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The air conditioner usually works silently in the background. In their top-notch condition, ACs are hardly noticeable – it is just felt — not heard, and certainly cannot be smelled. Once an AC starts smelling funny, something is definitely off.

Usually, ACs begin to produce a strange odor when it has not been used for a couple of weeks or several months. Since it lays dormant, dust would have accumulated within the system, hence the dusty smell upon the first couple of hours of use to a few days. If the odor lingers or is more malodorous than a normal dusty smell, then it is time to call in an HVAC professional for thorough cleaning and tune-up. Alternatively check your AC condenser fan motor it could be one of the things causing a bad smell if the ac isn’t working properly.

Below are some of the most common smelly-type of odors that ACs may produce, what they mean, and how a homeowner can deal with them:

Stinky socks

Smelly socks are one of the most common unpleasant odors an AC unit can produce. This dirty sock smell is actually due to a build-up of bacteria in the evaporator coils of the condenser unit. When bacteria breeds in this area, this unfortunate odor can waft all over your home.

The only way to deal with this kind of odor is by requesting a professional HVAC maintenance tune-up. The technician will have to clean the coils and sanitize the whole condenser to get rid of the stench. In the process, he can also inspect if there are other issues within the system, and carry out repairs accordingly.

A burning smell or gunpowder odor

If the AC smells like something is burning or a gun powder-like odor is emanating from the vents then the homeowner should immediately turn off the air conditioner, call the fire department, and get everyone out of the house.

Once the fire department has ruled out a fire in the house, call an HVAC company for a service call. Usually, when the HVAC produces a burning odor, there is something that is burning within its system. Common things that cause this are frayed wiring that caught fire, overheating AC motor or components, or a grave mechanical issue. The gunpowder odor on the other hand is indicative of a short-circuit problem within the AC.

Exhaust Fumes

Another common odor that an AC may emit is an exhaust fumes-like odor. This usually occurs when there is a fluid that is leaking into the AC’s motor or other warm mechanisms within the AC unit. When this liquid drops into the motor exhaust like odors are produced.

The best way to resolve this issue is by calling for a professional HVAC inspection and repair. Such an issue must not be shrugged off since it can get worse, and the leak could flow through more sensitive mechanisms within the AC that could not hold much water.

Garbage-like odor

Sometimes the AC can smell like garbage because during wintertime some animals seek refuge and hide in the AC system which includes the ducts. Unfortunately, some of these animals could die within the ducts and the stench of their carcass will surely proliferate the whole home. If there is garbage or a dead rat-like odor, turn off the HVAC system and call an HVAC specialist. After the professional repair, resolve the issue for the long term by calling to seek pest control services.

Mildew or mold-like odor

Another usual complaint about ACs is the mold or mildew odor. This usually occurs when microbes grow within the system, and subsequently, produce a moldy odor. It cannot be helped at times since one of the AC’s functions is also to remove excess humidity and moisture in the indoor atmosphere. Since microbes are attracted to moisture, they can proliferate within the system.

It is crucial to immediately deal with the matter since molds can be dangerous to the health. Get in touch with a licensed HVAC contractor for system cleaning and remediation. If your experiencing any of these symptoms you may also find that your air conditioning system isn’t properly cooling your home.

Do not hesitate to call for reliable AC help

When it comes to unpleasant odors, we at Reliable Standard Heating, Air, & Solar can help you. Our expert HVAC technicians can resolve any odor issue and we guarantee you that after the maintenance and servicing you can finally relax with cool, and clean-smelling air inside your home. Call us today!

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