When your air conditioner starts spewing unusual or unappealing smells, it is important to take notice because it could be a sign of a major problem. Ignoring unpleasant smells coming from your cooling system may lead to serious damage to your AC or even pose a risk to your health and safety.

Depending on the smell, the root of the problem might be bacteria or fungus in the system. In other cases, it could also indicate something mechanically wrong with the AC. Some smells are a sign of a harmful scenario, like a natural gas leak.

At Titan Heating & Air Conditioning, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something odd coming from your air conditioner, you can bet that our team of qualified professionals has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned our reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Central Point.

What does a specific odor wafting out of your air conditioning mean? Here are several common air conditioner smells and what they may mean:

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it can be because of a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the unit. When moisture accumulates inside the unit, it can establish 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 potential reason for an odor of stinky feet may be a dirty air filter. If an air filter becomes clogged with dirt, dust and other contaminants, it can cause substandard air quality and a musty smell that bears a resemblance to feet.

To correct this problem, 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 provide good air quality and restrict the formation of bacteria and fungus.

Your AC Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your reeks of rotten eggs, it may be caused by a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a recognizable odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur, which is added to it to make it easily detectable.

A natural gas leak can be extremely 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, evacuate the building and call your gas company or emergency services at once.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew

If your air conditioner smells like mildew, it could be due to a collection of moisture inside the unit. When moisture forms inside the air conditioning system, it can cultivate the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty odor that it similar to mildew.

Another possible reason for the smell may be a dirty air filter. If the air filter becomes clogged, it can lead to poor air quality and a musty smell that has a resemblance to mildew.

Annual air conditioning maintenance from Titan Heating & Air Conditioning can help prevent both of these problems, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a great way to keep your system operating at its best!

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Urine

One of the most undesirable things is when an air conditioner smells like urine.

If your air conditioning reeks of urine, it could be traced back to a number of things. One possible cause is a accumulation of bacteria or mold in the your cooling system. This can happen when moisture accumulates in the system and creates a moist environment that favorable for bacterial growth. The bacteria can produce a foul odor that resembles urine.

Another possible cause of the scent of urine 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 generate a musty smell that is sometimes described as smelling of urine.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your air conditioner 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 make a burning smell that resembles plastic.

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

If you think you smell burning plastic coming from your AC unit, it’s essential to contact a professional right away.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner smells like gas, it could be because of a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a distinctive smell, often described as smelling of rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because this scent is put into natural gas to make sure that it is easily detectable.

As stated previously, a natural gas leak can be VERY hazardous and requires immediate attention. Should 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 straight away.

Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish

Should your air conditioner smell like fish, it could be due to a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture produces an environment that promotes the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a strong odor that can be described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can create a smell like dirty feet.

Another plausible explanation for 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 is trapped inside the unit and dies.

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

Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

There could be multiple reasons an air conditioning system smells like vinegar. One possible cause is a dirty air filter. Another possible cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that resembles vinegar.

To fix the issue, it's essential to have a skilled mechanic inspect and clean your air conditioning.  If the odor continues after the cleaning and changing of the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to diagnose 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, Titan Heating & Air Conditioning can help locate the right unit to fit your home’s needs. We deliver reliable, expert air conditioner installation in Central Point.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If the smell of chemicals is emitting out of your air conditioning equipment, it could be due to a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that is often described as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.

One other possible reason for the smell could be problems with the electrical wiring or components inside the air conditioning system. This can result in a burning smell that is like chemicals or burning plastic.

If you think your system has a refrigerant leak or an electrical problem, it's important to turn off your air conditioning system immediately and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be dangerous and may require immediate attention to prevent injury or damage to your house.

A Nasty Odor Coming from Your Cooling? Call the Pros at Titan Heating & Air Conditioning

If your air conditioner stinks and you aren’t able to fix it quickly on your own, contact the cooling specialists at Titan Heating & Air Conditioning. We have lots of experience working with a wide variety of HVAC systems. Our crew has fixed many air conditioning troubles through the years—including funky smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Central Point!