Woman wondering why her AC is acting up

Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

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

Where do the smells come from?

Start with what the odor smells like. If the odor resembles a rotten egg, this could be a sign 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 risk doing on your own.

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

Just like anything in your house, if your air conditioner isn’t cleaned correctly 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 most common sources of odors with air conditioners. It can happen with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. However, regular maintenance can help avoid this buildup and reduce the odds that an unfriendly smell starts spreading throughout your home.

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 space.

It’s also possible that a little critter 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 typical culprit for air conditioner odors. If it’s been a long time since you’ve changed your air filter, try replacing it with a brand new one. We typically suggest changing your filter every few months. But it’s also key to keep in mind other factors that would require you to replace it more frequently, such as pets in the home or if a family member has allergies or asthma.

If you’ve exchanged the filter and it’s not making a difference, it’s probably time to reach out for some help. Especially if it’s been an long period of time since your last air conditioning examination. Technicians can review 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 concerns about the odors in your home, Daniel's Heating & Refrigeration Corp. can help you take a look at the situation and discuss possible solutions. You should be able to enjoy your cool indoor space throughout the warmer summer months, without having to suffer with unfavorable odors. You can schedule an appointment with our team online or give us a shout at 804-372-0313.

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