Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell?
Here’s a scenario: Your air conditioner usually behaves like it’s supposed to, but lately it’s been putting out a strange smell. What should you do? First of all, don’t panic – the kind of smell that’s coming from your AC unit may be able to inform you of what’s wrong. Here are a few of the common odors associated with air conditioners, and what they mean for your HVAC system.
Mildew or Mold
This is the most common smell that people refer to when notifying their HVAC provider of a strange odor. When your air conditioner is in use, condensation accumulates within the unit. If this moisture has no way to properly drain, it can often run into your ducts and create mold. While moldy ducts won’t break your air conditioner, it is a good idea to address this problem quickly. Diminished air quality can affect the respiratory health of everyone living in your home, especially children.
Smoke or Burning
A burning odor can be a good indicator of a faulty electrical component. Fans, compressors, and wiring can give off harmful fumes, so be aware of how long you’re able to detect the burning smell. If you smell burning for more than 30 minutes at a time, it’s time to call for maintenance. Do NOT attempt to fix electrical issues yourself!
An odorant (usually based on the compound tert-Butylthiol) is added to natural gas for the sake of detecting leaks, so there’s certainly cause for alarm if you detect the distinct odor of rotten eggs coming from your AC unit. Natural gas is flammable, explosive, and harmful when inhaled, so don’t take any chances if you think you smell it. Open your windows for ventilation, leave your house, and call your gas company.
The odor of stinky feet/socks is a telltale sign of sitting water that has no chance to drain properly. Dirty or clogged components create blockage, which result in areas of smelly, stagnant water. Luckily, this issue isn’t severe as a gas leak. A thorough cleaning is enough to get your AC back in business.
This is a distinct smell, and unfortunately, it usually does suggest that actual sewage is involved. Ruptured or backed-up pipes are to blame in this case, and the significant methane smell soon follows. Not only is the smell unpleasant, but the accompanying gases can be flammable and toxic as well. Seek professional maintenance right away.
If any of these smells are present in your home, or even if your air conditioner is emitting some other strange odor, get in touch with Home Energy Experts without delay. Our HVAC technicians are highly trained to deal with all repairs and maintenance jobs. We even provide 24/7 emergency service! We’ll help you get things back to working order so you can beat the Nevada heat in no time.