On a day when the sun is at its full glory, you come back home expecting to relax in the cool air of your air conditioner. Instead, what you get is a blast of cool air followed by an odor that smells like dirty socks or rotten eggs. How disgusting is that? Repulsive enough to want to take some action to get rid of it immediately. The best course of action is to find out its source and address the problem at its very root so that it does not happen again. Here is some information that you will find useful in understanding why your air conditioner smells bad.
7 Reasons Why Your Air Conditioner Smells Bad
You will be surprised that most dirty smells of AC arise from very basic problems that can ideally be addressed through air conditioner servicing. Here is a list of most prominent causes:
1. Mold And Mildew – When the humidity is high, it is normal to see mold and mildew formations. Sometimes it is so excessive that the spores start traversing through the HVAC system. At times, the air flowing over its colonies picks up its musty smell and spreads it throughout the house, making it smell unpleasant. To fix this problem, you need to lower the humidity to an acceptable level. Improve your drainage system, fix all sources of a water leak, replace the air filters, cover all exposed earth, and schedule AC maintenance from a reputable company that renders air conditioning services. You can also use a dehumidifier to limit future occurrences. The best humidifier is one that dehumidifies your entire home and not just a local area or a specific room.
2. Stinky Feet Or Dirty Socks Smell – This is the foulest and most sickening smell that can make one really mad. However, its cause is merely stagnant water in the drain pan or drip line, and excessively dirty evaporator coils. The only solution is to get a professional cleaning done by a good air conditioning services company.
3. Rotting Carcass Smell – Critters often find a way inside the HVAC system. They even make homes in the ductwork. Often they die inside. When that happens, you experience the rotten carcass smell. It may even smell like a filled trash can. The first thing you need to do under these circumstances is to switch off the AC and open the windows to ventilate your home with fresh air. Once that is done, call your local HVAC company for professional help. Next, on the agenda should be to call your local pest management company to get rid of pests and critters residing in your home.
4. Rotten Egg Smell – Natural gas on its own has no odor. A chemical is added to it for the smell. This chemical is called “Mercaptan”, and it smells like rotten eggs. So when you smell something so distinctive, and there are no actual rotten eggs in your home, beware of a gas leak. Your HVAC system may have picked up the smell and is circulating it through the home. When you smell this foul odor, immediately switch off all your electrical appliances. Refrain from using any matches or lighters and put out all flames. Open all doors and windows and completely turn off the gas supply to your home. Vacate your home and give a call to your gas company to check the source of the leak and seal it. Once that is done, your gas company will turn the gas back on.
5. Burning Smell – If there is a burning smell inside your home, it means that something is either burning or overheating. It may be a mechanical issue or wiring issue. It might also be because of an overheated motor or a short circuit somewhere in the HVAC unit. Yet, that is not all. Your HVAC system may have picked up the burning odor from elsewhere and transported it to your home. Since you do not know the concrete cause of the burning smell, your best option is to switch off the air conditioner and vacate the home. Next, call the fire department and your local air conditioning services provider for further assistance.
6. Cigarette Smoke – You may have noticed different smoking zones and no-smoking areas in public places. Usually, the no-smoking areas will not have air conditioning. This is because when there is no AC in the smoking areas, there is no chance of air from this area being picked by the central AC and circulated in the no-smoking areas. The same logic applies to your home. If a member smokes inside the home, the smell of burning cigarettes gets trapped in the filter as well as the evaporator coil. When your AC works, it picks up this odor and spreads it throughout the home. Changing the air filters often helps in diminishing its occurrence. Also, smoke if you must, do it outdoors and not inside. A professional cleaning will help get rid of old trapped cigarette smells.
7. Sewage Smells – The plumbing of your home has P-traps. These traps usually hold fluids and prevent sewer gases from backing into your home. When these P-traps run dry, the sewer gases find their way into your abode. In case you have washrooms that are not in use often, run water in sinks and bathtub at least once a month. If the problem is not dry P-traps, it could be that there is a blockage in the sewer line or a sewer vent pipe has ruptured. Since the sewer gases are toxic and dangerous, contact a professional plumber.
The smells that you think are coming from the air conditioner are not always so. Sometimes their source can be found elsewhere. It may just so happen that your central cooling system has picked the smell on the way and permeated it inside your home. On the other hand, some problems inside the HVAC unit may also result in the same. Companies offering air conditioning services are most helpful in all such cases.
If you are a resident of Palm Beach, Florida, and experiencing bad smells that you think come from your AC, contact Aztil Air Conditioning. We provide the best and most satisfactory resolution to all your HVAC problems 24/7.