When your air conditioner is spotless and running right, it’s not normal to be smelling anything weird. Out of the ordinary air conditioner noises and weird smells are a clue that something is up. If your air conditioner is old or you haven’t had maintenance completed within the last year, they can be a sure sign you need skilled air conditioning repair in Woodbridge.
Here are six of the most common air conditioner smells and how you can repair them.
1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, particularly a chemical smell, it isn’t a great sign. You could also observe your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical smells are typically a sign that your air conditioner is suffering from a refrigerant leak. Your system needs this gas to transfer heat through copper coils, which can wear out as time goes on.
Four Hints You Are Dealing with a Refrigerant Leak
Besides the strange smell, here are four other signs that you have a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner runs.
- Ice on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- Difficulty keeping your house cool or having your programmed temperature.
- High electrical bills.
How You Can Take Care of It
A refrigerant leak requires professional support from a heating and cooling company like Fire & Ice HVAC. Your cooling specialist will find and mend the leak before recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant.
Fixing a refrigerant leak usually costs between $225 and $1,600, based on nationwide averages compiled by HomeAdvisor. Your precise cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how long it takes to fix.
If your air conditioner was installed earlier than 2010, there’s a good chance it runs on R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being produced because of its adverse effects on the ozone layer. Due to this, repairs can be significantly expensive so it may be best to consider air conditioning installation in this instance.
2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s likely nothing wrong with it. But there’s a good chance you have a natural gas leak in your home. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to signal you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be toxic in large amounts.
How You Can Solve It
If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we advise:
- Shutting off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Going outside right away.
- Calling your gas company without delay.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
People who reach us about this situation frequently share their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it runs. Also called dirty sock syndrome, this smell is often created by a filthy evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Condensation can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most common in locations where you need heating at night and during the morning before transitioning to cooling later in the day.
How to Fix It
The best method for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to regularly replace your air filter and schedule yearly air conditioning maintenance with Fire & Ice HVAC. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system flowing, because stagnant water can also lead to noxious odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are dealing with air conditioner mildew smell or a pungent, vinegar-like odor, it could be the result of several issues, such as:
- A dirty filter
- Excess condensation
- Clogged condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Resolve It
Examine your filter first. If you haven’t put in a new one within the last three months and can’t see light through it, it’s time to replace it. If that doesn’t solve the problem, call Fire & Ice HVAC at 703-595-4157.
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 involve:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that requires lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical problem.
Electrical problems should be inspected immediately to avoid a fire. If you smell burning plastic when your air conditioner is operating, switch it off and reach us at 703-595-4157 immediately.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
A strong ammonia odor means there may be mold present within 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 health. That’s why we recommend having a specialist like Fire & Ice HVAC examine your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when necessary.
Our Specialists Can Take Care of Unpleasant Air Conditioner Smells Rapidly
You deserve to be cozy in your residence and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you need relief from your noxious air conditioner, contact us at 703-595-4157. We’ll diagnose the problem quickly and take care of it at a reasonable.