Like many homeowners and renters, you might be worried about air conditioner smells. The smell of your AC unit can ruin the way your home smells. More importantly, it can also cause some serious health problems. There are several reasons why an air conditioner smells. As a homeowner, you must determine the root cause of air conditioner smells to treat them properly. So what are some possible sources of the smell, and what can you do to fix the problem? At Pioneers Heating and Air, we get these questions all the time. So we have laid out the most common air conditioner odors you might be smelling.
Common Air Conditioner Smells and the Best Solutions
Your Air Conditioner Smells Like Car Exhaust Fumes
Your air conditioner does not operate on an internal combustion engine. However, it does use some fluids to run. When these fluids are heated, they can sometimes smell like car exhaust. Freon, for example, is a type of refrigerant most commonly used in ACs. You could smell Freon leaking even though it is an almost odorless gas. Freon has a sweet chloroform, similar to your car coolant but with a bit of sweetness.
While a Freon leak may not seem like a big deal, it can be dangerous. If you suspect a Freon leak, open windows to ventilate your home and eliminate that unpleasant smell. Then call a certified HVAC specialist immediately to come to take a look at your AC unit. HVAC professionals have detectors for finding Freon leaks and can repair the issue.
Your Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Gunpowder or Plastic
You may notice a burning smell when you first turn on your air conditioner after it has not been used in a while. That is just the unit burning off the accumulated dust, and the smell should go away after 20-30 minutes. However, if the smell does not dissipate soon, you may be in for a more serious issue. Your air conditioning system relies on different electrical components, such as circuit boards, power wires, fans, and compressors. However, one of these parts can overheat and emit a burning smell.
Immediately turn off your air conditioner and contact a professional HVAC contractor when you notice an electrical odor. Doing so will help prevent further damage and ensure that the problem is fixed as soon as possible.
Your Air Conditioner Smells Moldy or Musty
As the AC runs, it produces a lot of condensation. This moisture can escape into the airflow and end up in the air ducts, causing mold to build up. A clogged condensate drain line can cause a stale and dingy smell when you turn on your AC. Another possible reason for the moldy smell emanating from your air conditioner could be dirty filters. In hot and humid climates, moisture can build up in your AC’s filters over time, leading to a musty smell.
If your AC smells musty, it is best to call in an HVAC professional. They can check your HVAC system’s condensate line for any blockages and give your air ducts a thorough cleaning. Until this issue is fixed, it is advised to leave your air conditioner off.
Are you noticing any strange smells coming from your air conditioner? Do not try to tackle the air conditioner repair yourself – always call a professional HVAC technician to do the job. HVAC technicians have the training and experience necessary to safely and effectively repair your AC unit.
At Pioneers Heating and Air, we will not let air conditioner smells ruin your day. We are a local HVAC service contractor with technicians who are experts in all types of HVAC systems. If you are looking for AC maintenance or AC repair in Pasadena, CA, and the surrounding areas, we are here to help. Call us at (626) 217-0559 for more information.