When your air conditioner starts putting out odd or gross smells, it is necessary to take notice because it could be a sign of a significant problem. Ignoring unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioning may lead to additional damage to your HVAC system or even pose a risk to your health and safety.

Depending on the smell, the root of the problem may be bacteria or fungus in the system. Other times, it could also signal something mechanically wrong with the air conditioning system. Some smells are a warning of a harmful scenario, including a natural gas leak.

At SKC AC LLC, we are experienced at getting to the root cause of stinky smells. If you smell something peculiar coming from your air conditioner, there’s a good chance our team of talented professionals has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned a reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Big Spring.

What does a certain smell billowing coming from your cooling system mean? Here are a few frequent air conditioner aromas and what they might mean:

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it can be because of a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the system. When moisture builds inside the unit, it can create an environment that is beneficial to the growth of bacteria and fungus. This can produce a bad odor that is often described as smelling like feet.

Another potential cause of the smell could be a dirty air filter. When the air filter becomes choked with dirt, dust and other contaminants, it can cause poor air quality and a musty smell that bears a resemblance to feet.

To fix this issue, it’s important to have a professional inspect and clean your air conditioning system, including the evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain line. It’s also important to exchange the air filter regularly to ensure good air quality and restrict the growth of bacteria and fungus.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your air conditioner reeks of rotten eggs, it may be due to a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a distinctive odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur, that is added to it to make it easily detectable.

A natural gas leak is a situation that is extremely 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, evacuate the building and call your gas company or emergency services right away.

Your AC Smells Like Mildew

If your AC emits a smell like mildew, it could be due to a accumulation of moisture inside the unit. When moisture collects inside the air conditioning system, it can cultivate the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty stench that it similar to mildew.

Another possible explanation for the smell may be a soiled air filter. When the air filter becomes clogged, it can lead to poor air quality and a musty smell that is similar to mildew.

Routine air conditioning maintenance from SKC AC LLC can help prevent both of these issues, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a terrific way to keep your system operating at its best!

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Urine

One of the most unpleasant things is when an air conditioner smells like urine.

If your air conditioner smells like urine, it could be traced back to a number of things. One likely cause is a accumulation of bacteria or mold in the your HVAC. This can happen if moisture accumulates in the system and creates a damp environment that can promote bacterial growth. The bacteria can emit a foul odor that resembles urine.

Another potential cause of the stink could be a plugged drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away effectively, but if the drain line becomes filled with debris, it can cause water to back up and collect inside the unit. This can create a musty smell that resembles urine.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your AC smells like burning plastic, this could indicate an electrical problem with the unit. After a while, the electrical components in the air conditioning system can wear out or bust, which can produce a burning smell that resembles plastic.

Another possible cause of the smell could be a foreign object lodged in the HVAC system. If something foreign gets caught in the air conditioning system, it can heat up and cause a smell that reminds people of burning plastic.

If you notice something that smells like burning plastic coming from your air conditioner, it’s important to contact a professional right away.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Gas

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

As we said before, a natural gas leak can be VERY dangerous and requires immediate attention. If you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, open windows and doors to air out the home, get everyone out of the building and call your gas company or emergency services right away.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Fish

When your air conditioning equipment smell like fish, it could be due to a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture causes an environment that promotes the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a strong odor that is often 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 trapped inside the air conditioning system. This often can happen if an animal such as a mouse or bird becomes trapped inside the unit and dies.

To solve the issue, it’s worthwhile to have a professional check out and clean your air conditioning system. They will be able to find the source of the smell and take the appropriate steps to remove any contaminants and prevent the problem from recurring.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

There could be multiple reasons your air conditioning system smells like vinegar. One possible cause might be a dirty air filter. Another likely cause of the smell may be a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can make a chemical odor that resembles vinegar.

To fix the issue, it’s beneficial to have a skilled specialist look at and clean your air conditioning.  If the odor lingers after the cleaning and replacing of the air filter, it’s best to reach back out to a professional to find and repair any persistent issues with your air conditioning. Or, they can tell you if your air conditioning should be replaced.

If you are looking to upgrade, SKC AC LLC can help locate the right unit to fit your home’s needs. We provide trustworthy, expert air conditioner installation in Big Spring.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If the smell of chemicals is coming out of your air conditioning unit, it could be caused by a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical aroma that is often described as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.

An additional possible cause of the smell could be an issue with the electrical wiring or elements inside the air conditioning system. This can result in a burning smell that resembles chemicals or burning plastic.

If you suspect a refrigerant leak or an electrical problem, it’s important to shut down your air conditioning system right away and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be harmful and may require immediate attention to avoid injury or damage to your house.

Weird Smells Coming from Your AC? Contact the Experts at SKC AC LLC

If your air conditioner smells nasty and you aren’t able to fix it quickly on your own, call the cooling specialists at SKC AC LLC. We have plenty of experience working with a wide variety of HVAC systems. Our crew has fixed countless air conditioning problems over the years—including strange smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Big Spring!