Image of an older air conditioning unit with the text why does my air conditioner smell funny?

Air conditioners are life-savers during the hot summer months. They help give us some much-needed relief from the hot Texas sun and temperatures as they cool down the rooms around us. However, sometimes they may omit a strange smell that makes you pause and raises your concern on whether you should turn the air conditioner off or not. If your air conditioner starts emitting a strange smell, here are the most common culprits:

The Gym Bag Smell

If your home is being overtaken by the smell of dirty socks, then the culprit may be as simple as a clogged or dirty air conditioner. Over time, dirt and residue can build up in your vents and create an odor that is then wafted through your home. The smell could also come from water sitting in the condensate pan due to a clog in a condensate drain. Either way, you are going to need an experienced HVAC technician to come and give your air conditioning unit a full cleaning to help you get rid of the smell for good.

Exhaust Fumes

If you are smelling the scent of exhaust fumes, this could be a potential sign of a serious problem. Not only can the smell alone give someone nausea or headaches, but it also means that there are fluids being leaked from your air conditioner. Fluids, like refrigerant, can be toxic to humans over long-term exposure. It is essential that you call an HVAC professional to come immediately to find the source of the leak and fix it.

Gun Powder

Gun powder is a unique smell that anyone who has either shot a gun or been around a war reenactment or shooting range should be able to identify right away. With this in mind, it is a bit alarming when you smell that same burning scent throughout your home. This smell is usually an indication that the fan’s motor or circuit board has shorted out. An HVAC technician can come in and replace the fan motor or the circuit board. A failing fan motor or circuit board can be caught early by investing in a yearly tune-up. An experienced HVAC technician can help you catch the problem early and take the necessary steps to repair these parts rather than replacing them, which can help you save money.

Skunk Smell

A skunk smell, also known as what some people may identify as a rotten egg smell, is an early warning of a gas leak in your system. A gas leak is extremely dangerous. The fumes from the gas can lead to illness, such as headaches, nausea, chest pressure, and dizziness. It is vital that you evacuate yourself and your family, including pets, from the house as soon as you notice this smell. You will then want to contact your trusted HVAC technician to come and address the problem as soon as possible.

Dead Animal Smell

Animals, such as squirrels and even birds, can sometimes get stuck inside of your air conditioning vents. If they are unable to get out then they will die and begin to decompose, sending the scents associated with it all throughout your house. When this happens, an HVAC technician will have to come and completely clean your air conditioning system to get rid of the dead animal and stop the spread of any bacteria or diseases.

Mildew Smell

The putrid smell of mildew indicates that mildew or fungus has grown near or inside of your air conditioning unit. This is caused by your unit being unable to properly drain the moisture. An HVAC technician will need to come in and remove the fungus and give a full cleaning of the unit, including removing any blockage within the condensate pan and drain.

If you experience any of these smells and are looking for an experienced HVAC technician to help repair or clean your air conditioning unit, contact Cote’s Mechanical, LLC. Our team is dedicated to providing high-quality service to our clients and ensuring that we not only solve the problem but also take steps to prevent it from recurring. Call Cote’s Mechanical Heating and Air Conditioning today for a consultation and estimate.