When your air conditioner is spotless and operating properly, it’s not normal to be smelling anything odd. Abnormal air conditioner noises and weird smells are a clue that something is off. If your air conditioner is past its prime or you haven’t had service completed recently, they can be a sure sign you need professional air conditioning repair in Manassas.
Here are six of the most common air conditioner smells and how you can solve them.
1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, particularly a chemical scent, it isn’t a good sign. You may also notice your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical smells are often a sign that your air conditioner is suffering from a refrigerant leak. Your system uses this gas to transfer heat through copper coils, which can wear out over time.
Four Signs You Are Dealing with a Refrigerant Leak
Aside from the odd smell, here are four other hints that you have a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is on.
- Ice on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- Difficulty keeping your residence cool or achieving your desired temperature.
- Higher energy expenses.
How You Can Repair It
A refrigerant leak needs skilled assistance from a heating and cooling company like Woody's Sudden Service. Your cooling professional will pinpoint and mend the leak before recharging your system with refrigerant.
Resolving a refrigerant leak often costs between $225 and $1,600, according to nationwide averages compiled by HomeAdvisor. Your total cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how many hours it takes to repair.
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, there’s a high probability it runs on R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being produced due to its adverse effects on the ozone layer. Consequently, repairs can be very expensive so it may be best to do air conditioning installation in this situation.
2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s possibly nothing wrong with it. But there’s a significant chance you have a natural gas leak in your house. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to signal you when there’s a leak, because the gas can be fatal in big amounts.
How You Can Solve It
If you smell a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we recommend:
- Switching off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Going outside right away.
- Getting in touch with your gas company without delay.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
Homeowners who reach us about this situation often mention their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s on. Also referred to as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is typically caused by a dirty evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Excess water can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most common in areas where you need heating at night and during the morning before transitioning to cooling later in the day.
How to Repair It
The best way to prevent dirty sock syndrome is to regularly get a new air filter and schedule yearly air conditioning maintenance with Woody's Sudden Service. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unclogged, since standing water can also create noxious odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are experiencing air conditioner mildew smell or a pungent, vinegar-like odor, it could be the result of several situations, such as:
- A dirty filter
- Excess condensation
- Plugged condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Solve It
Inspect your filter first. If you haven’t put in a new one within the last three months and can’t see light through it, you should replace it. If that doesn’t solve the smell, call Woody's Sudden Service at 703-278-2036.
5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If you’re noticing 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 trouble.
Electrical malfunctions should be checked quickly to prevent a fire. If you detect burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, turn it off and contact us at 703-278-2036 right away.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
A strong ammonia odor means there could be mold present within your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold makes.
How to Repair It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your well-being. That’s why we recommend having a specialist like Woody's Sudden Service look at your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when necessary.
Our Specialists Can Eliminate Unpleasant Air Conditioner Smells Quickly
You deserve to be comfortable in your home and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you need relief from your smelly air conditioner, reach us at 703-278-2036. We’ll determine the issue quickly and resolve it at a reasonable.