When your air conditioner starts emitting odd or unappealing smells, it is important to take notice because it could be a sign of a significant problem. Ignoring unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioning can lead to further damage to your AC or even pose a risk to your health and safety.

Depending on what you’re smelling, the cause could be bacteria or fungus in the system. In other cases, it could also indicate something mechanically wrong with the AC. Some smells are a warning of a hazardous situation, such as a natural gas leak.

At Parker County Cooling & Heating, we are experienced at getting to the root cause of stinky smells. If you smell something odd coming from your AC, you can bet that our team of talented professionals has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned a reputation as the first call for air conditioning repair in Weatherford.

What does a particular smell coming from your air conditioning mean? Here are several common air conditioner smells and what they could mean:

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it could be because of a buildup of bacteria or fungus inside of it. When moisture builds inside the unit, it can establish an environment that is beneficial to the spread of bacteria and fungus. This can cause a bad odor that is often described as smelling like dirty feet.

Another potential cause of the stench of dirty feet may be a dirty air filter. If an air filter becomes choked with dirt, dust and other particles, it can result in substandard air quality and a musty smell that resembles feet.

To correct this dilemma, it’s important to have an experienced specialist inspect and clean your air conditioning system, including the evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain line. It’s also important to replace the air filter on a regular basis to provide good air quality and prevent the development of bacteria and fungus.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your air conditioning unit stinks like rotten eggs, it may be because of a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a unique odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur, which is because of a substance added to it to make it easily detectable.

A natural gas leak is a situation that is very dangerous and requires immediate attention. If you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, immediately open windows and doors to ventilate the area, get everyone out of the building and call your gas company or emergency services at once.

Your AC Smells Like Mildew

If your AC is giving off an odor like mildew, it may be due to a accumulation of moisture inside the unit. When moisture forms inside a cooling system, it can foster the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty smell that it similar to mildew.

Another possible explanation for the smell might be a clogged air filter. If the air filter becomes clogged, it can cause poor air quality and a musty smell that has a resemblance to mildew.

Regular air conditioning maintenance from Parker County Cooling & Heating can help prevent both of these problems, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a very good way to keep your system working at its best!

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Urine

One of the most unpleasant situations is when your AC smells like urine.

If your air conditioning equipment reeks of urine, it could be traced back to a number of things. One possible cause is a collection of bacteria or mold in the your HVAC. This can happen if moisture accumulates in the system and creates a damp environment that is conducive to bacterial growth. The bacteria can emit a foul odor that resembles urine.

Another feasible cause of the stink could be a plugged drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away properly, but if the drain line becomes stopped up by debris, it can cause water to back up and accumulate inside the unit. This can create a musty smell that can stink like urine.

Your AC Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your air conditioner smells like burning plastic, this could indicate an electrical issue with the unit. After some time, the electrical elements in the air conditioning system can wear out or bust, which can produce a burning smell that resembles plastic.

Another possible root cause of the smell could be a foreign object that somehow got in the unit. If something foreign gets trapped in the air conditioning system, it can heat up and result in a smell like burning plastic.

If you think you smell burning plastic coming from your cooling system, it’s important to call a professional right away.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner smells like gas, there could be a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a recognizable aroma, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because an odor is incorporated into natural gas to make it easily detectable.

As stated previously, a natural gas leak can be VERY harmful and requires immediate attention. When you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, open windows and doors to air out the home, evacuate the building and contact your gas company or emergency services as soon as possible.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish

When your AC smell like fish, it could be due to a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture produces an environment that fosters the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a strong odor that can be described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can create a smell like dirty feet.

Another plausible explanation for the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material caught in the air conditioning system. This often can take place if an animal such as a mouse or bird becomes trapped inside the unit and dies.

To solve the issue, it’s often necessary to have a professional examine and clean your HVAC system. They should be able to find the source of the smell and take the appropriate steps to remove any contaminants and keep the problem from recurring.

Your AC Smells Like Vinegar

There could be numerous reasons a home’s air conditioning system smells like vinegar. One possible cause might be a dirty air filter. One other potential cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. Sometimes after the refrigerant leaks, it can generate a chemical odor that resembles vinegar.

To fix the issue, it’s essential to have a skilled specialist examine and clean your air conditioning.  If the odor persists after the cleaning and changing of the air filter, it’s best to reach back out to a professional to identify and repair any persistent issues with your air conditioning. Or, the mechanic can tell you if your air conditioning should be replaced.

If you are wanting to upgrade, Parker County Cooling & Heating can help locate the right unit to fit your home’s needs. We offer trustworthy, skilled air conditioner installation in Weatherford.

Your AC Smells Like Chemicals

If the smell of chemicals is coming from your air conditioner, it could be the result of a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical aroma that people sometimes describe as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.

One other possible reason for the smell could be an issue with the electrical wiring or parts inside the air conditioning system. This can result in a burning smell that is like chemicals or burning plastic.

If you think your system has a refrigerant leak or an electrical concern, it’s important to turn off your air conditioning system immediately and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be hazardous and may require immediate attention to protect against injury or damage to your house.

Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Contact the Experts at Parker County Cooling & Heating

If your air conditioner smells nasty and you aren’t able to fix it quickly on your own, call the cooling experts at Parker County Cooling & Heating. We have lots of experience working with a wide variety of air conditioning systems. Our crew has fixed many air conditioning concerns over the years—including strange smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Weatherford!