Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

July 22, 2019

Many of us install air conditioners to help us feel comfortable in our homes. But when you start to observe unpleasant odors coming from your cooling system, it’s more than just irritating. It can greatly impact your home comfort.

Where do the smells come from?

Focus on what the odor smells like. If the odor resembles a rotten egg, this could be a indication 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. 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 have a different problem.

Just like anything in your indoor space, if your air conditioner isn’t cleaned correctly or taken care of, there’s a good chance that dirt and dust will gather. And because components of your air conditioner aren’t front and center, 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 occur with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. Luckily, regular maintenance can help prevent this buildup and reduce the probability that an unfriendly smell starts spreading 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 remove the animal.

What can I do?

Assess your filter. This is a typical culprit for air conditioner odors. If it’s been a long time since you’ve exchanged your air filter, replace it with a brand new one. We typically suggest changing your filter every two to three months. But it’s also important to keep in mind other elements that would require you to replace it more frequently, 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 making a difference, it’s probably time to contact a professional. Especially if it’s been an extended period of time since your last air conditioning checkup. They can examine 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 concerns about the odors in your home, Hale's Air Conditioning Services Inc can help you assess the situation and talk through possible solutions. You should be able to enjoy your cool indoor space throughout the warmer summer months, without having to suffer with unwanted odors. You can arrange an appointment with us online or give us a shout at 727-369-6195.