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Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Bad?

After working all day, you come home and want to enjoy your air-conditioned home. The thought of a cool space to relax helps you focus throughout your workday. Once you arrive home, you change out of your work clothes and grab a glass of iced tea or lemonade. You click on the TV and then the smells of your home swarm around you.

What is that stench? Read more to discover the reasons why your air conditioner smells bad.

Whiffs of the Spray of a Skunk

Any bad smells from your air conditioner need to be remediated. However, one scent that requires your immediate attention is that of a skunk. This can be an indicator of a gas leak. Though natural gas is odorless, companies infuse a powerful scent into the gas. Methyl mercaptan is added to natural gas.

If you detect the smell of skunk, turn off the gas. Leave your home and contact your utility company. Then call your certified HVAC specialist for assistance.

Burnt or Singed Smells

Another smell that can signal a potentially serious issue in your home is that of burnt plastics or gunpowder. If this is the odor in your home, turn off your air conditioner. Then contact your local HVAC expert. A professional will be able to detect the cause of the singed smell.

HVAC units are composed of a multitude of electrical components. The burnt scent can signal an issue with the motor or compressor of your unit. Frayed wires can also be the cause of the smell.

If you are just turning your air conditioner on after not using it for months, the cause of the smell can be from an accumulation of dust.

Musty, Damp Odors

If your home is beginning to smell more like a locker room, you should check for dampness in your house. There can be a number of root causes to the smell of dirty socks throughout your home.

Often, the odor results from water that has not drained correctly or completely. The water gathers in the drip lines and/or the drain pan in your air conditioner. Undetected leaks can cause water to trickle into your walls. Over time, this will begin to smell damp. Clogged and dirty filters can also contribute to a musty odor emanating from your air conditioning unit.

Scents Like Rotten Eggs or Garbage

Sometimes small animals creep into your air conditioning unit. Unfortunately, they can become stuck. As their body decomposes, it will begin to smell. This pungent scent similar to that of rotten eggs will lead you to the body of the small animal. Once it has been removed, the smell will dissipate.

Have your HVAC professional check your system to ensure that it has not been damaged.

Preventing Air Conditioning Smells

Annual tune-ups on your HVAC system are great ways to ensure that your units are working efficiently. A professional will inspect all components of your air conditioner. They can also change your filters to ensure that particles are being removed from the air. Service provided by HVAC professionals will offer you peace of mind and scent-free air!