When your air conditioner is spotless and working properly, it’s expected you won’t be smelling anything strange. Abnormal air conditioner noises and weird smells are a hint that something is out of whack. If your air conditioner is old or you haven’t had service scheduled within the last year, they can be a sure sign you need skilled air conditioning repair in Sandpoint.
Here are six of the most common air conditioner smells and how you can resolve them.
1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, particularly a chemical smell, isn’t a positive sign. You might also notice your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical smells are regularly a sign that your air conditioner is experiencing a refrigerant leak. Your system uses this gas to move heat through copper coils, which can crack over time.
4 Clues You Have a Refrigerant Leak
In addition to 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.
- Difficulty keeping your residence comfortable or reaching your desired temperature.
- High electrical costs.
How You Can Take Care of It
A refrigerant leak calls for skilled support from a heating and cooling company like Age Heating & Cooling. Your cooling specialist will pinpoint and mend the leak before recharging your AC with refrigerant.
Repairing a refrigerant leak usually costs between $225 and $1,600, per nationwide averages put together by HomeAdvisor. Your precise cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how long it takes to repair.
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 produced due to its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Due to this, repairs can be significantly expensive so it may be best to schedule air conditioning installation in this circumstance.
2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s possibly 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 signal you when there’s a leak, since the gas can be fatal in large amounts.
How You Can Repair It
If you detect a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we advise:
- Turning off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Going outside as soon as possible.
- Contacting your gas company now.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
People who call us about this problem usually report their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s running. Also known as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is often caused by a dirty evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Condensation can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most often seen in locations where you turn on heating at night and during the morning before transitioning to cooling later in the day.
How to Repair It
The best approach for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to frequently change your air filter and schedule regular air conditioning maintenance with Age Heating & Cooling. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system flowing, because stagnant water can also lead to unpleasant odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are living with air conditioner mildew smell or an acidic, vinegar-like odor, it could be caused by several situations, like:
- A dirty filter
- Extra condensation
- Plugged condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Fix 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 fix the smell, call Age Heating & Cooling at 208-578-4258.
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 involve:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that requires lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical problem.
Electrical problems should be examined immediately to prevent a fire. If you detect burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, shut it off and contact us at 208-578-4258 without delay.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
A powerful ammonia odor means there may be mold present inside your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold produces.
How to Fix It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your wellness. That’s why we recommend having a pro like Age Heating & Cooling examine your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when necessary.
Our Professionals Can Eliminate Odd Air Conditioner Smells Fast
You deserve to be comfortable in your residence and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you are looking for relief from your noxious air conditioner, give us a call at 208-578-4258. We’ll diagnose the issue quickly and fix it at a fair price.