6 Common Air Conditioner Smells Answered and How to Repair the Issue

April 21, 2021

When your air conditioner is spotless and working correctly, you shouldn’t be smelling anything odd. Unexpected air conditioner noises and strange smells are a hint that something is wrong. If your air conditioner is getting older or you haven’t had maintenance done recently, they can be a sure sign you need skilled air conditioning repair in Grand Prairie.

Here are six of the most common air conditioner smells and how you can resolve them.

1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, particularly a chemical smell, isn’t a positive sign. You may 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 is experiencing a refrigerant leak. Your system uses this gas to shift heat through copper coils, which can break out over time.

4 Clues You Are Experiencing a Refrigerant Leak

In addition to the weird smell, here are four other clues that you have a refrigerant leak.

  1. Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner runs.
  2. Ice on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
  3. Trouble keeping your house comfortable or having your set temperature.
  4. Higher electrical costs.

How You Can Repair It

A refrigerant leak needs skilled support from a heating and cooling company like Bon Air Service Company. Your cooling pro will locate and mend the leak before recharging your AC with refrigerant.

Fixing a refrigerant leak often costs between $225 and $1,600, according to nationwide averages assembled by HomeAdvisor. Your precise cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how long it needs to solve.

If your air conditioner was installed early than 2010, there’s a good chance it uses R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being produced because of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. As a result, repairs can be extremely expensive so it may be smartest to do air conditioning installation in this circumstance.

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 likelihood you have a natural gas leak in your home. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to warn you when there’s a leak, since the gas can be fatal in heavy concentrations.

How You Can Repair It

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

  • Turning off your gas supply.
  • Opening windows.
  • Going outside promptly.
  • Getting in touch with your gas company without delay.

3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty

Individuals who call us regarding this situation usually share their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s on. Also referred to as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is usually 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 common in areas where you use heating at night and during the morning before transitioning to cooling during the afternoon.

How to Repair It

The best method for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to frequently change your air filter and schedule yearly air conditioning maintenance with Bon Air Service Company. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system flowing, as standing water can also lead to noxious odors.

4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

If you are experiencing air conditioner mildew smell or an acidic, vinegar-like odor, it can be caused by several issues, including:

  • A filthy filter
  • Excess condensation
  • Plugged condensate pan or drain line
  • Moldy air conditioner or ductwork

How to Solve It

Check your filter first. If you haven’t changed it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, we recommend replacing it. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, reach Bon Air Service Company at 972-332-1028.

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 involve:

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

Electrical problems should be examined quickly to avoid a fire. If you smell burning plastic when your air conditioner is operating, turn it off and reach us at 972-332-1028 immediately.

6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee

A strong ammonia odor means there could be mold spreading within 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 wellness. That’s why it’s important to have a professional like Bon Air Service Company check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when needed.

Our Specialists Can Get Rid of Weird Air Conditioner Smells Fast

You deserve to be comfy in your house and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you are seeking relief from your stinky air conditioner, give us a call at 972-332-1028. We’ll figure out the issue quickly and fix it at a fair price.