How to Get Rid of Bad AC Smell

Posted: 2022-09-08

Your air conditioner is a piece of equipment that delivers comfort throughout your home in the summer. But sometimes, it can exhibit unpleasant smells, which can cause serious discomfort.

Four Seasons Air Specialists is your trusted HVAC company in Circle Pines MN. In this article, we’re going to talk about different awful smells coming off of an air conditioner. We will discuss where they come from and how to deal with them.

Musty Smell

A stale odor is one of the most common smells coming from an air conditioning system. This happens when there is too much humidity or moisture in the HVAC system. As a result, mold and mildew develop, which can flow through your ductwork. If there is a leak, you may even see water dripping from the indoor air handler.

A dirty filter is another common cause for musty smells coming off of an AC. If you live in a hot and humid environment and turn your air conditioning on after a long period, moisture can accumulate in your filters and produce this terrible smell.

What you can do to solve this problem is have a qualified technician improve the drainage and have the AC lines thoroughly cleaned. If there is a leak within the system, the professional will also fix it to avoid escalating the problem. Another easy way to avoid this problem is for you to be on top of your filter. Replace or clean the filter at least once every 30 days or as stated in the user's manual.

Rotten Egg Smell

An AC that produces a rotten egg smell shouldn’t be ignored. This problem can be caused by different things, including a decomposing animal within the ductwork. Rodents and birds have their ways of getting into your home, and if they die and decompose, they will unleash a horrendous smell. When you turn the air conditioning on, it will circulate that smell throughout your home. 

You have to spot and eliminate the dead animal as soon as possible to get rid of the putrid odor. If it isn’t an animal causing this kind of stench, there is likely a potentially deadly natural gas leak in your home.

If you smell rotten eggs coming from your AC, be sure to open all the windows immediately and get out of the house. Call your gas company to deal with the leak and contact a qualified HVAC professional to inspect your cooling system.

Dirty Socks Smell

Your air conditioner can also release a smell that is somehow similar to stinky feet or dirty socks. This unpleasant odor can be caused by dirty air filters, clogged condensate drain pans, evaporator coils, and stagnant water.

Again, making sure you have clean filters will help solve this problem. You can also have a professional come visit and clean the system or unclog the drain. As soon as the drain is unclogged, simply pour a little bit of distilled white vinegar in to help eliminate fungi as well as the bad odor.

Burning Smell

Your system can produce a burning smell, and when it does, it probably means that something is burning. There could be an overheating motor or complications in the wiring or some other issue that has something to do with electricity. Also, the smell may be due to dust settling in the unit after it has been sitting idle for months. Once the unit is turned on after a long time, the dust can burn off and produce a burning smell.

Do not take a burning smell lightly. If your system smells like burning plastic or something else is on fire, call your preferred AC specialist right away. However, if you’re using the AC for the first time in a while and think that there is an accumulation of dust, just wait for a few minutes until the smell fades away. However if the odor stays and the system begins to act weird, shut it down as soon as possible and call your local HVAC company.

Be Safe. Call Four Seasons Air Specialists

If simple troubleshooting steps do not solve the bad smell problems in your air conditioner, be sure to give us a call. Our technicians would love to help you diagnose the problem and fix it in no time. We are your reliable Shoreview AC repair company.