When your air conditioner is fresh and operating properly, you shouldn’t be smelling anything strange. Unusual air conditioner noises and weird smells are a clue that something is wrong. If your air conditioner is old or you haven’t had maintenance scheduled lately, they can be a sure sign you need professional air conditioning repair in Ellsworth.
Here are six of the top 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, specifically a chemical odor, it isn’t a good sign. You might also report your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical scents are often a clue that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak. Your system needs this gas to transfer heat through copper coils, which can wear out as time passes.
Four Signs You Are Experiencing a Refrigerant Leak
Aside from the weird smell, here are four other hints that you are dealing with a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is on.
- Ice on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- Difficulty keeping your residence cool or reaching your desired temperature.
- Higher utility bills.
How You Can Fix It
A refrigerant leak needs experienced repairs from a heating and cooling company like Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC. Your cooling professional will find and mend the leak before recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant.
Fixing 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, there’s a high probability it uses R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer. As a result, repairs can be extremely expensive so it may be smartest to schedule air conditioning installation in this situation.
2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s likely nothing wrong with it. But there’s a significant chance you have a natural gas leak in your house. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to signal you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be toxic in heavy concentrations.
How You Can Repair It
If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we recommend:
- Shutting off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Evacuating your home as soon as possible.
- Calling your gas company immediately.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
Individuals who contact us about this situation usually report their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it runs. Also known as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is typically linked to a grubby evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Condensation can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most typical in areas where you need heating at night and during the morning before turning on cooling later on.
How to Fix It
The best method for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to routinely get a new air filter and schedule yearly air conditioning maintenance with Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system flowing, because stagnant water can also produce nasty odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are experiencing air conditioner mildew smell or an acidic, vinegar-like odor, it might be prompted by several situations, like:
- A dirty filter
- Too much condensation
- Blocked condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Fix It
Check 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 problem, reach Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC at 715-318-6728.
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 several things wrong. These include:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that should have lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical problem.
Electrical problems should be inspected quickly to prevent a fire. If you notice burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, shut it off and contact us at 715-318-6728 right away.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
A strong ammonia odor means there might be mold present inside your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold creates.
How to Solve It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your health. That’s why it’s important to have a professional like Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when recommended.
Our Professionals Can Take Care of Unpleasant Air Conditioner Smells Rapidly
You deserve to be cozy in your house and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you need relief from your noxious air conditioner, give us a call at 715-318-6728. We’ll diagnose the issue quickly and take care of it at a fair price.