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Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Bad?

Just picture it: It’s a hot North Carolina day, and all you want to do is enjoy the cool relief of your air-conditioned home. But when you walk in the door, you’re greeted by an unpleasant odor that doesn’t give you the refreshed, relaxing feeling you were hoping for.

If your AC smells bad, there could be a few issues, depending on the type of odor coming from your unit. Learn more about what different smells can mean when they come from your AC and how you can alleviate the issue ASAP.

Maintenance can help you avoid AC issues, including smells! Learn more »

6 Reasons Why Your AC Stinks (& How To Fix It)

1. If Your Air Conditioner Smells Like Feet

Typically, we notice the smell of stinky socks or feet when dealing with a dirty or clogged air conditioner. The odor comes from sitting water that isn’t draining properly and thus collects and starts to smell. A thorough, professional cleaning can resolve the issue.

2. If Your Air Conditioner Smells Like Exhaust Fumes

Your AC isn’t gas-powered, so people are often concerned about where this type of smell could be coming from. However, fluids in the engine and other parts of your air conditioner can leak out, causing this exhaust fume odor.

When dealing with fluid leaks, call a professional in Raleigh to handle the situation.

3. If Your Air Conditioner Smells Like Gun Powder

If your unit’s fan motor or circuit board shorted out, your air conditioner may emit a burning odor that smells like gun powder. To eliminate the smell, keep your unit functioning properly, and avoid any risk, it’s best to call an HVAC contractor to fix the issue.

4. If Your Air Conditioner Smells Like Skunk

For the most part, a skunk-like smell indicates a gas leak in your system. Specifically, methyl mercaptan, a gas that smells a lot like a skunk’s spray, could be getting into your ductwork and causing this smell in your home.

This dangerous gas can put your family at risk, so we suggest evacuating your home and contacting a heating and cooling company as soon as possible to address the problem.

5. If Your Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your home smells like spoiled, rotten eggs, the cause of the odor is often a dead animal. Birds and rodents can take shelter in your air duct during the winter, where they often die and begin to decompose.

That’s why, when you turn on your AC, a horrible odor circulates throughout your home. Your ducts will need to be professionally cleaned to get rid of any animal remains and remove the smell.

6. If Your Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew

This is probably the most common smell we hear complaints about from our neighbors in Raleigh and Durham. If you smell a moldy odor, chances are that mildew or fungus has begun to grow in or near your air conditioner.

This makes sense since ACs remove excess moisture from your home in addition to cooling it. When that moisture cannot drain properly, mold grows easily in areas with remaining moisture.

Dirty filters can also give off the scent of mildew. In these situations, it’s best to call an HVAC technician trained in handling mold, mildew, and fungus. They know best how to get rid of the smell and improve your home’s air quality.

Related Reading: 5 Signs You Need To Repair Your Air Conditioner »

Call Air Experts To Get Your AC Back to Normal ASAP

If you live in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, or any surrounding areas, the cooling professionals at Air Experts can get rid of the odor coming from your smelly air conditioner right away.

Contact us online or call 919-480-2727 to schedule an appointment or get answers to any questions.

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