When your air conditioner starts emitting strange or unappealing odors, it is important to take notice because it could be a sign of a big problem. Dismissing unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioning can lead to serious damage to your HVAC system or even pose a risk to your health and safety.

Depending on the cause of the odor, the culprit might be bacteria or fungus in the system. On the other hand, it could also sign something mechanically wrong with the air conditioner. Some smells are even indicative of an unsafe problem, including a natural gas leak.

At A2Z Air Inc, we are experienced at getting to the root cause of stinky smells. If you smell something weird coming from your AC, you can bet that our team of talented pros has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned a reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Boynton Beach.

What does a certain smell billowing out of your AC mean? Here are some typical air conditioner odors and what they may mean:

Your AC Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it could be due to a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the unit. When moisture accumulates inside the unit, it can produce an environment that is conducive to the growth of bacteria and fungus. This can result in a bad odor that is often described as smelling like feet.

Another possible reason for the smell might be a dirty air filter. If an air filter becomes choked with dirt, dust and other particles, it can result in substandard air quality and a musty smell that resembles feet.

To correct this dilemma, it's important to have an experienced specialist inspect and clean your air conditioning system, including the evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain line. It's also important to change the air filter routinely to promote good air quality and protect against the growth of bacteria and fungus.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your stinks like rotten eggs, it may be because of a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a distinctive 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 ventilate the area, make everyone leave the building and call your gas company or emergency services right away.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew

If your AC emits a smell like mildew, it might be due to a accumulation of moisture inside the unit. When moisture collects inside the air conditioning system, it can promote the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty odor that resembles mildew.

Another possible cause of the smell may be a dirty air filter. Once the air filter becomes clogged, it can cause poor air quality and a musty smell that has a resemblance to mildew.

Annual air conditioning maintenance from A2Z Air Inc can help prevent both of these issues, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a terrific way to keep your system running at its best!

Your AC Smells Like Urine

One of the most undesirable situations is when your AC smells like urine.

If your air conditioner stinks like urine, it could could be caused by multiple factors. One possible cause is a buildup of bacteria or mold in the your HVAC. This can happen if moisture accumulates in the system and creates a damp environment that favorable for bacterial growth. The bacteria can create a foul odor that resembles urine.

Another possible cause of the smell could be a blocked drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away properly, but if the drain line becomes filled with debris, it can cause water to back up and collect inside the unit. This can create a musty smell that can stink like urine.

Your AC Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your air conditioning unit smells like burning plastic, this could indicate an electrical problem with the unit. After some time, the electrical parts in the air conditioning system can wear out or malfunction, which can produce a burning smell that resembles plastic.

Another possible root cause of the smell could be a foreign object that somehow got in the the air conditioner. If something foreign gets trapped in the air conditioning system, it can get hot and cause a smell that reminds people of burning plastic.

If you smell burning plastic coming from your cooling system, it’s essential to call a professional right away.

Your AC Smells Like Gas

If your AC smells like gas, it could be due to a natural gas leak in the unit or in your home. Natural gas has a distinctive aroma, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because a smell is added to natural gas to make sure that it is easily detectable.

As stated before, a natural gas leak can be VERY hazardous and calls for immediate attention. If you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, open windows and doors to air out the home, leave the building and call your gas company or emergency services as soon as possible.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish

Should your air conditioning equipment smell like fish, you may have a situation where there's a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture produces an environment that is conducive to the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a foul odor that is often described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can cause a smell like dirty feet.

Another potential cause of the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material stuck inside the air conditioning system. This often can happen if an animal such as a mouse or bird becomes trapped inside the unit and dies.

To fix the issue, it's important to have a professional examine and clean your cooling system. They should be able to determine the source of the smell and take the proper steps to remove any contaminants and prevent the problem from recurring.

Your AC Smells Like Vinegar

There could be multiple reasons your AC smells like vinegar. One possible cause is a clogged air filter. Another likely cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. When 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 look at and clean your air conditioning.  If the odor lingers after the cleaning and replacing of the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to identify and repair any hidden issues with your air conditioning. Or, the mechanic can tell you if your air conditioning needs to be replaced.

If you are planning to upgrade, A2Z Air Inc can help locate the ideal unit to fit your home’s needs. We deliver reliable, expert air conditioner installation in Boynton Beach.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If the smell of chemicals is coming out of your air conditioner, it could be the result of a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical aroma that is often described as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.

Another possible reason for the smell could be something wrong with the electrical wiring or parts inside the air conditioning system. This can result in a burning smell that it similar to chemicals or burning plastic.

If you believe there is a refrigerant leak or an electrical issue, it's important to shut down your air conditioning system right away and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be hazardous and may require immediate attention to prevent injury or damage to your house.

A Nasty Odor Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at A2Z Air Inc

If your air conditioner smells nasty and you aren’t able to fix it smoothly on your own, call the cooling specialists at A2Z Air Inc. We have years of experience working with a wide variety of cooling systems. Our crew has fixed many air conditioning troubles throughout the years—including funky smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Boynton Beach!