Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

July 22, 2019

The majority of us install air conditioners to help us feel cool in our homes. But when you start to notice unpleasant odors coming from your cooling system, it’s more than just annoying. It can greatly influence your home comfort.

Where do the smells come from?

Begin with what the odor smells like. If the odor resembles a rotten egg, this could be a signal of a gas leak. If this is the case, you should open your windows, turn off the gas supply, evacuate the home and contact the gas company. Be sure to have the gas company turn it back on for you. It’s not something you want to tackle yourself.

If it doesn’t smell like rotten eggs, you are likely experiencing a different challenge.

Just like anything in your home, if your air conditioner isn’t cleaned properly or taken care of, there’s a good chance that dirt and dust will accumulate. And because components of your air conditioner aren’t clearly displayed before you, cleaning them can often go overlooked.

Buildup of mold, dirt and other particles is one of the more typical culprits of odor with air conditioners. It can happen with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. However, routine maintenance can help decrease this buildup and reduce the odds that an unfriendly smell starts dispersing throughout your space.

Heat and moisture can contribute to increased mold growth, particularly in warmer climates. Not only can mold and mildew create a nasty smell, but it can also negatively impact the quality of air in your home.

It’s also possible that a small animal navigated into your duct system and died. You can turn off your air conditioner and either give our team or pest control a call to come and retrieve the animal.

What can I do?

Check your filter. This is a usual culprit for air conditioner odors. If it’s been a long time since you’ve exchanged your air filter, go ahead and replace it with a brand new one. We typically suggest changing your filter every two to three months. But it’s also vital to keep in mind other factors that would require you to replace it more often, such as pets in the home or if a family member has allergies or asthma.

If you’ve replaced the filter and it’s not reducing the smell, it’s probably time to reach out for some help. Especially if it’s been an lengthy period of time since your last air conditioning examination. The pros can examine the situation to see if a thorough cleaning can do the job. You could consider having your air ducts cleaned. Professional duct cleaners can take a look to see if your indoor air quality would benefit from a proper cleaning.

If you have anxiety about the odors in your home, Willco Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Heating Inc. can help you review the situation and talk through possible solutions. You should be able to enjoy your cool indoor space throughout the warmer summer months, without having to suffer with unwanted odors. You can book an appointment with our team online or give us a shout at 862-345-6896.