When your air conditioner is fresh and running correctly, it’s expected you won’t be smelling anything weird. Out of the ordinary air conditioner noises and strange smells are a clue that something is wrong. If your air conditioner is old or you haven’t had service done lately, they can be a clear sign you need skilled air conditioning repair in Murrieta.
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, particularly a chemical scent, isn’t a positive sign. You may also observe your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical scents are frequently a hint that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak. Your system uses this gas to transfer heat through copper coils, which can crack over time.
4 Clues You Are Experiencing a Refrigerant Leak
In addition to the strange smell, here are four other hints that you are dealing with a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner runs.
- Frost on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- Trouble keeping your residence comfortable or having your set temperature.
- Increasing electrical expenses.
How You Can Take Care of It
A refrigerant leak calls for professional support from a heating and cooling company like Cool Air Solutions. Your cooling professional will pinpoint and fix the leak before recharging your AC with refrigerant.
Repairing a refrigerant leak usually costs between $225 and $1,600, based on nationwide averages assembled by HomeAdvisor. Your precise cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how much time it needs to fix.
If your air conditioner was installed prior to 2010, it’s likely it uses R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made as a result of its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Because of this, repairs can be significantly expensive so it may be wisest to consider air conditioning installation in this situation.
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 high probability you have a natural gas leak in your home. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to warn you when there’s a leak, since the gas can be deadly in heavy concentrations.
How You Can Repair It
If you detect a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we recommend:
- Switching off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Leaving your home promptly.
- Contacting your gas company immediately.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
Homeowners who call us about this situation usually say their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s on. Also called dirty sock syndrome, this smell is usually caused by a filthy evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Condensation can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most common in areas where you use heating at night and during the morning before transitioning to cooling during the afternoon.
How to Fix It
The best method for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to routinely change your air filter and schedule routine air conditioning maintenance with Cool Air Solutions. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unblocked, because standing water can also result in noxious odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are experiencing air conditioner mildew smell or a strong, vinegar-like odor, it can be prompted by several issues, including:
- A dirty filter
- Too much condensation
- Clogged condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Solve It
Check 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 solve the smell, contact Cool Air Solutions at 951-299-9853.
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 include:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that should have lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical issue.
Electrical problems should be inspected right away to prevent a fire. If you smell burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, shut it off and call us at 951-299-9853 immediately.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
An overpowering ammonia odor means there could be mold flourishing within your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold produces.
How to Repair It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your well-being. That’s why you should have a pro like Cool Air Solutions check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when needed.
Our Pros Can Eliminate Strange Air Conditioner Smells Rapidly
You deserve to be comfortable 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 951-299-9853. We’ll diagnose the problem quickly and resolve it at a fair price.