Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

July 22, 2019

The majority of us install air conditioners to help us feel relaxed 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 affect 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 call the gas company. Be sure to have the gas company turn it back on for you. It’s not something you want to tackle yourself.

If it doesn’t smell like rotten eggs, you probably have a different problem.

Just like anything in your house, if your air conditioner isn’t cleaned properly or taken care of, there’s a good chance that dirt and dust will gather. And because components of your air conditioner aren’t right in front of you, cleaning them can often go overlooked.

Buildup of mold, dirt and other particles is one of the more typical culprits of odor with air conditioners. It can happen with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. Thankfully, ongoing maintenance can help prevent this buildup and reduce the probability that an unfriendly smell starts spreading throughout your space.

Heat and moisture can contribute to increased mold growth, specially in warmer climates. Not only can mold and mildew induce a nasty smell, but it can also negatively impact the quality of air in your space.

It’s also possible that a tiny creature 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 get the animal.

What can I do?

Analyze your filter. This is a typical culprit for air conditioner odors. If it’s been a long time since you’ve exchanged your air filter, go ahead and replace it with a brand new one. We typically advise 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 repeatedly, such as pets in the home or if a family member has allergies or asthma.

If you’ve switched the filter and it’s not making a difference, it’s probably time to call in an expert. Especially if it’s been an lengthy period of time since your last air conditioning checkup. Technicians can review the situation to see if a thorough cleaning can do the job. You may also want to 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 anxiety about the odors in your home, Farnell Mechanical, Inc. can help you assess the situation and chat about 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 us online or give us a shout at 334-245-4748.