When your air conditioner is fresh and operating properly, it’s expected you won’t be smelling anything odd. Unexpected air conditioner noises and weird smells are a clue that something is up. If your air conditioner is aging or you haven’t had service done lately, they can be a sure sign you need skilled air conditioning repair in Erie.
Here are six of the most common air conditioner smells and how you can repair them.
1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, especially a chemical smell, it isn’t a great sign. You may also observe your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical scents are typically a sign that your air conditioner is experiencing a refrigerant leak. Your system uses this gas to move heat through copper coils, which can wear out as time passes.
Four Hints You Have a Refrigerant Leak
Besides the odd smell, here are four other hints that you are dealing with a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is operating.
- Ice crystals on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- It’s hard keeping your residence comfortable or reaching your desired temperature.
- Higher electrical bills.
How You Can Repair It
A refrigerant leak calls for skilled repairs from a heating and cooling company like Patterson & Stirling. Your cooling specialist will pinpoint and repair the leak before recharging your system with refrigerant.
Repairing a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, based on nationwide averages put together by HomeAdvisor. Your total cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how long it requires to solve.
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, there’s a good chance it runs on R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being manufactured due to its negative effects on the ozone layer. As a result, repairs can be extremely expensive so it may be smartest to consider air conditioning installation in this instance.
2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s probably nothing wrong with it. But there’s a significant probability you have a natural gas leak in your residence. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to warn you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be deadly in heavy concentrations.
How You Can Solve It
If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we suggest:
- Switching off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Evacuating your home right away.
- Calling your gas company immediately.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
People who contact us regarding this problem often share their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s on. Also called dirty sock syndrome, this smell is frequently created by a grubby evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Condensation can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most typical in locations where you use heating at night and during the morning before transitioning to cooling later in the day.
How to Solve It
The best way to prevent dirty sock syndrome is to regularly get a new air filter and schedule regular air conditioning maintenance with Patterson & Stirling. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unblocked, since stagnant water can also create unpleasant odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are dealing with air conditioner mildew smell or an acidic, vinegar-like odor, it might be caused by several situations, including:
- A filthy filter
- Extra condensation
- Clogged condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Fix It
Inspect your filter first. If you haven’t changed it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, you should replace it. If that doesn’t solve the problem, reach Patterson & Stirling at 814-308-0416.
5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If you’re dealing with an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be several things wrong. These involve:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that needs lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical malfunctions.
Electrical malfunctions should be checked quickly to prevent a fire. If you notice burning plastic when your air conditioner is operating, switch it off and contact us at 814-308-0416 immediately.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
A strong ammonia odor means there could be mold growing inside your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold creates.
How to Fix It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your wellness. That’s why we recommend having a professional like Patterson & Stirling check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when recommended.
Our Specialists Can Take Care of Odd Air Conditioner Smells Quickly
You deserve to be cozy in your home and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you need relief from your stinky air conditioner, contact us at 814-308-0416. We’ll diagnose the issue quickly and take care of it at a fair price.