When your air conditioner is spotless and operating right, it’s expected you won’t be smelling anything strange. Unusual air conditioner noises and weird smells are a clue that something is out of whack. If your air conditioner is aging or you haven’t had service scheduled within the last year, they can be an obvious sign you need professional air conditioning repair in Lake Forest.
Here are six of the top 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 scent, isn’t a positive sign. You could also notice your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical smells are often a sign that your air conditioner is experiencing a refrigerant leak. Your system uses this gas to shift heat through copper coils, which can wear out as time goes on.
4 Hints You Have a Refrigerant Leak
In addition to the odd smell, here are four other hints that you are dealing with a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is operating.
- Frost on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- Difficulty keeping your residence comfortable or reaching your set temperature.
- Higher energy costs.
How You Can Fix It
A refrigerant leak requires professional repairs from a heating and cooling company like 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.. Your cooling professional will locate and fix the leak before recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant.
Repairing a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, based on 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 needs to fix.
If your air conditioner was installed prior to 2010, it’s likely it uses R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made because of its harmful effects on the ozone layer. As a result, repairs can be extremely 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 probably nothing wrong with it. But there’s a high likelihood you have a natural gas leak in your home. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to alert you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be deadly in heavy concentrations.
How You Can Repair It
If you detect a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we advise:
- Shutting off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Evacuating your home promptly.
- Call your gas company without delay.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
Individuals who call us to report this problem frequently say their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it runs. Also called dirty sock syndrome, this smell is usually linked to a grubby 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 locations where you use heating at night and during the morning before turning on 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 annual air conditioning maintenance with 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unblocked, because excess water can also lead to nasty odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are dealing with air conditioner mildew smell or a strong, vinegar-like odor, it can be caused by several situations, including:
- A dirty filter
- Extra condensation
- Blocked condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Repair It
Check your filter first. If you haven’t put in a new one within the last three months and can’t see light through it, you should replace it. If that doesn’t resolve the problem, reach 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. at 949-204-0859.
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 several things wrong. These include:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that requires lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical malfunctions.
Electrical malfunctions should be examined immediately to avoid a fire. If you detect burning plastic when your air conditioner is operating, switch it off and reach us at 949-204-0859 without delay.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
A strong ammonia odor means there could be mold flourishing in 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 well-being. That’s why you should have a pro like 1st Choice Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. examine your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when necessary.
Our Pros Can Eliminate Odd Air Conditioner Smells Rapidly
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 smelly air conditioner, give us a call at 949-204-0859. We’ll diagnose the issue quickly and resolve it at a competitive.