6 Common Air Conditioner Smells Decoded and How to Solve the Problem

April 21, 2021

When your air conditioner is clean and working properly, you shouldn’t be smelling anything strange. Peculiar air conditioner noises and strange smells are a sign that something is out of whack. If your air conditioner is old or you haven’t had a tune-up scheduled lately, they can be a sure sign you need pro air conditioning repair in Middletown.

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

1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, particularly a chemical odor, isn’t a great sign. You might also report your:

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

These sweet, chemical scents are frequently a sign that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak. Your system needs this gas to shift heat through copper coils, which can break out as time goes on.

4 Signs You Have a Refrigerant Leak

Aside from the odd smell, here are four other hints that you are experiencing a refrigerant leak.

  1. Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is on.
  2. Frost on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
  3. Trouble keeping your home cold or reaching your set temperature.
  4. Higher utility costs.

How You Can Take Care of It

A refrigerant leak needs skilled support from a heating and cooling company like SchagrinGAS Company. Your cooling professional will find and repair the leak before recharging your system with refrigerant.

Repairing a refrigerant leak usually 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 much time it needs to fix.

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it’s likely it runs on R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made as a result of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Due to this, repairs can be very expensive so it may be smartest to schedule air conditioning installation in this instance.

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 high likelihood you have a natural gas leak in your residence. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to alert you when there’s a leak, since the gas can be toxic in large amounts.

How You Can Repair It

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

  • Switching off your gas supply.
  • Opening windows.
  • Going outside promptly.
  • Contacting your gas company immediately.

3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty

People who reach us about this problem frequently mention their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s running. Also referred to as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is frequently linked to 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 typical in locations where you turn on heating at night and during the morning before switching to cooling later on.

How to Repair It

The best approach for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to frequently replace your air filter and schedule regular air conditioning maintenance with SchagrinGAS Company. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unclogged, since standing water can also result in nasty odors.

4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

If you are experiencing air conditioner mildew smell or a strong, vinegar-like odor, it can be caused by several situations, including:

  • A dirty filter
  • Too much condensation
  • Plugged condensate pan or drain line
  • Moldy air conditioner or ductwork

How to Fix It

Examine your filter first. If you haven’t replaced it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, you should replace it. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, call SchagrinGAS Company at 302-231-1380.

5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic

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

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

Electrical problems should be checked immediately to stop a fire. If you notice burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, shut it off and reach us at 302-231-1380 without delay.

6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee

A powerful ammonia odor means there might be mold flourishing in your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold makes.

How to Solve It

Mycotoxins are hazardous to your health. That’s why it’s important to have a professional like SchagrinGAS Company check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when recommended.

Our Specialists Can Get Rid of Unpleasant Air Conditioner Smells Fast

You deserve to be cozy in your residence and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you are seeking relief from your stinky air conditioner, reach us at 302-231-1380. We’ll figure out the issue quickly and fix it at a reasonable.