When your air conditioner is clean and operating correctly, it’s not normal to be smelling anything weird. Unusual air conditioner noises and odd smells are a sign that something is wrong. If your air conditioner is aging or you haven’t had service completed recently, they can be a clear sign you need skilled air conditioning repair in Fredericksburg.
Here are six of the top air conditioner smells and how you can repair them.
1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, specifically a chemical scent, 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 scents are regularly a sign that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak. Your system uses this gas to transfer heat through copper coils, which can crack over time.
Four clues you are experiencing a refrigerant leak.
In addition to the weird smell, here are four other clues that you have a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner runs.
- Frost on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- It’s hard keeping your home cold or achieving your programmed temperature.
- Higher electrical bills.
How You Can Fix It
A refrigerant leak needs professional repairs from a heating and cooling company like Childress Heating & AC. Your cooling technician will locate and repair the leak before recharging your AC with refrigerant.
Repairing a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, based on nationwide averages compiled by HomeAdvisor. Your precise cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how many hours it requires to fix.
If your air conditioner was installed prior to 2010, it’s likely it has R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being manufactured due to its adverse effects on the ozone layer. As a result, repairs can be significantly expensive so it may be smartest to do air conditioning installation in this circumstance.
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 residence. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to warn you when there’s a leak, since the gas can be toxic in large amounts.
How You Can Solve It
If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we suggest:
- Shutting off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Evacuating your home right away.
- Calling your gas company without delay.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
Homeowners who call us about this problem usually report their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it runs. Also called dirty sock syndrome, this smell is typically linked to a dirty evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Moisture can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most often seen in locations where you need heating at night and during the morning before transitioning to cooling during the afternoon.
How to Fix It
The best approach for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to regularly replace your air filter and schedule annual air conditioning maintenance with Childress Heating & AC. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unblocked, as excess water can also lead to unpleasant odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are dealing with air conditioner mildew smell or a pungent, vinegar-like odor, it could be prompted by several problems, including:
- A dirty filter
- Too much condensation
- Clogged condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Repair It
Examine your filter first. If you haven’t replaced it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, we recommend replacing it. If that doesn’t resolve the smell, contact Childress Heating & AC at 540-675-4306.
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 several things wrong. These include:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that needs lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical problem.
Electrical issues should be inspected quickly to prevent a fire. If you detect burning plastic when your air conditioner is operating, switch it off and reach us at 540-675-4306 right away.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
An overpowering ammonia odor means there could be mold present within your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold creates.
How to Fix It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your well-being. That’s why we recommend having a specialist like Childress Heating & AC check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when recommended.
Our Professionals Can Take Care of Weird Air Conditioner Smells Quickly.
You deserve to be comfortable in your house and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you are looking for relief from your stinky air conditioner, reach us at 540-675-4306. We’ll diagnose the trouble quickly and take care of it at a fair price.