When your air conditioner starts putting out odd or unappealing odors, it is important to take notice because it could be a sign of a significant problem. Ignoring unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioner could lead to further damage to your AC or even pose a risk to your health and safety.

Depending on what you’re smelling, the root of the problem may be bacteria or fungus in the system. On the other hand, it could also sign something mechanically wrong with the air conditioning system. Some smells are a sign of a dangerous situation, including a natural gas leak.

At Fal-Ken Heating & Cooling Corporation, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something weird coming from your AC, there’s a good chance our team of talented specialists has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned our reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Holbrook.

What does a certain smell billowing from your AC mean? Here are some typical air conditioner aromas and what they may mean:

Your AC Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it may be because of a buildup of bacteria or fungus inside of it. When moisture builds inside the unit, it can produce an environment that is conducive to the spread of bacteria and fungus. This can cause a nasty odor that is often described as smelling like dirty feet.

Another possible cause of the smell may be a dirty air filter. When your HVAC system’s air filter becomes clogged with dirt, dust and other particles, it can lead to low air quality and a musty smell that bears a resemblance to feet.

To solve this unpleasant situation, it’s important to have a quality service tech inspect and clean your air conditioning system, including the evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain line. It’s also important to change the air filter regularly to promote good air quality and restrict the development of bacteria and fungus.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your air conditioning equipment stinks like rotten eggs, it might be due to a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a distinctive odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur, which is because of a substance added to it to make it easily detectable.

A natural gas leak is very dangerous and requires immediate attention. If you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, immediately open windows and doors to air out the area, get everyone out of the building and call your gas company or emergency services right away.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew

If your AC is giving off an odor like mildew, it may be due to a buildup of moisture inside the unit. When moisture forms inside the air conditioning system, it can cultivate the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty smell that resembles mildew.

Another possible cause of the smell may be a dirty air filter. If the air filter becomes clogged, it can result in poor air quality and a musty smell that is similar to mildew.

Annual air conditioning maintenance from Fal-Ken Heating & Cooling Corporation can help prevent both of these situations, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a terrific way to keep your system operating at its best!

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine

One of the most unpleasant situations is when an air conditioner smells like urine.

If your air conditioning stinks like urine, it could could be caused by multiple factors. One possible cause is a accumulation of bacteria or mold in the air conditioning system. This can happen in the event that moisture accumulates in the system and creates a moist environment that is conducive to bacterial growth. The bacteria can produce a foul odor that it similar to urine.

Another feasible cause of the scent of urine could be a plugged drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away correctly, but if the drain line becomes choked with debris, it can cause water to back up and collect inside the unit. This can create a musty smell that is sometimes described as smelling of urine.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your AC smells like burning plastic, it might be because of an electrical problem with the unit. After a while, the electrical parts in the air conditioning system can wear out or malfunction, which can create a burning smell that resembles plastic.

Another possible root cause of the smell could be a foreign object that somehow got in the HVAC system. If something foreign gets stuck in the air conditioning system, it can heat up and cause a smell that reminds people of burning plastic.

If you smell burning plastic coming from your cooling system, it’s important to phone a professional right away.

Your AC Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioning smells like gas, there could be a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a recognizable aroma, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because a smell is incorporated into natural gas to make it easily detectable.

As stated earlier, a natural gas leak can be VERY dangerous and calls for immediate attention. If you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, open windows and doors to air out the home, get everyone out of the building and call your gas company or emergency services right away.

Your AC Smells Like Fish

When your air conditioner smell like fish, this could be a sign of a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture creates an environment that promotes the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a disgusting odor that can be described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can cause a smell like dirty feet.

Another possible cause of the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material trapped in the air conditioning system. This often is possible if an animal such as a mouse or bird is trapped inside the unit and dies.

To correct the issue, it’s often necessary to have a professional inspect and clean your cooling system. They can determine the source of the smell and take the correct steps to remove any contaminants and keep the problem from recurring.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Vinegar

There could be numerous reasons an AC smells like vinegar. One possible cause might be a clogged air filter. One other potential cause of the smell may be a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can generate a chemical odor that resembles vinegar.

To fix the issue, it’s important to have a skilled specialist examine and clean your air conditioning.  If the odor continues after the cleaning and exchanging the air filter, it’s best to reach back out to a professional to find and repair any hidden issues with your air conditioning. Or, the mechanic can tell you if your air conditioning needs to be replaced.

If you are planning to upgrade, Fal-Ken Heating & Cooling Corporation can help locate the ideal unit to fit your home’s needs. We deliver reliable, professional air conditioner installation in Holbrook.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If the smell of chemicals is coming from your air conditioner, it could be the result of a refrigerant leak. In a situation where the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical scent that people sometimes describe as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.

An additional possible cause of the smell could be a problem with the electrical wiring or elements inside the air conditioning system. This can cause a burning smell that resembles chemicals or burning plastic.

If you think your system has a refrigerant leak or an electrical problem, it’s important to turn off your air conditioning system right away and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be hazardous and may require immediate attention to protect against injury or damage to your residence.

Weird Smells Coming from the Air Conditioning? Contact the Experts at Fal-Ken Heating & Cooling Corporation

If your air conditioner stinks and you aren’t able to fix it quickly on your own, call the cooling professionals at Fal-Ken Heating & Cooling Corporation. We have plenty of experience working with a wide variety of air conditioning systems. Our crew has fixed countless air conditioning troubles over the years—including weird smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Holbrook!