Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

July 22, 2019

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

Where do the smells come from?

Focus on 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 contact the gas company. Make sure to let the gas company turn it back on for you. It’s not something you want to tackle yourself.

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

Just like anything in your house, if your air conditioner isn’t cleaned properly or taken care of, there’s a good chance that dirt and dust will gather. 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 common sources of odors with air conditioners. It can take place with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. Luckily, regular maintenance can help prevent this buildup and reduce the probability that an unfriendly smell starts dispersing throughout your space.

Heat and moisture can contribute to increased mold growth, particularly in warmer climates. Not only can mold and mildew develop 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 remove the animal.

What can I do?

Analyze your filter. This is a usual culprit for air conditioner odors. If it’s been a long time since you’ve swapped your air filter, go ahead and replace it with a brand new one. We typically advise changing your filter every three months. But it’s also key to keep in mind other factors 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 switched the filter and it’s not reducing the smell, it’s probably time to call in an expert. Especially if it’s been an long period of time since your last air conditioning inspection. They can examine 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 frustrations about the odors in your home, Stieferman Heating Company Inc can help you review the situation and discuss 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 schedule an appointment with our experts online or give us a shout at 573-203-3908.