6 Common Air Conditioner Smells Answered and How to Solve the Problem

April 21, 2021

When your air conditioner is fresh and running correctly, it’s expected you won’t be smelling anything odd. Out of the ordinary air conditioner noises and strange smells are a clue that something is off. If your air conditioner is old or you haven’t had a tune-up scheduled recently, they can be a sure sign you need pro air conditioning repair in Central Point.

Here are six of the top air conditioner smells and how you can fix them.

1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, specifically a chemical odor, isn’t a good sign. You might also report your:

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

These sweet, chemical smells are regularly a hint that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak. Your system uses this gas to shift heat through copper coils, which can break out as time passes.

4 Signs You Are Experiencing a Refrigerant Leak

Aside from the strange smell, here are four other hints that you have a refrigerant leak.

  1. Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner runs.
  2. Ice on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
  3. Difficulty keeping your residence cold or having your set temperature.
  4. High utility bills.

How You Can Fix It

A refrigerant leak requires professional repairs from a heating and cooling company like Titan Heating & Air Conditioning. Your cooling specialist will pinpoint and mend the leak before recharging your AC with refrigerant.

Repairing a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, based on nationwide averages assembled by HomeAdvisor. Your exact cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how many hours it needs to fix.

If your air conditioner was installed prior to 2010, it’s likely it uses R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made because of its negative effects on the ozone layer. Due to this, repairs can be very expensive so it may be wisest to schedule air conditioning installation in this situation.

2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s probably nothing wrong with it. But there’s a high likelihood you have a natural gas leak in your home. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to alert you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be toxic in big amounts.

How You Can Fix It

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

  • Turning off your gas supply.
  • Opening windows.
  • Going outside right away.
  • Getting in touch with your gas company immediately.

3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty

Individuals who reach us to report this issue usually report their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s on. Also referred to as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is typically caused by a dirty evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Condensation can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most typical in locations where you turn on heating at night and during the morning before transitioning to cooling later on.

How to Repair It

The best way to prevent dirty sock syndrome is to regularly replace your air filter and schedule regular air conditioning maintenance with Titan Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unclogged, since stagnant water can also lead to noxious odors.

4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

If you are living with air conditioner mildew smell or an acidic, vinegar-like odor, it might be caused by several problems, such as:

  • A filthy filter
  • Too much condensation
  • Blocked condensate pan or drain line
  • Moldy air conditioner or ductwork

How to Repair It

Inspect your filter first. If you haven’t put in a new one within the last three months and can’t see light through it, it’s time to replace it. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, call Titan Heating & Air Conditioning at 514-600-5499.

5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic

If you’re dealing with an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be several things wrong. These entail:

  • Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
  • Motor that needs lubrication.
  • Broken fan belt.
  • Electrical malfunctions.

Electrical problems should be examined right away to prevent a fire. If you notice burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, switch it off and contact us at 514-600-5499 immediately.

6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee

An overpowering ammonia odor means there might be mold present in your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold produces.

How to Solve It

Mycotoxins are hazardous to your health. That’s why it’s important to have a pro like Titan Heating & Air Conditioning check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when recommended.

Our Specialists Can Get Rid of Odd Air Conditioner Smells Fast

You deserve to be comfortable in your home and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you need relief from your smelly air conditioner, contact us at 514-600-5499. We’ll determine the problem quickly and fix it at a competitive.