When your air conditioner is fresh and working properly, it’s not normal to be smelling anything odd. Unexpected air conditioner noises and odd smells are a clue that something is out of whack. If your air conditioner is getting older or you haven’t had a tune-up scheduled within the last year, they can be a clear sign you need skilled air conditioning repair in Fredericksburg.
Here are six of the most common 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, especially a chemical scent, it isn’t a positive sign. You may also report your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical odors are often a clue that your air conditioner is experiencing a refrigerant leak. Your system relies on this gas to transfer heat through copper coils, which can crack as time goes on.
Four Clues You Are Dealing with a Refrigerant Leak
Aside from the weird smell, here are four other hints that you are dealing with a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is cooling.
- Ice crystals on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- It’s hard keeping your house cool or having your set temperature.
- Higher utility bills.
How You Can Take Care of It
A refrigerant leak needs experienced repairs from a heating and cooling company like Childress Heating & AC. Your cooling specialist will find and fix the leak before recharging your AC with refrigerant.
Fixing a refrigerant leak often costs between $225 and $1,600, according to nationwide averages compiled by HomeAdvisor. Your exact cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how much time it takes to fix.
If your air conditioner was installed earlier than 2010, it’s likely it has R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made because of its negative effects on the ozone layer. Consequently, repairs can be extremely expensive so it may be wisest to schedule air conditioning installation in this instance.
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 significant chance you have a natural gas leak in your residence. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to alert you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be fatal in heavy concentrations.
How You Can Fix It
If you detect a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we advise:
- Shutting off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Leaving your home as soon as possible.
- Calling your gas company immediately.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
Homeowners who call us regarding this situation often say their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it runs. Also known as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is frequently 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 typical in areas where you need heating at night and during the morning before transitioning to cooling during the afternoon.
How to Repair It
The best method for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to regularly replace your air filter and schedule routine air conditioning maintenance with Childress Heating & AC. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unblocked, since excess water can also result in nasty odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are living with air conditioner mildew smell or an acidic, vinegar-like odor, it might be the result of several issues, including:
- A clogged 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 changed it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, it’s time to replace it. If that doesn’t fix the problem, contact Childress Heating & AC at 540-675-4306.
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 include:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that should have lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical malfunctions.
Electrical issues should be inspected quickly to prevent a fire. If you notice burning plastic when your air conditioner is operating, turn it off and contact us at 540-675-4306 without delay.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
An overpowering ammonia odor means there could be mold spreading within your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold makes.
How to Solve It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your health. That’s why we recommend having a specialist like Childress Heating & AC examine your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when necessary.
Our Professionals Can Take Care of Strange Air Conditioner Smells Quickly
You deserve to be cozy in your house and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you need relief from your noxious air conditioner, give us a call at 540-675-4306. We’ll determine the problem quickly and take care of it at a fair price.