When your air conditioner starts putting out odd or funky aromas, it is important to take notice because it could be a sign of a big problem. Dismissing unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioner may lead to serious damage to your air conditioning or even pose a risk to your health and safety.

Depending on the cause of the odor, the root of the problem might be bacteria or fungus in the system. On the other hand, it could also sign something mechanically wrong with the air conditioning system. Some smells are even indicative of a harmful problem, like a natural gas leak.

At Central Air LLC, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something peculiar coming from your air conditioner, there’s a good chance our team of talented professionals has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned our reputation as the first call for air conditioning repair in Brookfield.

What does a specific odor wafting out of your air conditioning mean? Here are several frequent air conditioner odors and what they might mean:

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it might be caused by a buildup of bacteria or fungus inside of it. When moisture collects inside the unit, it can create an environment that is beneficial to the growth of bacteria and fungus. This can produce a bad odor that is often described as smelling like feet.

Another potential reason for the smell might be a dirty air filter. If an air filter becomes clogged with dirt, dust and other debris, it can lead to poor air quality and a musty smell that it similar to the smell of feet.

To fix this unpleasant situation, it’s important to have a quality service tech inspect and clean your air conditioning system, including the evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain line. It’s also important to replace the air filter regularly to provide good air quality and prevent the formation of bacteria and fungus.

Your AC Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your air conditioning unit stinks like rotten eggs, it might be the result of a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a unique odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur, which is added to it to make it easily detectable.

A natural gas leak can be extraordinarily dangerous and requires immediate attention. If you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, immediately open windows and doors to air out the area, get everyone out of the building and call your gas company or emergency services immediately.

Your AC Smells Like Mildew

If your cooling system is giving off an odor like mildew, it may be due to a collection of moisture inside the unit. When moisture collects inside an air conditioner, it can foster the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty stench that it similar to mildew.

Another possible cause of the smell might be a clogged air filter. When the air filter becomes clogged, it can lead to poor air quality and a musty smell that has a resemblance to mildew.

Annual air conditioning maintenance from Central Air LLC can help protect against both of these issues, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a terrific way to keep your system operating at its best!

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine

One of the most unpleasant situations is when the air coming out of your HVAC system smells like urine.

If your air conditioning reeks of urine, it could could be caused by multiple factors. One likely cause is a accumulation of bacteria or mold in the air conditioning system. This can happen if moisture accumulates in the system and creates a moist environment that can promote bacterial growth. The bacteria can create a foul odor that is like urine.

Another possible cause of the scent of urine could be a clogged drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away properly, but if the drain line becomes choked with debris, it can cause water to back up and accumulate inside the unit. This can create a musty smell that is sometimes described as smelling of urine.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your air conditioner smells like burning plastic, it might be because of an electrical issue with the unit. Over time, the electrical parts in the air conditioning system can wear out or bust, which can create a burning smell that resembles plastic.

Another possible cause of the smell could be a foreign object stuck in the the air conditioner. If something foreign gets trapped in the air conditioning system, it can become hot and cause a smell like burning plastic.

If you think you smell burning plastic coming from your air conditioner, it’s worthwhile to contact a professional right away.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Gas

If your AC smells like gas, it could be due to a natural gas leak in the unit or in your home. Natural gas has a distinct aroma, often described as smelling of rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because this scent is incorporated into natural gas to make it easily detectable.

As stated earlier, a natural gas leak can be VERY harmful and requires immediate attention. If you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, open windows and doors to air out the home, get everyone out of the building and contact your gas company or emergency services right away.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Fish

When your AC smell like fish, you may have a situation where there’s a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture creates an environment that is conducive to the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a disgusting odor that is sometimes described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can cause a smell like dirty feet.

Another potential cause of the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material stuck inside the air conditioning system. This often is possible if an animal such as a mouse or bird gets trapped inside the unit and dies.

To correct the issue, it’s often necessary to have a professional check out and clean your air conditioning system. They will be able to identify the source of the smell and take the appropriate steps to remove any contaminants and stop the problem from recurring.

Your AC Smells Like Vinegar

There could be multiple reasons your air conditioner smells like vinegar. One possible cause might be a clogged air filter. One other potential cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can make a chemical odor that is described as smelling of vinegar.

To fix the issue, it’s essential to have a skilled specialist examine and clean your air conditioning.  If the odor continues after the cleaning and changing of the air filter, it’s best to reach back out to a professional to diagnose and repair any underlying issues with your air conditioning. Or, they can tell you if your air conditioning needs to be replaced.

If you are looking to upgrade, Central Air LLC can help find the correct unit to fit your home’s needs. We offer trustworthy, professional air conditioner installation in Brookfield.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If the smell of chemicals is coming out of your air conditioner, it could be caused by a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that some people describe as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.

One other possible source of the smell could be problems with the electrical wiring or components inside the air conditioning system. This can result in a burning smell that is like chemicals or burning plastic.

If you suspect a refrigerant leak or an electrical problem, it’s important to shut down your air conditioning system as soon as possible and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be dangerous and may require immediate attention to avoid injury or damage to your home.

Weird Smells Coming from the Air Conditioning? Contact the Experts at Central Air LLC

If your air conditioner reeks and you aren’t able to fix it smoothly on your own, call the cooling professionals at Central Air LLC. We have plenty of experience working with a wide variety of air conditioning systems. Our crew has fixed a multitude of air conditioning troubles through the years—including funky smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Brookfield!