When your air conditioner is clean and working right, it’s not normal to be smelling anything strange. Unusual air conditioner noises and weird smells are a hint that something is wrong. If your air conditioner is aging or you haven’t had service scheduled lately, they can be a clear sign you need professional air conditioning repair in Rapid City.
Here are six of the most frequent air conditioner smells and how you can repair them.
1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, specifically a chemical scent, it isn’t a good sign. You could also report your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical scents are often a hint that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak. Your system needs this gas to transfer heat through copper coils, which can break out as time goes on.
Four Hints You Are Dealing with a Refrigerant Leak
Besides the odd smell, here are four other signs that you have a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is on.
- Ice on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- It’s hard keeping your house cool or reaching your programmed temperature.
- Higher utility costs.
How You Can Repair It
A refrigerant leak requires professional support from a heating and cooling company like Precision Mechanical. Your cooling technician will pinpoint and repair the leak before recharging your AC with refrigerant.
Resolving a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, according to nationwide averages compiled by HomeAdvisor. Your exact cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how much time it needs to repair.
If your air conditioner was installed earlier than 2010, there’s a high probability it runs on R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being produced as a result of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. As a result, repairs can be extremely expensive so it may be smartest to consider air conditioning installation in this circumstance.
2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s likely nothing wrong with it. But there’s a good chance you have a natural gas leak in your house. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to warn you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be toxic in heavy concentrations.
How You Can Solve It
If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we recommend:
- Shutting off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Leaving your home promptly.
- Contacting your gas company without delay.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
Homeowners who contact us about this problem often mention their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s on. Also known as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is frequently caused by a grubby evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Condensation can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most typical in areas where you use heating at night and during the morning before switching to cooling later in the day.
How to Fix It
The best approach for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to routinely get a new air filter and schedule annual air conditioning maintenance with Precision Mechanical. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system flowing, since excess water can also result in unpleasant odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are experiencing air conditioner mildew smell or an acidic, vinegar-like odor, it might be caused by several problems, like:
- A filthy filter
- Excess condensation
- Clogged condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Repair It
Inspect your filter first. If you haven’t changed it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, we recommend replacing it. If that doesn’t solve the problem, contact Precision Mechanical at 605-206-3766.
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 several things wrong. These include:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that should have lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical trouble.
Electrical issues should be checked immediately to prevent a fire. If you notice burning plastic when your air conditioner is operating, turn it off and reach us at 605-206-3766 without delay.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
A strong ammonia odor means there could be mold spreading inside your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold makes.
How to Repair It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your wellness. That’s why you should have a pro like Precision Mechanical look at your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when recommended.
Our Pros Can Take Care of Weird Air Conditioner Smells Quickly
You deserve to be comfy in your house and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you are looking for relief from your stinky air conditioner, reach us at 605-206-3766. We’ll diagnose the issue quickly and take care of it at a competitive.