When your air conditioner is spotless and working right, it’s expected you won’t be smelling anything weird. Abnormal air conditioner noises and odd smells are a clue that something is out of whack. If your air conditioner is old or you haven’t had service scheduled recently, they can be a clear sign you need skilled air conditioning repair in The Bay Area.
Here are six of the most frequent air conditioner smells and how you can solve 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 great sign. You might also report your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical odors are regularly a hint that your air conditioner is experiencing a refrigerant leak. Your system relies on this gas to move heat through copper coils, which can break out as time goes on.
Four Clues You Are Dealing with a Refrigerant Leak
Besides the odd smell, here are four other signs that you are experiencing a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is on.
- Ice crystals on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- Trouble keeping your house comfortable or achieving your desired temperature.
- High energy expenses.
How You Can Fix It
A refrigerant leak needs professional support from a heating and cooling company like Contra Costa Heating & AC. Your cooling pro will pinpoint and mend the leak before recharging your system with refrigerant.
Repairing a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, according to nationwide averages put together by HomeAdvisor. Your precise cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how much time it needs to solve.
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, there’s a good chance it uses R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made as a result of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Consequently, repairs can be significantly expensive so it may be wisest to consider air conditioning installation in this circumstance.
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 significant 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, because the gas can be deadly in big amounts.
How You Can Repair It
If you smell a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we suggest:
- Switching off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Going outside right away.
- Contacting your gas company now.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
People who call us to report this situation frequently mention their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it runs. Also known as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is often linked to a dirty 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 typical in climates where you need heating at night and during the morning before turning on cooling during the afternoon.
How to Repair It
The best way to prevent dirty sock syndrome is to regularly replace your air filter and schedule routine air conditioning maintenance with Contra Costa Heating & AC. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system flowing, as standing water can also lead to nasty odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are living with air conditioner mildew smell or a strong, vinegar-like odor, it might be prompted by several issues, like:
- A dirty filter
- Extra condensation
- Clogged condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Resolve It
Examine your filter first. If you haven’t replaced it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, you should replace it. If that doesn’t fix the smell, call Contra Costa Heating & AC at 510-343-9841.
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 entail:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that requires lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical problem.
Electrical malfunctions should be checked immediately to stop a fire. If you notice burning plastic when your air conditioner is on, switch it off and call us at 510-343-9841 immediately.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
An overpowering ammonia odor means there could be mold present in your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold produces.
How to Fix It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your wellness. That’s why we recommend having a pro like Contra Costa Heating & AC examine your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when recommended.
Our Professionals Can Get Rid of Unpleasant Air Conditioner Smells Fast
You deserve to be comfortable in your home and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you are seeking relief from your stinky air conditioner, contact us at 510-343-9841. We’ll figure out the trouble quickly and take care of it at a reasonable.