Woman wondering why her AC is acting up

Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

The majority of us install air conditioners to help us feel cool in our homes. But when you start to observe unpleasant odors coming from your cooling system, it’s more than just irritating. It can greatly influence your home comfort.

Where do the smells come from?

Focus on what the odor smells like. If the odor resembles a rotten egg, this could be a signal of a gas leak. If this is the case, you should open your windows, turn off the gas supply, evacuate the home and call the gas company. Make sure to let the gas company turn it back on for you. It’s not something you want to mess around with.

If it doesn’t smell like rotten eggs, you are likely experiencing a different challenge.

Just like anything in your home, if your air conditioner isn’t cleaned well or taken care of, there’s a good chance that dirt and dust will develop. And because components of your air conditioner aren’t clearly displayed before you, cleaning them can often go overlooked.

Buildup of mold, dirt and other particles is one of the most common sources of odors with air conditioners. It can occur with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. Luckily, ongoing maintenance can help avoid this buildup and reduce the odds that an unfriendly smell starts spreading throughout your home.

Heat and moisture can contribute to increased mold growth, especially in warmer climates. Not only can mold and mildew create a nasty smell, but it can also negatively impact the quality of air in your space.

It’s also possible that a small animal navigated into your duct system and died. You can turn off your air conditioner and either give our team or pest control a call to come and retrieve the animal.

What can I do?

Check your filter. This is a usual culprit for air conditioner odors. If it’s been a long time since you’ve changed your air filter, replace it with a brand new one. We typically recommend changing your filter every few months. But it’s also important to keep in mind other factors that would require you to replace it more frequently, such as pets in the home or if a family member has allergies or asthma.

If you’ve exchanged the filter and it’s not helping, it’s probably time to contact a professional. Especially if it’s been an lengthy period of time since your last air conditioning checkup. Technicians can review the situation to see if a thorough cleaning can do the job. You might consider having your air ducts cleaned. Professional duct cleaners can take a look to see if your indoor air quality would be enhanced from a proper cleaning.

If you have anxiety about the odors in your home, Quality Refrigeration Services can help you assess the situation and chat about possible solutions. You should be able to enjoy your cool indoor space during the warmer summer months, without having to suffer with undesirable odors. You can schedule an appointment with us online or give us a shout at 410-690-4244.

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