Why does my Air Conditioner Stink?

Why does my Air Conditioner Stink?

Air conditioning systems are the most straightforward systems to master. However, they often show signs when some things are off. One of the obvious indicators is the smell. Usually, your AC should not omit any scents, good or bad, since it aims to push fresh air into the house and hot air outside.

The process ensures that the air inside your home is fresh and clean. Therefore, it is alarming when a stench is coming from the unit. Besides the obvious reasons where rodents may have been trapped and died inside the unit, other types of smells indicate more severe problems. Find out why your AC could be smelly despite your constant cleaning and deodorizing efforts.

Gun Powder Smells Indicate an Electric Fault

The electric wire may be the easiest culprit if you keep sensing a gun powder smell in your AC. When the unit’s circuit board and fan motors get fried, they release a scent that resembles gun powder. Once you perceive such a smell, switch off the unit fast and contact your HVAC technician for more help. Do not attempt to fix an electrical fault without expert assistance.

Foot/ Sock Odor

This is certainly not a pleasant smell that you can tolerate. In most cases, the stench comes from stagnating water in the drain line, compressor, and clogged drain pipes. In such cases, clean the compressor and drain pan/ pipe. In addition to this, check for leaks and fix them.

You can decide to do this yourself or have an AC technician check and verify that everything is as it should. Bad scents cause a nuisance and can also jeopardize one’s health. It’s also essential to clear any accumulated trash and pools of water. You could also book a chemical clean, which can be done by a qualified professional during your regular HVAC maintenance session. It is easy to get rid of AC odors if you are deliberate about maintenance.

Cigarette Smells

If your AC keeps blowing in cigarette smells, someone may have smoked inside the house or near the AC unit. Cigarette smells are not easy to get rid of and linger for days. In addition, the AC can amplify the aromas by blowing it all over the house. To avoid such scenarios, make sure to smoke outdoors, preferably away from the home or AC unit. If such an issue happens, you can try cleaning the unit’s fans and see if that eliminates the problem. 

Victor Rancour of Absolute Airflow in Orange County explains, “It’s always best to replace your air ducts especially if they are getting old. However, at the very least if your ducts are still in good shape an air duct cleaning is best.”

Mildew and Mold Cause a Musty Smell

If you are not careful about HVAC maintenance, mildew and mold may find their way into your air conditioner unit. This will, in turn, lead to musty smells. Excess humidity inside the house could also trigger mildew to find its way into the ductwork. Regular checks ensure that there is no excess water build-up. 

Jason Simpson from Vent Gator in Redlands explains, “once the air ducts are cleaned most companies will spray a sanitizer through the vents that kills 99.9% of bacteria which can greatly improve indoor air quality.”

Work on fixing leaks as soon as they happen, improving drainage, and taking care of excess humidity. Get a dehumidifier if necessary. The bottom line is to ensure that the water/ moisture issue is not spilling over into your HVAC system, causing musty smells. Alternatively, schedule regular HVAC maintenance checks as this helps identify such spots and clear any mildew and mold, sometimes before it even has a chance to form.

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