When your air conditioner starts spewing strange or unappealing smells, it is a good idea to take notice because it could be a sign of a major problem. Ignoring unpleasant smells coming from your cooling system can lead to further damage to your AC or even pose a risk to your health and safety.

Depending on the cause of the odor, the root of the problem might be bacteria or fungus in the system. Other times, it could also sign something mechanically wrong with the air conditioner. Some smells are a warning of a dangerous situation, like a natural gas leak.

At Ameri-Tec, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something peculiar coming from your cooling system, chances are our team of talented professionals has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned the reputation as the go-to team for air conditioning repair in Narvon.

What does a certain smell billowing coming from your air conditioning mean? Here are a few typical air conditioner aromas and what they could mean:

Your AC Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it could be due to a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the unit. When moisture accumulates inside the unit, it can produce an environment that is beneficial to the development of bacteria and fungus. This can produce a nasty odor that is often described as smelling like feet.

Another possible reason for the stench of dirty feet could be a dirty air filter. If an air filter becomes filled with dirt, dust and other contaminants, it can result in low air quality and a musty smell that resembles feet.

To solve this problem, it's important to have an experienced specialist inspect and clean your air conditioning system, including the evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain line. It's also important to change the air filter routinely to promote good air quality and prevent the development of bacteria and fungus.

Your AC Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your smells like rotten eggs, it might be the result of 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, which is because of a substance 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 allow gas to escape the area, get everyone out of the building and call your gas company or emergency services at once.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew

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

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

Annual air conditioning maintenance from Ameri-Tec can help prevent both of these problems, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a very good way to keep your system operating at its best!

Your AC Smells Like Urine

One of the most undesirable scenarios is when your AC smells like urine.

If your air conditioning equipment smells like urine, it could be traced back to a number of things. One possible cause is a accumulation of bacteria or mold in the air conditioning system. This can happen in the event that moisture accumulates in the system and creates a moist environment that favorable for bacterial growth. The bacteria can create a foul odor that resembles urine.

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

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your air conditioning unit smells like burning plastic, it might be because of an electrical concern with the unit. Over time, the electrical components in the air conditioning system can wear out or bust, which can create a burning smell that resembles plastic.

Another possible root cause of the smell could be a foreign object that somehow got in the unit. If something foreign gets trapped in the air conditioning system, it can become hot and cause a smell like burning plastic.

If you think you smell burning plastic coming from your AC unit, it’s essential to contact a professional right away.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner smells like gas, it could be because of a natural gas leak in the unit or in another part of your home. Natural gas has a distinctive smell, often described as smelling of rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because this scent is put into natural gas to make sure that it is easily detectable.

As we said earlier, a natural gas leak can be VERY hazardous and requires immediate attention. When you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, open windows and doors to air out the home, evacuate the building and contact your gas company or emergency services right away.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish

When your air conditioner smell like fish, this could be a sign of a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture creates an environment that promotes the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a disgusting odor that can be described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can result in a smell like dirty feet.

Another potential cause of the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material caught within the air conditioning system. This often is possible if an animal such as a mouse or bird becomes trapped inside the unit and dies.

To solve the issue, it's important to have a professional check out and clean your air conditioning system. They can 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 numerous reasons an air conditioner smells like vinegar. One possible cause might be a clogged air filter. Another potential cause of the smell could be a refrigerant leak. Sometimes after the refrigerant leaks, it can make a chemical odor that is described as smelling of vinegar.

To fix the issue, it's beneficial to have a skilled tech inspect and clean your air conditioning.  If the odor continues after the cleaning and replacing of the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to diagnose and repair any hidden issues with your air conditioning. Or, the tech can tell you if your air conditioning should be replaced.

If you are looking to upgrade, Ameri-Tec can help locate the ideal unit to fit your home’s needs. We offer dependable, expert air conditioner installation in Narvon.

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 scent that is often described as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.

Another possible source of the smell could be a problem with the electrical wiring or parts inside the air conditioning system. This can cause a burning smell that resembles chemicals or burning plastic.

If you think your system has a refrigerant leak or an electrical issue, it's important to shut off 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 protect against injury or damage to your house.

A Nasty Odor Coming from Your Cooling? Contact the Experts at Ameri-Tec

If your air conditioner smells nasty and you aren’t able to fix it easily on your own, call the cooling professionals at Ameri-Tec. We have years of experience working with a wide variety of air conditioning systems. Our crew has fixed countless air conditioning troubles throughout the years—including weird smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Narvon!