Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell?
When your Dallas air conditioning kicks on you expect that crisp blast of chilled air that we have all come to rely on here in Texas. What you do not expect is a foul, fetid odor to be coming from the vents. Wondering what’s causing those rank odors, and what you can do to rid your home of them? Follow along with the AC service specialists HVAC to find out more!
What Causes a Cooling System to Stink?
Well, it depends. There are actually a good few things that can make your cooling system’s air turn foul. However each of these issues corresponds with a different smell, and thus we can determine your particular brand of nasty by describing and identifying the odor. Once we have that sorted, we can start talking about what can be done about it!
- Dusty, thick odors. Does your cooling system smell a bit like a 10 years undisturbed attic space? If so, the problem is probably simple enough! This smell is caused by a large amount of dust and debris accumulating in the air filter and or vents, and so the solution is as easy as changing your air filter, or by getting a professional duct cleaning.
- Rotten, sickly odors. Many a contractor will refer to this odor as “stinky sock” smell, and it’s actually pretty accurate. This odor is caused by mold or mildew in one place or another. The problem is that this could actually be in one of a few places: the condensate system may be clogged, the drain pan might be cracked, or your ducts may be full of moisture (usually caused by a funked home humidifier). In most cases you’ll need to enlist an AC repair person to help out with this one!
- Gas-like fumes. If you smell something a bit like burnt fuel, you might at first be confused. Since an air conditioner doesn’t burn oil or gas as a fuel source, what might be causing the issue? The answer is (unfortunately) a leak! The leak could be refrigerant, or it could be as easy as machine oil or grease leaking onto a heated portion of the machine. Either way, you’ll want an expert to come by and fix the issue right away. The smell will only get worse before it gets better.
- Burnt wiring. The smell of failing electrical equipment is a scary one, and honestly it absolutely should be. If you smell melting plastic, burnt wiring, or the faintly ozone-like stench of a failing electronic component, you need an immediate response. Preferably you’ll be able to shut your system off, and at the breaker panel if it is safe to do so. And then call in an expert, and fast.