When your air conditioner starts putting out weird or unappealing aromas, 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 further damage to your air conditioning or even pose a risk to your health and safety.
Depending on what you're smelling, the cause might be bacteria or fungus in the system. On the other hand, it could also indicate something mechanically wrong with the air conditioner. Some smells are even indicative of a harmful scenario, including a natural gas leak.
At Speedy Air Conditioning, we are experienced at getting to the root cause of stinky smells. If you smell something peculiar coming from your AC, you can bet that our team of talented pros has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned our reputation as the go-to team for air conditioning repair in Naples.
What does a certain smell coming out of your AC mean? Here are several frequent air conditioner smells and what they might mean:
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Feet
If your air conditioner smells like feet, it may be due to a buildup of bacteria or fungus inside of it. When moisture accumulates inside the unit, it can create an environment that is favorable to the growth of bacteria and fungus. This can result in a foul odor that is often described as smelling like stinky feet.
Another potential cause of the stench of dirty feet may be a dirty air filter. When your HVAC system's air filter becomes choked with dirt, dust and other contaminants, it can cause poor air quality and a musty smell that resembles feet.
To correct this unpleasant situation, it's important to have a quality service tech 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 ensure good air quality and restrict the formation of bacteria and fungus.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your air conditioning unit reeks of rotten eggs, it might be the result 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, which is added to it to make it easily detectable.
A natural gas leak 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, get everyone out of the building and call your gas company or emergency services immediately.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew
If your air conditioner emits a smell like mildew, it may be due to a collection of moisture inside the unit. When moisture collects inside a cooling system, it can cultivate the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty odor that resembles mildew.
Another possible reason for the smell could be a dirty air filter. Once the air filter becomes clogged, it can lead to poor air quality and a musty smell that has a resemblance to mildew.
Routine air conditioning maintenance from Speedy Air Conditioning can help avoid both of these issues, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a terrific way to keep your system working at its best!
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine
One of the most undesirable situations is when an air conditioner smells like urine.
If your air conditioning smells like urine, it could be traced back to a number of things. One likely cause is a collection of bacteria or mold in the your HVAC. This can happen if moisture accumulates in the system and creates a moist environment that favorable for bacterial growth. The bacteria can create a foul odor that resembles 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 properly, 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 resembles urine.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If your air conditioner smells like burning plastic, a possible cause could be an electrical problem with the unit. After some time, the electrical parts in the air conditioning system can wear out or break, 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 stuck 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 contact a professional right away.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your AC smells like gas, it could be because of a natural gas leak in the unit or in your home. Natural gas has a recognizable smell, often described as smelling similar to rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because a smell is put into natural gas to make sure that it is easily detectable.
As we said previously, a natural gas leak can be VERY harmful 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 phone your gas company or emergency services right away.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish
If your air conditioning equipment smell like fish, it could be due to 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 sometimes described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can result in a smell like dirty feet.
Another plausible explanation for the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material caught within the air conditioning system. This often is possible if an animal such as a mouse or bird becomes trapped inside the unit and dies.
To correct the issue, it's often necessary to have a professional check out and clean your HVAC system. They should be able to identify the source of the smell and take the appropriate steps to remove any contaminants and prevent the problem from recurring.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
There could be multiple reasons your AC smells like vinegar. One possible cause of the smell could be a plugged 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 essential to have a skilled mechanic inspect and clean your air conditioning. If the odor continues after the cleaning and replacing of the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to diagnose and repair any underlying issues with your air conditioning. Or, the mechanic can tell you if your air conditioning needs to be replaced.
If you are wanting to upgrade, Speedy Air Conditioning can help find the correct unit to fit your home’s needs. We offer reliable, professional air conditioner installation in Naples.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If the smell of chemicals is coming out of your air conditioning equipment, it could be the result of a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical aroma that some people describe as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.
An additional possible cause of 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 shut off your air conditioning system immediately and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be harmful and may require immediate attention to prevent injury or damage to your residence.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at Speedy Air Conditioning
If your air conditioner smells nasty and you aren’t able to fix it quickly on your own, call the cooling experts at Speedy Air Conditioning. We have plenty of experience working with a wide variety of HVAC systems. Our crew has fixed countless air conditioning troubles over the years—including weird smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Naples!