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What’s that Smell from My AC?

by | Feb 17, 2022

When it comes to practicing good AC maintenance in your Windermere, FL, home, it’s important to stay observant of any changes in how your cooling system operates. Something as subtle as the presence of an unusual odor can represent one of many problems with your air conditioner. 

Your HVAC contractor can diagnose the specific problem, but it will be helpful to know what issues can cause an unpleasant odor.

The “Dirty Socks” Smell

A common smell is that of damp socks or dirty feet coming from your Windermere, FL, cooling system. This smell typically occurs when the unit hasn’t undergone an AC inspection for several seasons. 

During a seasonal inspection, the technician will clean the coils, drip pan, filter, and other components. If these parts aren’t properly cleaned, dirt, bacteria, and debris will collect and produce that AC smell.

Cigarette Smoke or Pet Dander

If you notice an AC smell that resembles stale cigarette smoke or reminds you of your pet, it may be time to clean the air filter. While the AC inspection will include cleaning the air filter, you should also be doing this every 30 days. This change will ensure your cooling system is properly filtering the air. 

If you do have a clean filter in place and the smell from AC persists, there may be another problem. Contact your HVAC contractor to identify the underlying problem. If you delay requesting professional help, the problem may worsen and affect your ability to operate your AC system.

Burning Odor

If you haven’t operated your system in several months, it’s natural to notice a slight smell from AC. While these AC odors will smell like something is burning, they should dissipate after a few minutes of operation. If the AC odors persist for more than five minutes, you should shut the unit off immediately and call an HVAC contractor.

A burning AC smell in your Windermere, FL, home can indicate one of many problems. The blower motor may simply need lubrication, or there may be a short in your unit’s wiring. Before you know what’s causing the air conditioner smell, it’s safer to shut the system off until a professional can identify the problem.

A “Dirty Trash” Smell from AC

If you pick up an AC smell that resembles dirty trash, the problem may not be mechanical, yet it might still require AC maintenance. You’ll also be likely to notice that the AC odors are getting stronger over time. This smell is indicative of a pest that has died in your ducts. 

While this might not interfere with the operation of the AC system, it will be a persistent, unpleasant odor that can adversely affect your family’s health. 

An AC inspection can find the pest or any other source of the foul odor so it can be removed. During the AC maintenance call, one of our technicians will clean your Windermere, FL, home’s registers and vents. 

An AC Smell that Resembles Car Fumes

If your Windermere, FL, home suddenly smells like car exhaust, the problem may have something to do with the refrigerant that your unit uses. 

This type of air conditioner smell suggests that the cooling system’s refrigerant is leaking. In addition to adversely affecting the AC unit’s operation and causing that air conditioner smell, leaking refrigerant adds chemical fumes to the air. 

Your cooling contractor will fix the problem quickly and properly. In addition to saving on energy costs, you’ll stop those chemical fumes from leaking into the air. 

Concerned About Smells Coming from Your AC?

Whether you notice an unusual odor or experience any other cooling concerns, Call Global Cooling today. We can help you identify and repair the problem before it leads to a mechanical failure. Our certified technicians can service any type of air conditioning system to help you keep your home cool all summer long.