6 Common Air Conditioner Smells Explained and How to Fix the Issue

April 21, 2021

When your air conditioner is fresh and operating right, you shouldn’t be smelling anything weird. Unusual air conditioner noises and weird smells are a clue that something is out of whack. If your air conditioner is aging or you haven’t had service completed within the last year, they can be an obvious sign you need pro air conditioning repair in Ronkonkoma.

Here are six of the most frequent 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, especially a chemical scent, isn’t a positive sign. You might also observe your:

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

These sweet, chemical scents are often a sign that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak. Your system uses this gas to transfer heat through copper coils, which can wear out over time.

4 Clues You Have a Refrigerant Leak

Besides the strange smell, here are four other signs that you have a refrigerant leak.

  1. Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is on.
  2. Frost on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
  3. Difficulty keeping your house cold or achieving your desired temperature.
  4. High electrical bills.

How You Can Repair It

A refrigerant leak calls for experienced assistance from a heating and cooling company like Cool Power LLC . Your cooling technician will pinpoint and mend the leak before recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant.

Repairing a refrigerant leak usually costs between $225 and $1,600, based on nationwide averages put together by HomeAdvisor. Your exact cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how many hours it takes to repair.

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, there’s a high probability it runs on R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made as a result of its harmful effects on the ozone layer. As a consequence, repairs can be significantly expensive so it may be best to schedule air conditioning installation in this circumstance.

2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s probably nothing wrong with it. But there’s a good likelihood you have a natural gas leak in your residence. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to signal you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be toxic in large amounts.

How You Can Repair It

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

  • Turning off your gas supply.
  • Opening windows.
  • Evacuating your home as soon as possible.
  • Call your gas company now.

3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty

Individuals who call us to report this situation often say 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 often caused by 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 often seen in areas where you need heating at night and during the morning before transitioning to cooling later in the day.

How to Repair It

The best approach for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to regularly get a new air filter and schedule annual air conditioning maintenance with Cool Power LLC . We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system flowing, as excess water can also result in noxious odors.

4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

If you are experiencing air conditioner mildew smell or a strong, vinegar-like odor, it might be the result of several situations, like:

  • A dirty filter
  • Too much condensation
  • Plugged condensate pan or drain line
  • Moldy air conditioner or ductwork

How to Repair It

Inspect your filter first. If you haven’t changed it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, it’s time to replace it. If that doesn’t fix the problem, call Cool Power LLC at 631-246-4029.

5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic

If you’re dealing with 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 should have lubrication.
  • Broken fan belt.
  • Electrical issue.

Electrical malfunctions should be inspected right away to stop a fire. If you smell burning plastic when your air conditioner is on, turn it off and call us at 631-246-4029 immediately.

6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee

A strong ammonia odor means there may be mold spreading inside your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold produces.

How to Repair It

Mycotoxins are hazardous to your wellness. That’s why we recommend having a specialist like Cool Power LLC look at your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when recommended.

Our Specialists Can Take Care of Strange Air Conditioner Smells Quickly

You deserve to be cozy in your home and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you need relief from your smelly air conditioner, give us a call at 631-246-4029. We’ll diagnose the trouble quickly and take care of it at a reasonable.