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

April 21, 2021

When your air conditioner is spotless and working correctly, it’s expected you won’t be smelling anything strange. Abnormal air conditioner noises and weird smells are a sign that something is out of whack. If your air conditioner is getting older or you haven’t had a tune-up done within the last year, they can be an obvious sign you need professional air conditioning repair in Bend.

Here are six of the top 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, specifically a chemical smell, isn’t a positive sign. You might also report your:

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

These sweet, chemical smells are regularly a sign that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak. Your system uses this gas to shift heat through copper coils, which can crack as time passes.

4 Clues You Are Experiencing 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. Ice crystals on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
  3. Difficulty keeping your residence comfortable or achieving your desired temperature.
  4. Higher utility costs.

How You Can Take Care of It

A refrigerant leak requires experienced repairs from a heating and cooling company like Tri County Climate Control LLC. Your cooling professional will find and mend the leak before recharging your AC with refrigerant.

Resolving a refrigerant leak usually costs between $225 and $1,600, according to nationwide averages put together 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 early than 2010, it’s likely it has R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made because of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. As a result, repairs can be extremely expensive so it may be best to schedule air conditioning installation in this situation.

2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s possibly nothing wrong with it. But there’s a significant probability you have a natural gas leak in your house. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to signal you when there’s a leak, since the gas can be deadly in heavy concentrations.

How You Can Solve It

If you smell a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we suggest:

  • Switching off your gas supply.
  • Opening windows.
  • Leaving your home promptly.
  • Getting in touch with your gas company without delay.

3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty

Individuals who contact us to report this issue frequently share their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s on. Also known as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is typically created by a filthy evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Excess water can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most often seen in areas where you use heating at night and during the morning before switching to cooling later in the day.

How to Fix It

The best way to prevent dirty sock syndrome is to routinely get a new air filter and schedule annual air conditioning maintenance with Tri County Climate Control LLC. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unclogged, because excess water can also create noxious odors.

4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

If you are living with air conditioner mildew smell or an acidic, vinegar-like odor, it could be caused by several situations, such as:

  • A clogged filter
  • Too much condensation
  • Blocked condensate pan or drain line
  • Moldy air conditioner or ductwork

How to Repair It

Inspect 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 solve the issue, contact Tri County Climate Control LLC at 541-238-2797.

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 right away to avoid a fire. If you notice burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, shut it off and reach us at 541-238-2797 right away.

6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee

A strong 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 makes.

How to Fix It

Mycotoxins are hazardous to your well-being. That’s why we recommend having a professional like Tri County Climate Control LLC check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when needed.

Our Specialists Can Eliminate Weird 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 noxious air conditioner, give us a call at 541-238-2797. We’ll figure out the trouble quickly and fix it at a competitive.