When your air conditioner starts emitting strange or funky smells, it is necessary to take notice because it could be a sign of a significant problem. Disregarding unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioning could lead to further damage to your HVAC system or even pose a risk to your health and safety.
Depending on the smell, the culprit could be bacteria or fungus in the system. Other times, it could also indicate something mechanically wrong with the air conditioner. Some smells are a warning of a harmful situation, such as a natural gas leak.
At Miller Climate Control LLC, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something odd coming from your air conditioner, chances are our team of talented pros has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned the reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Georgetown.
What does a certain smell coming from your AC mean? Here are several typical air conditioner smells and what they may mean:
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Feet
If your air conditioner smells like feet, it may be because of a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the unit. When moisture accumulates inside the unit, it can create an environment that is beneficial to the spread of bacteria and fungus. This can result in a nasty odor that is often described as smelling like stinky feet.
Another possible reason for an odor of stinky feet might be a dirty air filter. When your HVAC system's air filter becomes choked with dirt, dust and other debris, it can lead to poor air quality and a musty smell that resembles feet.
To fix this issue, it's important to have a professional inspect and clean your air conditioning system, including the evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain line. It's also important to replace the air filter regularly to promote good air quality and prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your air conditioning equipment 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 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 a situation that is very 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, evacuate the building and call your gas company or emergency services immediately.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew
If your air conditioner smells like mildew, it might be due to a accumulation of moisture inside the unit. When moisture forms inside a cooling system, it can cultivate the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty odor that bears a resemblance to mildew.
Another possible cause of the smell may be a clogged air filter. When the air filter becomes clogged, it can cause poor air quality and a musty smell that is similar to mildew.
Routine air conditioning maintenance from Miller Climate Control LLC can help avoid both of these issues, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a terrific way to keep your system running at its best!
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine
One of the most distressing scenarios is when the air coming out of your HVAC system smells like urine.
If your air conditioner smells like urine, it could could be caused by multiple factors. One possible cause is a accumulation of bacteria or mold in the air conditioning system. This can happen in the event that moisture accumulates in the system and creates a wet environment that can promote bacterial growth. The bacteria can emit a foul odor that it similar to urine.
Another possible cause of the stink could be a plugged drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away correctly, but if the drain line becomes stopped up by debris, it can cause water to back up and build up inside the unit. This can create a musty smell that can stink like urine.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If your AC smells like burning plastic, this could indicate an electrical problem with the unit. After a while, the electrical parts in the air conditioning system can wear out or break, which can make a burning smell that resembles plastic.
Another possible root cause of the smell could be a foreign object stuck in the HVAC system. If something foreign gets caught in the air conditioning system, it can heat up and result in a smell similar to burning plastic.
If you think you smell burning plastic coming from your AC unit, it’s important to contact 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 recognizable aroma, often described as smelling similar to rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because a smell is put into natural gas to make it easily detectable.
As we said 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, get everyone out of the building and call your gas company or emergency services right away.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish
When 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 often described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can result in a smell like dirty feet.
Another possible cause of the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material stuck within the air conditioning system. This often can take place if an animal such as a mouse or bird is trapped inside the unit and dies.
To fix the issue, it's worthwhile to have a professional examine and clean your HVAC system. They should be able to determine 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 multiple reasons your air conditioning system smells like vinegar. One possible cause is a dirty air filter. One other potential cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can make a chemical odor that resembles vinegar.
To fix the issue, it's beneficial to have a skilled tech inspect and clean your air conditioning. If the odor continues after the cleaning and exchanging the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to find and repair any hidden issues with your air conditioning. Or, the tech can tell you if your air conditioning ought to be replaced.
If you are looking to upgrade, Miller Climate Control LLC can help find the ideal unit to fit your home’s needs. We deliver trustworthy, expert air conditioner installation in Georgetown.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If the smell of chemicals is emitting out of your air conditioning equipment, it could be caused by a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical aroma that is often described as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.
One other possible source of the smell could be something wrong with the electrical wiring or elements inside the air conditioning system. This can cause a burning smell that is like chemicals or burning plastic.
If you think your system has a refrigerant leak or an electrical issue, it's important to shut down your air conditioning system as soon as possible and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be hazardous and may require immediate attention to protect against injury or damage to your home.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at Miller Climate Control LLC
If your air conditioner smells nasty and you aren’t able to fix it smoothly on your own, call the cooling specialists at Miller Climate Control LLC. We have plenty of experience working with a wide variety of air conditioning systems. Our crew has fixed countless air conditioning problems through the years—including weird smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Georgetown!