When your air conditioner is spotless and operating properly, it’s not normal to be smelling anything odd. Abnormal air conditioner noises and odd smells are a sign that something is wrong. If your air conditioner is past its prime or you haven’t had maintenance done recently, they can be an obvious sign you need professional air conditioning repair in Chelan and Wenatchee.
Here are six of the top air conditioner smells and how you can fix them.
1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, especially a chemical odor, it isn’t a positive sign. You could also observe your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical scents are frequently a sign that your air conditioner is suffering from a refrigerant leak. Your system uses this gas to shift heat through copper coils, which can crack over time.
Four Signs You Are Experiencing a Refrigerant Leak
Besides the odd smell, here are four other signs that you are experiencing a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is operating.
- Ice crystals on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- It’s hard keeping your house cool or having your set temperature.
- Higher energy costs.
How You Can Take Care of It
A refrigerant leak calls for experienced repairs from a heating and cooling company like Lakeside Heating & Air. Your cooling pro will pinpoint and mend the leak before recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant.
Repairing a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, according to nationwide averages compiled by HomeAdvisor. Your precise cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how many hours it takes to repair.
If your air conditioner was installed prior to 2010, there’s a good chance it runs on R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being produced because of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Because of this, repairs can be very expensive so it may be wisest to do 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 likelihood you have a natural gas leak in your house. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to signal you when there’s a leak, because the gas can be fatal in large amounts.
How You Can Repair It
If you smell a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we advise:
- Shutting off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Leaving your home as soon as possible.
- Calling your gas company now.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
People who call us regarding this issue frequently share their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s on. Also referred to as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is frequently created by a dirty evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Moisture can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most common in areas where you use heating at night and during the morning before switching to cooling during the afternoon.
How to Fix It
The best method for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to frequently get a new air filter and schedule annual air conditioning maintenance with Lakeside Heating & Air. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system flowing, since stagnant water can also result in noxious odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are dealing with air conditioner mildew smell or a strong, vinegar-like odor, it could be caused by several situations, including:
- A dirty filter
- Excess condensation
- Blocked condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Repair It
Inspect your filter first. If you haven’t replaced it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, you should replace it. If that doesn’t solve the smell, contact Lakeside Heating & Air at 509-284-4265.
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 should have lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical problem.
Electrical issues should be examined right away to stop a fire. If you detect burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, shut it off and contact us at 509-284-4265 immediately.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
A strong ammonia odor means there may be mold growing in 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 well-being. That’s why it’s important to have a pro like Lakeside Heating & Air look at your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when necessary.
Our Pros Can Get Rid of Weird Air Conditioner Smells Rapidly
You deserve to be cozy in your home and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you are seeking relief from your smelly air conditioner, reach us at 509-284-4265. We’ll determine the issue quickly and take care of it at a reasonable.