When your air conditioner is spotless and working properly, you shouldn’t be smelling anything strange. Abnormal 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 done within the last year, they can be a clear sign you need skilled air conditioning repair in McKinney and Frisco.
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 odor, it isn’t a good sign. You could also report your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical smells are often a sign that your air conditioner is experiencing a refrigerant leak. Your system relies on this gas to transfer heat through copper coils, which can wear out over time.
Four Signs You Have a Refrigerant Leak
Aside from the weird smell, here are four other clues that you are experiencing a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is cooling.
- Frost on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- Difficulty keeping your residence cold or having your set temperature.
- High utility bills.
How You Can Take Care of It
A refrigerant leak requires experienced support from a heating and cooling company like Bell Mechanical Services. Your cooling specialist will locate and repair the leak before recharging your AC with refrigerant.
Fixing a refrigerant leak typically 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 long it needs to solve.
If your air conditioner was installed prior to 2010, there’s a good chance it uses R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being produced because of its negative effects on the ozone layer. Because of this, repairs can be significantly 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 likely nothing wrong with it. But there’s a good chance you have a natural gas leak in your home. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to signal you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be deadly in heavy concentrations.
How You Can Repair It
If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we suggest:
- Turning off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Going outside promptly.
- Calling your gas company immediately.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
Individuals who contact us to report this situation 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 typically caused by a grubby 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 locations where you use heating at night and during the morning before transitioning to cooling later on.
How to Fix It
The best way to prevent dirty sock syndrome is to routinely replace your air filter and schedule yearly air conditioning maintenance with Bell Mechanical Services. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unblocked, since stagnant water can also produce nasty odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are dealing with air conditioner mildew smell or an acidic, vinegar-like odor, it might be caused by several problems, including:
- A clogged filter
- Excess condensation
- Blocked condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Solve It
Inspect your filter first. If you haven’t replaced it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, it’s time to replace it. If that doesn’t resolve the problem, contact Bell Mechanical Services at 888-863-0560.
5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If you’re noticing an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be several things wrong. These include:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that requires lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical malfunctions.
Electrical malfunctions should be inspected right away to avoid a fire. If you smell burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, shut it off and reach us at 888-863-0560 immediately.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
An overpowering ammonia odor means there may be mold growing inside 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 well-being. That’s why you should have a specialist like Bell Mechanical Services look at your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when needed.
Our Specialists Can Eliminate Weird 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 noxious air conditioner, give us a call at 888-863-0560. We’ll figure out the trouble quickly and resolve it at a fair price.