When your air conditioner starts putting out odd or funky smells, it is important to take notice because it could be a sign of a significant problem. Disregarding unpleasant smells coming from your cooling system can lead to additional damage to your HVAC system or even pose a risk to your health and safety.
Depending on the smell, the cause might be bacteria or fungus in the system. On the other hand, it could also signal something mechanically wrong with the air conditioning system. Some smells are a warning of an unsafe situation, such as a natural gas leak.
At Custom Air Systems Inc, we have a nose for these sorts of things. If you smell something odd coming from your air conditioner, there's a good chance our team of qualified specialists has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned a reputation as the go-to team for air conditioning repair in Port St. Lucie.
What does a particular smell billowing coming from your cooling system mean? Here are some common air conditioner odors and what they could mean:
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Feet
If your air conditioner smells like feet, it might be because of a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the unit. When moisture collects inside the unit, it can create an environment that is beneficial to the development of bacteria and fungus. This can result in a foul odor that is often described as smelling like stinky feet.
Another likely cause of the smell could be a dirty air filter. If an air filter becomes choked with dirt, dust and other particles, it can result in low air quality and a musty smell that it similar to the smell of feet.
To solve this unpleasant situation, 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 exchange the air filter regularly to ensure good air quality and restrict the development of bacteria and fungus.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your smells like rotten eggs, it may be due to a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a unique odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur, that is 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 allow gas to escape 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 smells like mildew, it might be due to a buildup of moisture inside the unit. When moisture collects inside a cooling system, it can promote the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty stench that resembles mildew.
Another possible reason for the smell might be a clogged air filter. If the air filter becomes clogged, it can cause poor air quality and a musty smell that has a resemblance to mildew.
Regular air conditioning maintenance from Custom Air Systems Inc can help avoid both of these issues, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a very good way to keep your system running at its best!
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine
One of the most unpleasant situations is when your AC smells like urine.
If your air conditioning stinks like urine, it could be due to a variety of factors. One potential cause is a collection of bacteria or mold in the your cooling system. 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 emit a foul odor that some people describe as smelling like urine.
Another possible cause of the scent of urine could be a clogged drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away correctly, but if the drain line becomes choked with debris, it can cause water to back up and build up inside the unit. This can generate a musty smell that resembles urine.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If your air conditioning unit 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 produce 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 trapped in the air conditioning system, it can get hot and result in a smell like burning plastic.
If you notice something that smells like burning plastic coming from your air conditioner, it’s essential to phone a professional right away.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like gas, there could be a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a distinct smell, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because this scent is incorporated into natural gas so that it is easily detectable.
As we said before, a natural gas leak can be VERY hazardous and needs 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 phone your gas company or emergency services straight away.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish
Should your air conditioning equipment smell like fish, this could be a sign of a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture creates an environment that promotes the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a disgusting odor that is sometimes described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can create a smell like dirty feet.
Another possible cause of the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material trapped inside the air conditioning system. This often can happen if an animal such as a mouse or bird is trapped inside the unit and dies.
To fix the issue, it's often necessary to have a professional inspect and clean your cooling system. They should be able to 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 several reasons your AC smells like vinegar. One possible cause might be a clogged air filter. Another possible cause of the smell may be a refrigerant leak. Sometimes after the refrigerant leaks, it can make a chemical odor that is described as smelling of vinegar.
To fix the issue, it's beneficial to have a skilled specialist examine and clean your air conditioning. If the odor persists after the cleaning and replacing of the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to find and repair any underlying issues with your air conditioning. Or, the mechanic can tell you if your air conditioning should be replaced.
If you are wanting to upgrade, Custom Air Systems Inc can help select the right unit to fit your home’s needs. We offer trustworthy, professional air conditioner installation in Port St. Lucie.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If the smell of chemicals is coming from your air conditioning unit, it could be the result of a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical scent that some people describe as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.
One other possible cause of the smell could be an issue with the electrical wiring or elements inside the air conditioning system. This can result in 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 shut off your air conditioning system as soon as possible and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be harmful and may require immediate attention to prevent injury or damage to your home.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at Custom Air Systems Inc
If your air conditioner stinks and you aren’t able to fix it quickly on your own, reach out to the cooling professionals at Custom Air Systems Inc. We have years of experience working with a wide variety of AC systems. Our crew has fixed a multitude of air conditioning troubles through the years—including funky smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Port St. Lucie!