6 Common Air Conditioner Smells Explained and How to Solve Them

April 21, 2021

When your air conditioner is fresh and working correctly, it’s not normal to be smelling anything strange. Unexpected air conditioner noises and weird smells are a sign that something is up. If your air conditioner is aging or you haven’t had service completed lately, they can be a clear sign you need pro air conditioning repair in Boynton Beach.

Here are six of the most common 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, specifically a chemical scent, isn’t a great sign. You might also notice your:

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

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

4 Signs You Are Experiencing a Refrigerant Leak

In addition to the weird smell, here are four other clues that you are dealing with a refrigerant leak.

  1. Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is cooling.
  2. Ice on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
  3. Trouble keeping your house cold or achieving your desired temperature.
  4. Increasing energy bills.

How You Can Repair It

A refrigerant leak needs professional assistance from a heating and cooling company like A2Z Air Inc. Your cooling professional will locate and mend the leak before recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant.

Resolving a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, according to nationwide averages put together by HomeAdvisor. Your precise cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how many hours it takes to fix.

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, there’s a good chance it uses R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being manufactured due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Due to this, repairs can be extremely expensive so it may be smartest to schedule air conditioning installation in this circumstance.

2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s possibly nothing wrong with it. But there’s a significant probability you have a natural gas leak in your home. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to warn you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be fatal in large amounts.

How You Can Repair It

If you detect a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we advise:

  • Switching off your gas supply.
  • Opening windows.
  • Going outside right away.
  • Contacting your gas company without delay.

3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty

Individuals who call us regarding this problem usually mention their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s on. Also called dirty sock syndrome, this smell is often created by a grubby evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Moisture can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most often seen in climates where you use heating at night and during the morning before switching to cooling during the afternoon.

How to Repair It

The best approach for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to frequently get a new air filter and schedule regular air conditioning maintenance with A2Z Air Inc. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unclogged, since stagnant water can also lead to unpleasant odors.

4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

If you are dealing with air conditioner mildew smell or a strong, vinegar-like odor, it could be the result of several issues, like:

  • A dirty filter
  • Extra condensation
  • Plugged condensate pan or drain line
  • Moldy air conditioner or ductwork

How to Solve It

Inspect your filter first. If you haven’t changed it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, we recommend replacing it. If that doesn’t solve the problem, reach A2Z Air Inc at 561-270-6228.

5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic

If you’re noticing an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be a couple of things wrong. These involve:

  • Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
  • Motor that should have lubrication.
  • Broken fan belt.
  • Electrical problem.

Electrical problems should be inspected right away to stop a fire. If you notice burning plastic when your air conditioner is on, switch it off and reach us at 561-270-6228 without delay.

6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee

A strong ammonia odor means there could be mold flourishing within your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold creates.

How to Solve It

Mycotoxins are hazardous to your wellness. That’s why we recommend having a professional like A2Z Air Inc check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when recommended.

Our Specialists Can Take Care of Weird Air Conditioner Smells Rapidly

You deserve to be comfortable in your home and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you are looking for relief from your noxious air conditioner, reach us at 561-270-6228. We’ll figure out the issue quickly and resolve it at a competitive.