Woman wondering why her AC is acting up

Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

Many 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 influence your home comfort.

Where do the smells come from?

Begin 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. Allow 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 are likely experiencing a different issue.

Just like anything in your house, if your air conditioner isn’t cleaned well or taken care of, there’s a good chance that dirt and dust will accumulate. And because components of your air conditioner aren’t clearly displayed before 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. Luckily, routine maintenance can help avoid this buildup and reduce the odds that an unfriendly smell starts dispersing throughout your house.

Heat and moisture can contribute to increased mold growth, especially 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 retrieve the animal.

What can I do?

Assess your filter. This is a common culprit for air conditioner odors. If it’s been a long time since you’ve swapped your air filter, go ahead and replace it with a brand new one. We typically suggest changing your filter every two to three 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 replaced the filter and it’s not reducing the smell, it’s probably time to call in an expert. Especially if it’s been an long period of time since your last air conditioning checkup. They can assess 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 be enhanced from a proper cleaning.

If you have concerns about the odors in your home, Heartland 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 during the warmer summer months, without having to suffer with unfavorable odors. You can book an appointment with our team online or give us a shout at 515-344-3579.

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