When your air conditioner is fresh and working correctly, you shouldn’t be smelling anything strange. Unexpected air conditioner noises and odd smells are a hint that something is off. If your air conditioner is aging or you haven’t had maintenance done within the last year, they can be a sure sign you need skilled air conditioning repair in Greater Richmond.
Here are six of the top 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, specifically a chemical smell, isn’t a good sign. You might also observe your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical odors are regularly a clue that your air conditioner is experiencing a refrigerant leak. Your system relies on this gas to move heat through copper coils, which can crack as time passes.
4 Clues You Are Dealing with a Refrigerant Leak
In addition to the odd smell, here are four other hints that you have 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 home comfortable or having your desired temperature.
- Higher electrical expenses.
How You Can Repair It
A refrigerant leak requires experienced repairs from a heating and cooling company like Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. Your cooling pro will locate and mend the leak before recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant.
Resolving a refrigerant leak usually costs between $225 and $1,600, according to nationwide averages assembled by HomeAdvisor. Your exact cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how much time it requires to repair.
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, there’s a high probability it uses R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being produced because of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Consequently, repairs can be very expensive so it may be smartest to consider air conditioning installation in this instance.
2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s probably nothing wrong with it. But there’s a good likelihood you have a natural gas leak in your house. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to alert you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be fatal in large amounts.
How You Can Fix It
If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we suggest:
- Shutting off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Evacuating your home right away.
- Call your gas company immediately.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
Individuals who reach us to report this problem frequently mention their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s on. Also called dirty sock syndrome, this smell is often linked to a filthy 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 often seen in areas where you turn on heating at night and during the morning before switching to cooling later in the day.
How to Repair It
The best method for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to regularly get a new air filter and schedule annual air conditioning maintenance with Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unblocked, as standing water can also lead to nasty odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are experiencing air conditioner mildew smell or an acidic, vinegar-like odor, it might be caused by several issues, like:
- A dirty filter
- Extra condensation
- Blocked condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Resolve It
Examine your filter first. If you haven’t put in a new one within the last three months and can’t see light through it, we recommend replacing it. If that doesn’t fix the problem, reach Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling at 804-302-6657.
5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If you’re dealing with an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be a number of things wrong. These include:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that requires lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical malfunctions.
Electrical problems should be examined right away to prevent a fire. If you detect burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, switch it off and reach us at 804-302-6657 immediately.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
An overpowering ammonia odor means there may be mold spreading inside your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold creates.
How to Solve It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your wellness. That’s why you should have a specialist like Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when necessary.
Our Professionals Can Get Rid of Odd Air Conditioner Smells Rapidly
You deserve to be cozy in your home and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you need relief from your smelly air conditioner, reach us at 804-302-6657. We’ll figure out the trouble quickly and fix it at a fair price.