Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

July 22, 2019

The majority of us install air conditioners to help us feel comfortable in our homes. But when you start to observe unpleasant odors coming from your cooling system, it’s more than just annoying. 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 reach out to the gas company. Be sure to have the gas company turn it back on for you. It’s not something you want to mess around with.

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

Just like anything in your home, 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 occur with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. Luckily, regular maintenance can help prevent this buildup and reduce the probability that an unfriendly smell starts diffusing throughout your house.

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

It’s also possible that a small animal 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 remove the animal.

What can I do?

Analyze your filter. This is a common 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 suggest changing your filter every few months. But it’s also vital to keep in mind other factors that would require you to replace it more often, 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 contact a professional. Especially if it’s been an extended period of time since your last air conditioning examination. They can examine 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, Uptown Heating & Cooling can help you take a look at 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 book an appointment with us online or give us a shout at 614-344-6949.