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5 AC Smells You Shouldn’t Ignore

July 21, 2023 | Blog

You’re at home and smell an odd odor. After you investigate, you realize the unusual smell is coming from your AC. Are these odors normal? What could the smell mean? At Efficient Systems, we want to help you recognize common smells from your cooling system. Our team is here to help you know what they mean, which ones are dangerous and what to do next.

AC Has A Musty Smell

If your AC smells musty, it usually means there is a moisture problem. It’s important to check your unit in this case. Moisture in your air conditioner can lead to mold and mildew which can affect parts of your system. Causes for musty smell include:

  • Clogs in the drain line
  • Frozen coils from dirt and debris
  • Buildup on air filters
  • Leaking vents or ducts
  • Incorrect sizing of AC

If the problem is a clog, that can be fixed by cleaning the drain filters. If the issue is frozen coils, try cleaning your air filters consistently. For leaks, try cleaning or repairing your vent. An incorrect sizing diagnosis may need help from a professional. If any of these processes are too advanced, call a Beaumont AC repair professional in your area for help.

Rotten Egg Smell From AC

The cause of a rotten egg smell is likely an animal carcass in your AC system. Critters such as birds, rodents, lizards and bugs may have tried to build a home in or find shelter in the ducts. If they get trapped inside, they die and create an unpleasant smell.

In this case, we recommend calling a professional to get rid of the unwelcome guest. Getting rid of the critter can be done by yourself, but is often unpleasant and comes with health risks. After getting rid of the source, it’s best to call an AC specialist to ensure that your system still works well. Our team can also look into fixing issues or entry points to prevent rodents from entering your ducts in the first place.

Air Conditioner Smells Like It’s Burning

If you haven’t used your air conditioner in a while, it may burn some dust creating a burned smell. This is completely normal. However, if the air conditioning unit still smells burned after a few minutes, this may be a more serious problem.

If you think part of your AC unit is burning, turn it off immediately. The cause might be a short circuit which can increase the risk of a house fire. Call a professional to help check the problem.

Gasoline And Car Exhaust Fume Smell

If your air conditioner unit smells like gasoline or car engine exhaust fumes, you may have a refrigerant leak. This is a big problem. Refrigerants can leak hazardous material into the air which is dangerous.

The good news is that a professional can easily fix the problem. Refrigerant chemicals should always be handled by an AC technician. While waiting for a professional to arrive, turn off your thermostat. Crack windows open and run fans to help circulate the air.

Skunk Smell From Cooling System

A skunk smell may mean that you have a gas leak in the duct. The smell is caused by a gas called methyl mercaptan which is added to natural gas used to power home appliances. If this skunk-like smell occurs, immediately turn off your AC, evacuate your home and call a professional to fix the problem.

Turn To Efficient Systems For AC Repair

Overall, you should not have any unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioner. When investigating AC odors, it’s never a bad idea to reach out to a Beaumont AC repair technician like the team at Efficient Systems. Professional AC maintenance will also help lower your chances of encountering unusual smells and problems in the future. Ready to get started? Reach out today!

Why Choose Efficient Systems?

We guarantee that the equipment we have installed will perform as we have stated, or we will remove it and return 100% of your investment.
If we do not have your new system operating by the date promised, we will pay you $500 for your inconvenience.
You will save a minimum of 30% on your heating and cooling costs or we will refund double-the-difference of your savings not realized during the first year.

What Our Customers Have To Say

Very Professional

James was very professional and knowledgeable. Fixed the unit quickly and explained the process and effects of the repair/maintenance. Will always call ES from now on! Very happy with the work.

Joni N.

Top Notch Service

James, the technician was very efficient and professional. Our attic space is very challenging to access and he managed to survive the adventure stoically! Did a great job of explaining system status and what was checked. Top notch overall.

Jim L.

Outstanding Service

105 heat index day and AC not working correctly. Ryan Boyles was the tech that came to help. Diagnosed problem very quickly and fixed the issue. Looked at warranty package and determined the repair was warranty work…so NO charge. Outstanding.

Roy O.