Luxury Heating & Air

Why is My Air Conditioning Producing a Foul Smell?

air conditioning

Imagine turning on your air conditioning on a hot day only to be met by a foul smell that doesn’t go away. A bad smell from your AC could signal several issues depending on the type of smell it emanates. 

In this article, we’ll look at some of the common reasons why your air conditioning is producing a foul smell along with some practical solutions to solve the issue. 

1. When Your Air Conditioner Smells Like Something Is Burning

If your air conditioner has been sitting idle for months, once you turn it on, the dust collected over time may burn off releasing a burning smell. This is usually temporary and if it goes away, there’s nothing to be concerned about. However, dusting and cleaning will keep the smell away for good.

But if the smell does not go away, it may signal that one or more electrical components are overheating or burning. In this case, you need to turn it off and contact a HVAC professional for appropriate repairs.

2. When Your Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs

A rotten egg smell is typically caused by the decomposition of a dead animal stuck in your AC. Birds, insects, and critters can nest in the ductwork and get trapped inside the unit. Check the accessible vents to remove the dead animal remains and give it a thorough clean.

The smell could also signal leaking gas that’s getting into the unit. The minute you smell it, turn off all appliances, evacuate the house, and call the gas company for a professional inspection. 

3. When Your Air Conditioner Smells Like Smelly Feet

If your air conditioning is giving off a stinky feet smell, you may be dealing with a dirty drain pan or evaporator coil. When standing water or blocked debris is not cleared for a long time, it attracts microbial growth that emits an unpleasant foul smell. 

Cleaning the dry pan under running water and vacuuming the evaporator coil will help to dissipate the smell.

4. When Your Air Conditioner Smells Like Mold

A musty smell is an indicator of mold growth in your air conditioner. The biggest culprit would be a full drain pan. If the pan fills up, the stagnant water may attract mold growth. Draining the pan and mitigating the mold will help resolve the foul smell.

Dirty filters can also give off a musty smell. When debris, dirt, and moisture accumulate over time, it can cause mold growth. Changing your filters every 3 months and enlisting a HVAC expert to mitigate the mold will guarantee quality indoor air.

5. When Your Air Conditioner Smells Like a Skunk

A foul skunk smell is the most alarming on this list. It usually indicates a gas leak specifically called methanethiol that is making its way to your unit’s air ducts. Manufacturers add it to natural gas to help users detect early leakage. 

Once you detect the smell, turn off your gas supply, evacuate from the property, and call the gas company. They’ll find the source of the leak and make the necessary repairs.

Contact Luxury Heating & Air For Quality Air Conditioning Maintenance 

Keep your air conditioning in optimal condition with Luxury Heating & Air. We offer professional air conditioning maintenance services that boost your unit’s performance for guaranteed high-quality indoor air. Contact us today to request a free quote.