Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell?

June 16, 2021

Because average high temperatures can climb above 90℉ in the summer months here in Tampa, having a functional air-conditioning system in your home is a must. Unfortunately, like all the other utilities in your home, your air conditioner can have its share of problems.

This can include everything from your air conditioner not functioning to it emitting foul smells. While do-it-yourself fixes for smells coming from your air conditioner are possible, your best bet would be to contact an air-conditioning contractor for AC repair service. But if you can diagnose the problem, you can make the contractor’s job easier and allow them to remedy the problem quicker—saving them time and you money.

Here are some possible smells and why your air conditioner might smell.

You smell dirty socks or feet

If you smell an odor that reminds you of feet or dirty socks coming from your air conditioner, it’s possible that a combination of dust, bacteria and moisture have settled on your air conditioner’s evaporator coil, clogged it and are causing the dirty sock smell.

If this happens, you should contact an air-conditioning contractor to inspect your AC’s condensing coils.

You smell something burning or gunpowder

A burning smell is never something you want to have in your home, and your air conditioner is no exception. Your AC comprises many electrical components, and, over time, they can wear down.

If you smell something burning, this could be an indicator that something electrical has shorted out like the circuit board or the fan motor. If you smell this, turn off your air conditioner, and call an AC repair service.

You smell exhaust fumes

Chalk this one up as another odor you never want to smell in your home. The cause of an exhaust-fume-like smell is probably fluids leaking from your air conditioner that, in turn, get heated up.

It’s quite possible that the leak is in your refrigerant line; in addition to affecting the performance of your AC, this can be potentially hazardous to the environment and your health. If you experience this, you should phone an air-conditioning contractor immediately.

You smell rotten eggs

If you catch a whiff of this malodorous scent when you turn on your AC, the likely culprit is dead critters (though it could be natural gas as well). When the weather outside becomes too extreme, animals typically look for anywhere that they can escape it.

Unfortunately, sometimes this can mean in your HVAC system. The lamentable part is that sometimes they can’t escape, and they die in there. An HVAC maintenance professional can remove the animal and disinfect the interior of your system, so you can be free from this nose-wrinkling smell.

Schedule your service today

Experiencing your air conditioner giving off unpleasant smells is something everyone would like to avoid. It’s not enough to have cool air—you and your family should have clean air, too. And that’s what we want to provide to you and yours at Kenny’s Air Conditioning & Heating Services, Inc., where we employ skilled air-conditioning contractors who deliver superior AC service.

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