Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

July 22, 2019

We install air conditioners to help us feel cool in our homes. But when you start to notice unpleasant odors coming from your cooling system, it’s more than just bothersome. 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 call the gas company. Make sure to let 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 are likely experiencing a different challenge.

Just like anything in your home, 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 take place with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. However, regular maintenance can help prevent this buildup and reduce the chances that an unfriendly smell starts spreading throughout your home.

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 house.

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?

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 advise 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 repeatedly, such as pets in the home or if a family member has allergies or asthma.

If you’ve exchanged the filter and it’s not helping, it’s probably time to contact a professional. Especially if it’s been an extended period of time since your last air conditioning inspection. They can review 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 be enhanced from a proper cleaning.

If you have frustrations about the odors in your home, B & G HVAC can help you review the situation and chat about possible solutions. You should be able to enjoy your cool indoor space in the warmer summer months, without having to suffer with unwanted odors. You can schedule an appointment with our team online or give us a shout at 641-323-1210.