6 Common Air Conditioner Smells Answered and How to Repair the Problem

April 21, 2021

When your air conditioner is spotless and running right, you shouldn’t be smelling anything weird. Peculiar air conditioner noises and odd smells are a clue that something is up. If your air conditioner is getting older or you haven’t had a tune-up done lately, they can be an obvious sign you need pro air conditioning repair in Port St. Lucie.

Here are six of the most frequent air conditioner smells and how you can solve them.

1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, especially a chemical smell, isn’t a good sign. You might also observe your:

  • Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
  • Home air conditioner smells sweet

These sweet, chemical odors are often a hint that your air conditioner is suffering from a refrigerant leak. Your system relies on this gas to transfer heat through copper coils, which can wear out as time goes on.

4 Hints You Are Dealing with a Refrigerant Leak

Aside from the weird smell, here are four other hints that you have a refrigerant leak.

  1. Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is cooling.
  2. Ice crystals on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
  3. It’s hard keeping your home comfortable or achieving your set temperature.
  4. Higher utility costs.

How You Can Take Care of It

A refrigerant leak needs skilled repairs from a heating and cooling company like Custom Air Systems Inc. Your cooling professional will pinpoint and fix the leak before recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant.

Repairing a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, according to nationwide averages assembled by HomeAdvisor. Your exact cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how much time it needs to fix.

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it’s likely it has R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being produced due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer. As a result, repairs can be extremely expensive so it may be best to schedule air conditioning installation in this situation.

2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s probably nothing wrong with it. But there’s a high chance you have a natural gas leak in your house. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to warn you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be toxic in big amounts.

How You Can Repair It

If you smell a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we recommend:

  • Turning off your gas supply.
  • Opening windows.
  • Evacuating your home promptly.
  • Contacting your gas company without delay.

3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty

People who call us to report this issue frequently report their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it runs. Also referred to as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is frequently created by a grubby evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Excess water can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most typical in areas where you use heating at night and during the morning before turning on cooling later in the day.

How to Solve It

The best method for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to regularly get a new air filter and schedule routine air conditioning maintenance with Custom Air Systems Inc. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unclogged, since excess water can also lead to unpleasant odors.

4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

If you are living with air conditioner mildew smell or a pungent, vinegar-like odor, it might be caused by several problems, such as:

  • A filthy filter
  • Too much condensation
  • Clogged condensate pan or drain line
  • Moldy air conditioner or ductwork

How to Fix It

Examine your filter first. If you haven’t put in a new one within the last three months and can’t see light through it, it’s time to replace it. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, contact Custom Air Systems Inc at 772-247-2283.

5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic

If you’re dealing with an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be a number of things wrong. These entail:

  • Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
  • Motor that needs lubrication.
  • Broken fan belt.
  • Electrical trouble.

Electrical issues should be checked right away to stop a fire. If you detect burning plastic when your air conditioner is operating, shut it off and contact us at 772-247-2283 without delay.

6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee

An overpowering ammonia odor means there might be mold spreading inside your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold creates.

How to Fix It

Mycotoxins are hazardous to your health. That’s why you should have a pro like Custom Air Systems Inc check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when necessary.

Our Professionals Can Take Care of Strange Air Conditioner Smells Rapidly

You deserve to be cozy in your residence and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you need relief from your noxious air conditioner, give us a call at 772-247-2283. We’ll determine the problem quickly and take care of it at a fair price.

When your air conditioner is spotless and running right, you shouldn’t be smelling anything weird. Peculiar air conditioner noises and odd smells are a clue that something is up. If your air conditioner is getting older or you haven’t had a tune-up done lately, they can be an obvious sign you need pro air conditioning repair in Port St. Lucie. Here are six of the most frequent air conditioner smells and how you can solve them. 1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, especially a chemical smell, isn’t a good sign. You might also observe your: Air conditioner smells like paint thinner Home air conditioner smells sweet These sweet, chemical odors are often a hint that your air conditioner is suffering from a refrigerant leak. Your system relies on this gas to transfer heat through copper coils, which can wear out as time goes on. 4 Hints You Are Dealing with a Refrigerant Leak Aside from the weird smell, here are four other hints that you have a refrigerant leak. Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is cooling. Ice crystals on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil. It’s hard keeping your home comfortable or achieving your set temperature. Higher utility costs. How You Can Take Care of It A refrigerant leak needs skilled repairs from a heating and cooling company like Custom Air Systems Inc. Your cooling professional will pinpoint and fix the leak before recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant. Repairing a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, according to nationwide averages assembled by HomeAdvisor. Your exact cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how much time it needs to fix. If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it’s likely it has R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being produced due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer. As a result, repairs can be extremely expensive so it may be best to schedule air conditioning installation in this situation. 2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s probably nothing wrong with it. But there’s a high chance you have a natural gas leak in your house. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to warn you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be toxic in big amounts. How You Can Repair It If you smell a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we recommend: Turning off your gas supply. Opening windows. Evacuating your home promptly. Contacting your gas company without delay. 3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty People who call us to report this issue frequently report their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it runs. Also referred to as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is frequently created by a grubby evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Excess water can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most typical in areas where you use heating at night and during the morning before turning on cooling later in the day. How to Solve It The best method for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to regularly get a new air filter and schedule routine air conditioning maintenance with Custom Air Systems Inc. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unclogged, since excess water can also lead to unpleasant odors. 4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar If you are living with air conditioner mildew smell or a pungent, vinegar-like odor, it might be caused by several problems, such as: A filthy filter Too much condensation Clogged condensate pan or drain line Moldy air conditioner or ductwork How to Fix It Examine your filter first. If you haven’t put in a new one within the last three months and can’t see light through it, it’s time to replace it. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, contact Custom Air Systems Inc at 772-247-2283. 5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic If you’re dealing with an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be a number of things wrong. These entail: Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor. Motor that needs lubrication. Broken fan belt. Electrical trouble. Electrical issues should be checked right away to stop a fire. If you detect burning plastic when your air conditioner is operating, shut it off and contact us at 772-247-2283 without delay. 6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee An overpowering ammonia odor means there might be mold spreading inside your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold creates. How to Fix It Mycotoxins are hazardous to your health. That’s why you should have a pro like Custom Air Systems Inc check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when necessary. Our Professionals Can Take Care of Strange Air Conditioner Smells Rapidly You deserve to be cozy in your residence and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you need relief from your noxious air conditioner, give us a call at 772-247-2283. We’ll determine the problem quickly and take care of it at a fair price.">