Time to Bench That Nasty Stench

We all know the feeling of walking into a cool room after escaping the outdoor heat. But that comfort and relief can go right out the window if there’s a nasty smell in the air. The question is: What’s causing it?

Sniffing Out the Problem

First thing’s first. If there’s an unusual smell in your home and you suspect it’s coming from the AC, don’t overlook the issue. We’ll cover a couple of things you can do to eliminate the source of the smell on your own. But if the problem lingers or involves something you should never try to correct on your own, such as electrical wiring, then you’ll likely need to call a professional for AC repair in Jacksonville, FL. When there’s a problem with your air conditioner, you might notice one or several of the following smells:

  • An exhaust fume smell. When there’s a leak in the refrigerant line, the chemicals can smell like car exhaust fumes. Refrigerant is the cooling agent that runs through the air conditioner. If you notice an unusual odor with a slight sweet fragrance, you most likely have a refrigerant leak.
  • A burning smell. From the fan motor to the circuit boards, there are several electrical components within your standard air conditioner. If your AC has been turned off for a while, built-up dust can cause a burning smell. This isn’t something to worry about as long as the smell doesn’t last long. But if your AC is running as usual and you notice a burning smell, this probably means a component is overheating or burning. Turn the unit off and call a professional to inspect it and determine what’s causing the smell.
  • A rotten smell. If there’s a nasty odor in the air, it can mean there’s a dead animal nearby. Birds and insects can get trapped in your ductwork. If they die in there, the smell from the rotting carcass will travel through the vents and into your living space. If you own a ductless unit, that nasty smell can be a lizard that snuck into the unit. If your home has ductwork, open up the vent where the smell is most noticeable. See if the animal is visible and within reach. If you can’t locate the animal, call a professional to inspect your ductwork, identify what’s causing the smell, and remove the source. Another possibility is that there’s a gas leak. Even if your AC doesn’t run on gas (most do not), your AC can circulate natural gas if there’s a gas leak in your home that’s unrelated to your air conditioner. If you smell that rotten egg scent that we all associate with natural gas, evacuate your home immediately and call the fire department and your local utility company. Do not take any chances and assume it can’t be a gas leak since your AC doesn’t run on gas. Again, your AC might be circulating the natural gas stemming from a real leak elsewhere in the home.
  • A musty, earthy smell. In a hot, humid state like ours, mold is a constant concern. Any type of musty smell is a giveaway that mildew or another type of mold is inside the unit or the air ducts. If it’s been a while since you changed the air filter, do this first. Keep in mind, though, that this probably isn’t going to eliminate the problem. You’ll likely need to call in a professional to remove the mold and fix any leaks that might be causing the mold to grow.
  • A putrid, dirty feet smell. If the smell coming from your AC is just plain nasty, your AC is likely very clogged and dirty. Change the air filter if you haven’t done this in a while. You also might want to invest in a higher-grade filter that can prevent smaller-sized contaminants from clogging the unit and negatively impacting your indoor air quality.
  • We’ll Send the Bad Smells Packing

    When it comes to air conditioners, the best smell is no smell. If something makes you want to plug your nose and flee, we’ll take care of it. Because let’s face it: There’s nothing cool about nasty smells! And at Buehler, we’re all about cool.

    Schedule service directly by calling Buehler Air Conditioning & Plumbing

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