When your air conditioner is spotless and operating right, you shouldn’t be smelling anything odd. Unusual air conditioner noises and odd smells are a hint that something is up. If your air conditioner is getting older or you haven’t had a tune-up completed within the last year, they can be a clear sign you need professional air conditioning repair in Wausau.
Here are six of the most frequent air conditioner smells and how you can resolve them.
1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, particularly a chemical odor, isn’t a good sign. You may also observe your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical smells are typically a sign that your air conditioner is suffering from a refrigerant leak. Your system needs this gas to move heat through copper coils, which can break out as time passes.
4 Signs You Are Dealing with a Refrigerant Leak
Aside from the strange smell, here are four other hints that you are experiencing a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is on.
- Ice on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- Trouble keeping your house cold or having your set temperature.
- Increasing utility expenses.
How You Can Repair It
A refrigerant leak requires professional support from a heating and cooling company like Gilray Heating and Cooling. Your cooling professional will locate and fix the leak before recharging your AC with refrigerant.
Resolving a refrigerant leak often costs between $225 and $1,600, based on nationwide averages compiled by HomeAdvisor. Your total cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how much time it requires to fix.
If your air conditioner was installed prior to 2010, there’s a high probability it runs on R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made due to its adverse effects on the ozone layer. As a result, repairs can be very expensive so it may be smartest to schedule air conditioning installation in this instance.
2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s possibly nothing wrong with it. But there’s a significant probability you have a natural gas leak in your home. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to signal you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be fatal in heavy concentrations.
How You Can Repair It
If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we recommend:
- Shutting off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Going outside as soon as possible.
- Call your gas company now.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
Homeowners who contact us regarding this situation usually mention their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s on. Also called dirty sock syndrome, this smell is usually caused by a dirty evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Condensation can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most often seen in areas where you use heating at night and during the morning before transitioning to cooling later in the day.
How to Repair It
The best way to prevent dirty sock syndrome is to regularly change your air filter and schedule routine air conditioning maintenance with Gilray Heating and Cooling. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system flowing, because stagnant water can also result in nasty odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are living with air conditioner mildew smell or an acidic, vinegar-like odor, it could be caused by several issues, including:
- A clogged filter
- Extra condensation
- Clogged condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Solve It
Inspect your filter first. If you haven’t changed it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, it’s time to replace it. If that doesn’t resolve the problem, call Gilray Heating and Cooling at 715-301-0727.
5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If you’re noticing an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be a couple of things wrong. These involve:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that requires lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical problem.
Electrical problems should be checked right away to stop a fire. If you smell burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, turn it off and reach us at 715-301-0727 without delay.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
A powerful ammonia odor means there could be mold present inside your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold makes.
How to Solve It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your health. That’s why it’s important to have a professional like Gilray Heating and Cooling check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when needed.
Our Professionals Can Eliminate Odd Air Conditioner Smells Fast
You deserve to be comfortable in your residence and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you are seeking relief from your noxious air conditioner, give us a call at 715-301-0727. We’ll diagnose the problem quickly and take care of it at a reasonable.