Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

July 22, 2019

The majority of us install air conditioners to help us feel comfortable in our homes. But when you start to experience unpleasant odors coming from your cooling system, it’s more than just irritating. It can greatly affect your home comfort.

Where do the smells come from?

Start with what the odor smells like. If the odor resembles a rotten egg, this could be a signal of a gas leak. If this is the case, you should open your windows, turn off the gas supply, evacuate the home and reach out to 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 probably have a different challenge.

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 develop. And because components of your air conditioner aren’t right in front of you, cleaning them can often go overlooked.

Buildup of mold, dirt and other particles is one of the most request reasons you’ll notice odors with air conditioners. It can take place with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. Thankfully, regular maintenance can help prevent this buildup and reduce the chances that an unfriendly smell starts dispersing throughout your space.

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 home.

It’s also possible that a little critter 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, try replacing it with a brand new one. We typically suggest changing your filter every two to three months. But it’s also key to keep in mind other elements that would require you to replace it more repeatedly, 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 lengthy period of time since your last air conditioning examination. The pros can assess the situation to see if a thorough cleaning can do the job. You may also want to consider having your air ducts cleaned. Professional duct cleaners can take a look to see if your indoor air quality would benefit from a proper cleaning.

If you have concerns about the odors in your home, Keystone Heating & Air Conditioning Co., 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 undesirable odors. You can book an appointment with our experts online or give us a shout at 262-358-9468.