When your air conditioner starts emitting weird or unappealing smells, it is necessary to take notice because it could be a sign of a big problem. Disregarding unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioner can lead to additional damage to your AC or even pose a risk to your health and safety.

Depending on the cause of the odor, the root of the problem 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 sign of a dangerous problem, like a natural gas leak.

At Speedy Air Conditioning, we are experienced at getting to the root cause of stinky smells. If you smell something odd coming from your AC, there’s a good chance our team of skilled professionals has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned a reputation as the go-to team for air conditioning repair in Naples.

What does a certain smell coming out of your cooling system mean? Here are a few typical air conditioner smells and what they could mean:

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it can be due to a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the unit. When moisture accumulates inside the unit, it can produce an environment that is beneficial to the development of bacteria and fungus. This can produce a nasty odor that is often described as smelling like feet.

Another likely 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 particles, it can cause low air quality and a musty smell that resembles feet.

To correct this issue, 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 replace the air filter on a regular basis to ensure good air quality and protect against the development of bacteria and fungus.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your air conditioner reeks of rotten eggs, it could be because of a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a distinct odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur, which is because of a substance 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 ventilate the area, get everyone out of the building and call your gas company or emergency services immediately.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Mildew

If your cooling system is giving off an odor like mildew, it might be due to a accumulation of moisture inside the unit. When moisture forms inside a cooling system, it can promote the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty stench that it similar to mildew.

Another possible explanation for the smell may be a soiled air filter. If the air filter becomes clogged, it can cause poor air quality and a musty smell that resembles mildew.

Routine air conditioning maintenance from Speedy Air Conditioning can help prevent both of these issues, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a terrific way to keep your system running at its best!

Your AC Smells Like Urine

One of the most undesirable things is when the air coming out of your HVAC system smells like urine.

If your air conditioning stinks like urine, it could be traced back to a number of things. One potential cause is a accumulation of bacteria or mold in the your HVAC. This can happen when moisture accumulates in the system and creates a wet environment that can promote bacterial growth. The bacteria can produce a foul odor that is like urine.

Another potential cause of the smell could be a plugged drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away effectively, but if the drain line becomes choked with debris, it can cause water to back up and accumulate inside the unit. This can generate a musty smell that resembles urine.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your AC smells like burning plastic, this could indicate an electrical concern with the unit. After a while, the electrical parts in the air conditioning system can wear out or malfunction, which can produce a burning smell that resembles plastic.

Another possible reason for the smell could be a foreign object stuck in the unit. If something foreign gets stuck in the air conditioning system, it can get hot and emit a smell like burning plastic.

If you think you smell burning plastic coming from your cooling system, it’s worthwhile to call a professional right away.

Your AC Smells Like Gas

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

As we said earlier, a natural gas leak can be VERY harmful and needs 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.

Your AC Smells Like Fish

When your air conditioning equipment smell like fish, you may have a situation where there’s a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture produces an environment that fosters the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a foul 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 trapped within the air conditioning system. This often is possible if an animal such as a mouse or bird gets trapped inside the unit and dies.

To correct the issue, it’s worthwhile to have a professional examine and clean your air conditioning system. They should be able to find the source of the smell and take the proper steps to remove any contaminants and stop the problem from recurring.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Vinegar

There could be multiple reasons a home’s air conditioning system smells like vinegar. One possible cause is a plugged air filter. One other possible cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that is similar to vinegar.

To fix the issue, it’s important to have a skilled tech look at 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 identify and repair any underlying issues with your air conditioning. Or, the mechanic can tell you if your air conditioning should be replaced.

If you are looking to upgrade, Speedy Air Conditioning can help locate the ideal unit to fit your home’s needs. We deliver trustworthy, expert air conditioner installation in Naples.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Chemicals

If the smell of chemicals is coming out of your air conditioning unit, it could be due to a refrigerant leak. In a situation where the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical aroma that some people describe as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.

Another possible reason for the smell could be something wrong with the electrical wiring or hardware inside the air conditioning system. This can cause a burning smell that is like chemicals or burning plastic.

If you believe there is a refrigerant leak or an electrical issue, it’s important to shut off your air conditioning system right away 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 home.

Weird Smells Coming from Your Cooling? Call the Pros at Speedy Air Conditioning

If your air conditioner reeks and you aren’t able to fix it easily on your own, reach out to the cooling experts at Speedy Air Conditioning. We have plenty of experience working with a wide variety of HVAC systems. Our crew has fixed many air conditioning problems over the years—including weird smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Naples!