When your air conditioner is spotless and running properly, it’s expected you won’t be smelling anything weird. Unexpected air conditioner noises and odd smells are a sign that something is out of whack. If your air conditioner is old or you haven’t had a tune-up completed lately, they can be a clear sign you need professional air conditioning repair in Frederick.
Here are six of the most frequent 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, especially a chemical odor, it isn’t a positive sign. You might also observe your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical odors are regularly a clue that your air conditioner is suffering from a refrigerant leak. Your system needs this gas to shift heat through copper coils, which can crack as time passes.
Four Signs You Are Dealing with a Refrigerant Leak
In addition to the strange smell, here are four other signs that you are experiencing a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner runs.
- Frost on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- Trouble keeping your home cold or achieving your set temperature.
- High electrical bills.
How You Can Take Care of It
A refrigerant leak requires professional support from a heating and cooling company like May's Heating & Air. Your cooling specialist will pinpoint and repair the leak before recharging your AC with refrigerant.
Resolving a refrigerant leak usually costs between $225 and $1,600, per nationwide averages assembled by HomeAdvisor. Your precise cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how much time it needs to repair.
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it’s likely it has R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made because of its negative effects on the ozone layer. As a result, repairs can be very expensive so it may be wisest to schedule air conditioning installation in this situation.
2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s likely nothing wrong with it. But there’s a significant chance you have a natural gas leak in your residence. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to alert you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be fatal in large amounts.
How You Can Fix It
If you detect a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we recommend:
- Shutting off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Leaving your home promptly.
- Contacting your gas company now.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
People who contact us regarding this problem frequently say their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s running. Also known as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is often caused by a dirty evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Condensation can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most typical in climates where you need heating at night and during the morning before turning on cooling during the afternoon.
How to Solve It
The best way to prevent dirty sock syndrome is to regularly get a new air filter and schedule annual air conditioning maintenance with May's Heating & Air. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unblocked, because standing water can also create unpleasant odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are living with air conditioner mildew smell or a pungent, vinegar-like odor, it might be the result of several problems, such as:
- A clogged filter
- Excess condensation
- Plugged condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Repair It
Examine your filter first. If you haven’t put in a new one within the last three months and can’t see light through it, you should replace it. If that doesn’t solve the problem, reach May's Heating & Air at 301-690-0397.
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 needs lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical malfunctions.
Electrical issues should be inspected quickly to stop a fire. If you notice burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, shut it off and reach us at 301-690-0397 immediately.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
An overpowering ammonia odor means there might be mold spreading within your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold creates.
How to Fix It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your wellness. That’s why we recommend having a professional like May's Heating & Air look at your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when needed.
Our Professionals Can Get Rid of Strange Air Conditioner Smells Quickly
You deserve to be comfortable in your residence and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you are looking for relief from your noxious air conditioner, contact us at 301-690-0397. We’ll determine the problem quickly and resolve it at a reasonable.