When your air conditioner is spotless and running correctly, it’s expected you won’t be smelling anything weird. Unexpected air conditioner noises and strange smells are a clue that something is wrong. If your air conditioner is past its prime or you haven’t had maintenance done within the last year, they can be a clear sign you need pro air conditioning repair in Auburn.
Here are six of the top 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, specifically a chemical scent, it isn’t a positive sign. You could also observe your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical scents are typically a sign that your air conditioner is experiencing a refrigerant leak. Your system needs this gas to move heat through copper coils, which can wear out as time passes.
Four Signs You Have a Refrigerant Leak
In addition to the weird smell, here are four other clues that you are dealing with a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is cooling.
- Frost on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- It’s hard keeping your home comfortable or achieving your desired temperature.
- High electrical costs.
How You Can Repair It
A refrigerant leak calls for professional repairs from a heating and cooling company like Forster Heating. Your cooling professional will locate and mend the leak before recharging your system with refrigerant.
Resolving a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, based on nationwide averages assembled by HomeAdvisor. Your total cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how many hours it needs to repair.
If your air conditioner was installed earlier than 2010, there’s a good chance it runs on R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made as a result of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Due to this, repairs can be significantly expensive so it may be wisest to do air conditioning installation in this instance.
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 good likelihood you have a natural gas leak in your home. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to warn you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be fatal in large amounts.
How You Can Repair It
If you smell a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we suggest:
- Switching off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Evacuating your home as soon as possible.
- Getting in touch with your gas company without delay.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
Homeowners who contact us to report this situation frequently share their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s running. Also called dirty sock syndrome, this smell is often linked to 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 typical in climates where you need heating at night and during the morning before transitioning to cooling later in the day.
How to Repair It
The best method for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to routinely replace your air filter and schedule yearly air conditioning maintenance with Forster Heating. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unclogged, because excess water can also result in noxious odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are dealing with air conditioner mildew smell or a pungent, vinegar-like odor, it could be the result of several issues, such as:
- A clogged filter
- Too much condensation
- Plugged condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Solve It
Inspect your filter first. If you haven’t put in a new one within the last three months and can’t see light through it, it’s time to replace it. If that doesn’t fix the smell, call Forster Heating at 530-885-8081.
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 a couple of things wrong. These involve:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that needs lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical problem.
Electrical malfunctions should be inspected immediately to stop a fire. If you notice burning plastic when your air conditioner is operating, shut it off and call us at 530-885-8081 right away.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
A strong ammonia odor means there might be mold present inside your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold makes.
How to Repair It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your health. That’s why you should have a professional like Forster Heating check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when necessary.
Our Specialists Can Eliminate Unpleasant Air Conditioner Smells Quickly
You deserve to be comfortable in your house and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you need relief from your noxious air conditioner, reach us at 530-885-8081. We’ll figure out the trouble quickly and fix it at a competitive.