When your air conditioner is fresh and operating correctly, it’s expected you won’t be smelling anything strange. Unexpected air conditioner noises and odd smells are a sign that something is wrong. If your air conditioner is getting older or you haven’t had service done recently, they can be a sure sign you need skilled air conditioning repair in Des Moines.
Here are six of the most frequent air conditioner smells and how you can solve them.
1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, specifically a chemical odor, it isn’t a great sign. You could also report your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical scents are often a hint that your air conditioner is suffering from a refrigerant leak. Your system relies on this gas to shift heat through copper coils, which can break out over time.
Four Hints You Have a Refrigerant Leak
Aside from the strange smell, here are four other hints that you have a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is cooling.
- Ice crystals on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- It’s hard keeping your home comfortable or achieving your set temperature.
- Increasing energy bills.
How You Can Fix It
A refrigerant leak needs professional repairs from a heating and cooling company like Heartland Heating & Cooling. Your cooling professional will find and mend the leak before recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant.
Repairing a refrigerant leak usually costs between $225 and $1,600, based on nationwide averages put together by HomeAdvisor. Your total cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how many hours it requires to fix.
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it’s likely it has R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being manufactured as a result of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Consequently, 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 significant likelihood you have a natural gas leak in your home. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to signal you when there’s a leak, since the gas can be fatal in big amounts.
How You Can Fix It
If you detect a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we advise:
- Switching off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Going outside right away.
- Contacting your gas company without delay.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
Homeowners who reach us regarding this issue usually mention their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s on. Also known as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is often linked to a grubby evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Moisture can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most typical in areas where you need heating at night and during the morning before switching to cooling during the afternoon.
How to Fix It
The best approach for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to routinely get a new air filter and schedule annual air conditioning maintenance with Heartland Heating & Cooling. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system flowing, because standing water can also create nasty odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are living with air conditioner mildew smell or a strong, vinegar-like odor, it can be caused by several situations, including:
- A clogged filter
- Excess condensation
- Blocked condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Repair It
Examine your filter first. If you haven’t changed it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, we recommend replacing it. If that doesn’t solve the problem, call Heartland Heating & Cooling at 515-344-3579.
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 a couple of things wrong. These involve:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that should have lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical malfunctions.
Electrical malfunctions should be examined immediately to stop a fire. If you smell burning plastic when your air conditioner is operating, turn it off and reach us at 515-344-3579 without delay.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
An overpowering ammonia odor means there might be mold flourishing in your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold creates.
How to Fix It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your well-being. That’s why we recommend having a professional like Heartland Heating & Cooling look at your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when necessary.
Our Pros Can Take Care of Unpleasant Air Conditioner Smells Quickly
You deserve to be comfy in your home and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you are seeking relief from your stinky air conditioner, give us a call at 515-344-3579. We’ll diagnose the trouble quickly and take care of it at a competitive.