When your air conditioner starts putting out unusual or funky odors, it is necessary to take notice because it could be a sign of a big problem. Dismissing unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioner can lead to serious damage to your AC or even pose a risk to your health and safety.
Depending on the cause of the odor, the cause might be bacteria or fungus in the system. Other times, it could also sign something mechanically wrong with the AC. Some smells are even indicative of an unsafe problem, such as a natural gas leak.
At Comfort Concepts Heating & Air Conditioning, we have a nose for these sorts of things. If you smell something peculiar coming from your cooling system, you can bet that our team of qualified pros has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned a reputation as the go-to team for air conditioning repair in Yukon.
What does a particular smell billowing coming from your AC mean? Here are some common air conditioner smells and what they could mean:
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Feet
If your air conditioner smells like feet, it might be because of a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the unit. When moisture collects inside the unit, it can create an environment that is favorable to the growth of bacteria and fungus. This can result in a bad odor that is often described as smelling like stinky feet.
Another likely reason for an odor of stinky feet might be a dirty air filter. If an air filter becomes filled with dirt, dust and other particles, it can cause substandard air quality and a musty smell that resembles feet.
To correct this dilemma, 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 on a regular basis to provide good air quality and restrict the formation of bacteria and fungus.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your air conditioning unit smells like rotten eggs, it may 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 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 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 AC smells like mildew, it might be due to a collection of moisture inside the unit. When moisture collects inside an air conditioner, it can cultivate the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty stench that resembles mildew.
Another possible reason for the smell may be a soiled air filter. When 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 Comfort Concepts Heating & Air Conditioning can help protect against both of these situations, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a great way to keep your system running at its best!
My Air Conditioner 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 due to a variety of factors. One likely cause is a accumulation of bacteria or mold in the your cooling system. This can happen if moisture accumulates in the system and creates a damp environment that favorable for bacterial growth. The bacteria can emit 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 effectively, 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 produce a musty smell that is sometimes described as smelling of urine.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If your air conditioning unit smells like burning plastic, a possible cause could be an electrical problem with the unit. After some time, the electrical elements 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 lodged in the HVAC system. 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 think you smell burning plastic coming from your air conditioner, it’s important to phone a professional right away.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like gas, there could be a natural gas leak in the unit or in your home. Natural gas has a recognizable aroma, often described as smelling of rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because an odor is added to natural gas to make it easily detectable.
As we said previously, a natural gas leak can be VERY hazardous and requires immediate attention. When 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 as soon as possible.
Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish
If your air conditioner 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 strong odor that can be described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can cause a smell like dirty feet.
Another potential cause of the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material trapped inside 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 fix the issue, it's important to have a professional check out and clean your air conditioning system. They can identify 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 numerous reasons an AC smells like vinegar. One possible cause is a clogged air filter. Another possible cause of the smell could be a refrigerant leak. Sometimes after the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that resembles vinegar.
To fix the issue, it's essential to have a skilled specialist look at 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 find and repair any hidden issues with your air conditioning. Or, they can tell you if your air conditioning ought to be replaced.
If you are wanting to upgrade, Comfort Concepts Heating & Air Conditioning can help locate the ideal unit to fit your home’s needs. We deliver trustworthy, professional air conditioner installation in Yukon.
My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If the smell of chemicals is coming from your air conditioning unit, it could be due to a refrigerant leak. In a situation where the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical scent that is often described as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.
An additional possible source of the smell could be a problem with the electrical wiring or hardware inside the air conditioning system. This can cause a burning smell that it similar to chemicals or burning plastic.
If you believe there is a refrigerant leak or an electrical issue, it's important to shut down your air conditioning system as soon as possible and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be dangerous and may require immediate attention to avoid injury or damage to your home.
Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at Comfort Concepts Heating & Air Conditioning
If your air conditioner smells nasty and you aren’t able to fix it easily on your own, call the cooling professionals at Comfort Concepts Heating & Air Conditioning. We have years of experience working with a wide variety of HVAC systems. Our crew has fixed countless air conditioning problems throughout the years—including funky smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Yukon!