indicate

Posted on: 29 November 2022

Although the purpose of an AC is to provide conditioned air, regulate indoor temperatures, and increase comfort, the exact opposite can happen sometimes. For instance, the AC might produce awful smells that make it difficult to enjoy your home. The odors typically vary, and their causes differ too. In any case, understanding common reasons why ACs smell can help you stop the issue and ensure that it doesn't recur and interfere with your household. Below are reasons why an AC might emit foul odors:

A Burning Odor

If you switch on your air conditioner and notice a burning or gunpowder-like smell, turn it off immediately. It is also prudent to check on the other appliances in your house to make certain that nothing is actually on fire. Generally, a burning odor signifies a faulty fan circuit board or another component. These AC parts get worn out over time, and elements like dust and debris can also build up, leading to overheating or short-circuiting. So, in case of smoke or this kind of odor, shut off the air conditioning system and schedule an appointment with an AC repair technician.

A Rotten Eggs Smell

If the air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, you may have a gas leak issue. Gas leakages are hazardous and should never be ignored. The leaks cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which harms inhabitants' well-being. It is important to note that in some cases, an AC can emit this odor because there are dead birds or pests in the ductwork. Regardless of the perceived cause, turn off the air conditioner once you notice the odor, and open all windows and doors to ventilate the house. Have all household members leave the house and stay outdoors until an HVAC contractor arrives and resolves the issue.

A Chemical-Like Smell

Sometimes, ACs emit a chemical-like smell when the refrigerant starts to leak. The refrigerant plays a vital role in producing cool air, and because of its nature, a leakage can harm your family and the environment. For instance, it can lead to seizures, dizziness, and other health complications. A refrigerant leakage also limits the AC's performance, forcing it to overwork and use more energy. Thus, make sure you turn off the unit and contact your technician for an inspection and repairs as needed.

A Musty Odor

All the moisture the AC collects is drained away via the drain line. So, if either the drip pan that collects the moisture or the drain line gets damaged and subsequently leaks, the AC will become susceptible to mold and mildew growth. As a result, it will emit a stale or musty smell. Leaks can also happen if the air filters are clogged, the drain line is blocked, or the refrigerant levels are low. At any rate, if you suspect your AC of having biological growth, call an HVAC pro.

Disregarding any of these AC smells can be detrimental to your air conditioning system and the health of your household members. Therefore, enlist a reputable AC repair technician to inspect and fix the issues in order to restore the AC's functionality.

For more information about air conditioning repair, contact a local company.