Why Does My Air Conditioning Stink

The last thing you want when turning on your AC unit is an unpleasant smell. The causes for different odors coming from your air conditioning vents can be indicative of various problems, ranging from minor to extreme. Depending on the smell and intensity, these odors can be the first sign of extreme damage to your air conditioning unit. Here are some of the most common odorous indicators of issues with your AC unit:

  • Chemicals. Chemical smells from your AC unit are indicative of a refrigerant leak. This means your system is not able to produce an adequate temperature for your household.
  • Mustiness. Excess water in your AC unit, usually around your evaporator coil, can cause a musty, mildew smell to come from the air supply.
  • Natural gas. If your AC smells like rotten eggs, the problem is not attributed to your HVAC system, meaning that you may be experiencing a gas leak in your home.
  • Vinegar. Similar to a musty smell, a vinegar-like smell coming from your AC unit can mean that your filter is dirty, or there is too much condensation buildup in the unit.
  • Melting plastic or fish. Any odors that smell like burning plastic or fish coming from your AC unit are usually indicative of internal mechanical errors or electrical problems.
  • Ammonia. Ammonia-like smells coming from your vents can be a sign of mold buildup in your vents and filter, and they need to be addressed as soon as possible.

When to Contact an HVAC Technician

Depending on what odor you are experiencing with your unit, as well as the persistence of the smell and the intensity, the problems with your AC unit may need more serious repair than just a filter change. As soon as you discover these odors, your next step should be to contact an HVAC repair center to come and evaluate your unit to diagnose the problem. For high-quality AC repair services, contact Rivers Plumbing, Heating & Air for top-of-the-line HVAC services.

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