6 Common Air Conditioner Smells Answered and How to Repair Them

April 21, 2021

When your air conditioner is fresh and running right, you shouldn’t be smelling anything strange. Abnormal air conditioner noises and odd smells are a sign that something is off. If your air conditioner is aging or you haven’t had maintenance scheduled recently, they can be an obvious sign you need skilled air conditioning repair in Holdrege.

Here are six of the most frequent air conditioner smells and how you can solve them.

1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, especially a chemical smell, isn’t a good sign. You could also observe your:

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

These sweet, chemical smells are typically a hint that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak. Your system needs this gas to transfer heat through copper coils, which can crack as time passes.

4 Clues You Are Dealing with a Refrigerant Leak

Besides the weird smell, here are four other clues that you are dealing with a refrigerant leak.

  1. Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is operating.
  2. Ice crystals on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
  3. Trouble keeping your home cold or reaching your programmed temperature.
  4. High utility expenses.

How You Can Fix It

A refrigerant leak needs experienced repairs from a heating and cooling company like Durable Service . Your cooling professional will pinpoint and repair the leak before recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant.

Repairing a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, according to nationwide averages compiled by HomeAdvisor. Your precise cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how many hours it takes to repair.

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, there’s a good chance it uses R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being produced because of its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Because of this, repairs can be significantly expensive so it may be wisest to do air conditioning installation in this circumstance.

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 significant chance you have a natural gas leak in your home. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to signal you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be deadly in big amounts.

How You Can Fix It

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

  • Turning off your gas supply.
  • Opening windows.
  • Evacuating your home right away.
  • Getting in touch with your gas company now.

3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty

Individuals who contact us regarding this problem often share their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s on. Also called dirty sock syndrome, this smell is usually created by a dirty evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Moisture can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most common in areas where you use heating at night and during the morning before turning on cooling during the afternoon.

How to Solve It

The best approach for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to frequently change your air filter and schedule annual air conditioning maintenance with Durable Service . We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system flowing, since stagnant water can also result in unpleasant odors.

4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

If you are experiencing air conditioner mildew smell or an acidic, vinegar-like odor, it could be the result of several problems, including:

  • A dirty filter
  • Extra condensation
  • Blocked condensate pan or drain line
  • Moldy air conditioner or ductwork

How to Resolve It

Inspect your filter first. If you haven’t replaced it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, we recommend replacing it. If that doesn’t fix the issue, reach Durable Service at 308-995-8177.

5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic

If you’re noticing an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be a couple of things wrong. These involve:

  • Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
  • Motor that requires lubrication.
  • Broken fan belt.
  • Electrical trouble.

Electrical malfunctions should be examined immediately to prevent a fire. If you smell burning plastic when your air conditioner is on, switch it off and call us at 308-995-8177 without delay.

6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee

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

How to Fix It

Mycotoxins are hazardous to your wellness. That’s why we recommend having a specialist like Durable Service check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when necessary.

Our Specialists Can Take Care of Unpleasant Air Conditioner Smells Rapidly

You deserve to be comfy in your residence and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you are seeking relief from your smelly air conditioner, give us a call at 308-995-8177. We’ll figure out the trouble quickly and take care of it at a reasonable.