AC Problems: 5 Reasons Why Your AC Smells Bad

Woman checking out why AC is not working as it should
   

You’re relaxing at home, and your AC is on full blast to keep you cool. There’s only one problem: the air conditioner smells awful. 

Leave fixing the root cause of the stink in your AC’s to a professional tech. But if you’re wondering why your air smells, here are five possible reasons. 

Mildew or Fungus 

If you came to this article by searching for a “musty smell from air conditioner,” it’s highly likely that mildew or fungus is growing in or around your AC unit. The unwanted growth is probably from water or chemical fluid leaking out of your unit. 

Any kind of mold growing in your AC unit is dangerous for your entire household, as you could be breathing contaminated air. If you suspect that your AC unit has mildew or fungus in it, call a professional with expertise in cleaning up these kinds of infestations. 

Your AC unit may also smell like old socks or stinky feet. In this case, stagnant water has started to build up in your system. Mold may not be growing yet. But it will if you don’t get a professional cleaning ASAP. 

A Shorted Circuit Board 

Even if you’ve never shot an antique gun, you can imagine the dusty, chalky smell of gunpowder. Your air conditioning unit will this smell if it shorts out. While this can potentially be dangerous, it’s safe for you to remain in your home as long as you turn your AC unit off. 

However, you should have a professional repair the affected parts of your AC unit as soon as you can.

A Gas Leak 

The scent of a gas leak is very specific: skunk spray. If your smell this while your AC runs, you may well have a gas leak–which can be lethal. 

If you think you might have a gas leak in your home, evacuate your entire household immediately. Call your gas company first to have your line temporarily disconnected. Then call an AC specialist. Even if it’s a false alarm, you’re much better off safe than sorry. Either way, you’ll need a professional to repair the AC. 

If your air conditioning unit smells like sewage, this is another potentially dangerous sign of a ruptured pipe in your area. Sewage backup can quickly become flammable or explosive with a small amount of gas, so treat this situation urgently as well. 

A Dead Bird or Small Animal 

If you live in a cold place, birds, rodents, or other small animals may take shelter in your air vent. When these animals die and start to decompose, the scent wafts through your AC system and right into your nose. A professional will need to remove the carcass and clean your entire air conditioning system. He or she may have to repair air conditioner parts as well. 

You may get hung up on the grossness of this, which is natural. But unlike the first three potential causes of a smelly AC system, a dead animal in your vent probably isn’t immediately dangerous. Just be happy you don’t have to clean it up yourself. 

A Dirty Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is the part of your AC unit that absorbs the heat from the air in your home. If someone in your household smokes or frequently lights incense, your evaporator coil may become dirty. This will cause your home to smell like cigarettes, incense, or other scents every time you run your air conditioning. 

A dirty evaporator coil is unpleasant but not dangerous. Professional cleaning should resolve the issue quickly.

A smelly AC unit is never a good thing. At best, it’s unpleasant. At worst, it’s downright dangerous. But as long as you call a professional right away, you’ll soon be breathing a sigh of relief. 

Get rid of the unpleasant smell coming from your AC by reaching out to the Air Pro techs. Our team of professionals will assist you with any AC problems you may have. Give us a call today at 360-571-5100 to learn more about our services. 

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