When your air conditioner is clean and running correctly, you shouldn’t be smelling anything strange. Unexpected air conditioner noises and strange smells are a hint that something is off. If your air conditioner is old or you haven’t had service done recently, they can be a sure sign you need pro air conditioning repair in Crystal and Twin Cities.
Here are six of the most common air conditioner smells and how you can fix them.
1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, especially a chemical scent, it isn’t a great sign. You might also notice your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical scents are regularly a clue that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak. Your system relies on this gas to move heat through copper coils, which can break out as time goes on.
Four Clues You Have a Refrigerant Leak
Besides the strange smell, here are four other signs that you are dealing with a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is operating.
- Frost on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- It’s hard keeping your residence cold or reaching your programmed temperature.
- Higher utility costs.
How You Can Repair It
A refrigerant leak calls for experienced repairs from a heating and cooling company like GV Heating & Air. Your cooling specialist will find and mend the leak before recharging your system with refrigerant.
Resolving a refrigerant leak often costs between $225 and $1,600, based on nationwide averages assembled by HomeAdvisor. Your precise cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how long it requires to repair.
If your air conditioner was installed prior to 2010, there’s a good chance it runs on R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being manufactured due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Because of this, repairs can be significantly expensive so it may be smartest to consider 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 high chance 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 deadly in heavy concentrations.
How You Can Solve It
If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we recommend:
- Shutting off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Going outside as soon as possible.
- Calling your gas company now.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
Individuals who reach us to report this problem 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 caused 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 climates where you need heating at night and during the morning before transitioning 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 GV Heating & Air. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unclogged, as standing water can also produce noxious odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are experiencing air conditioner mildew smell or a strong, vinegar-like odor, it could be the result of several problems, including:
- A filthy filter
- Extra condensation
- Clogged condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Resolve It
Check 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 resolve the smell, contact GV Heating & Air at 763-535-2000.
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 couple 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 examined immediately to avoid a fire. If you detect burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, turn it off and call us at 763-535-2000 right away.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
A strong ammonia odor means there may be mold present 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 we recommend having a pro like GV Heating & Air examine your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when needed.
Our Professionals Can Take Care of Unpleasant 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, reach us at 763-535-2000. We’ll determine the issue quickly and fix it at a fair price.