Woman wondering why her AC is acting up

Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

We install air conditioners to help us feel relaxed in our homes. But when you start to notice unpleasant odors coming from your cooling system, it’s more than just annoying. It can greatly influence your home comfort.

Where do the smells come from?

Begin with 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 contact the gas company. Allow the gas company turn it back on for you. It’s not something you want to risk doing on your own.

If it doesn’t smell like rotten eggs, you have a different problem.

Just like anything in your home, 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 most common sources of odors with air conditioners. It can take place with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. Thankfully, ongoing maintenance can help prevent this buildup and reduce the odds that an unfriendly smell starts spreading throughout your house.

Heat and moisture can contribute to increased mold growth, specially 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 house.

It’s also possible that a small animal 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 retrieve the animal.

What can I do?

Check your filter. This is a common culprit for air conditioner odors. If it’s been a long time since you’ve swapped your air filter, replace it with a brand new one. We typically recommend changing your filter every two to three months. But it’s also key to keep in mind other factors that would require you to replace it more often, such as pets in the home or if a family member has allergies or asthma.

If you’ve exchanged the filter and it’s not reducing the smell, it’s probably time to contact a professional. Especially if it’s been an extended period of time since your last air conditioning inspection. The pros can assess 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, Woody's Sudden Service Inc can help you take a look at the situation and talk through possible solutions. You should be able to enjoy your cool indoor space during the warmer summer months, without having to suffer with unfavorable odors. You can arrange an appointment with us online or give us a shout at 703-278-2036.

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