Woman wondering why her AC is acting up

Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

We install air conditioners to help us feel relaxed in our homes. But when you start to notice unpleasant odors coming from your cooling system, it’s more than just irritating. It can greatly impact your home comfort.

Where do the smells come from?

Begin with 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 contact the gas company. Make sure to let the gas company turn it back on for you. It’s not something you want to risk doing on your own.

If it doesn’t smell like rotten eggs, you have a different problem.

Just like anything in your home, if your air conditioner isn’t cleaned correctly or taken care of, there’s a good chance that dirt and dust will gather. And because components of your air conditioner aren’t front and center, 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 take place with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. Thankfully, routine maintenance can help avoid this buildup and reduce the odds that an unfriendly smell starts diffusing throughout your home.

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

It’s also possible that a little critter 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?

Analyze 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 suggest changing your filter every three months. But it’s also important to keep in mind other elements that would require you to replace it more repeatedly, such as pets in the home or if a family member has allergies or asthma.

If you’ve switched the filter and it’s not making a difference, it’s probably time to call in an expert. Especially if it’s been an lengthy period of time since your last air conditioning examination. Technicians can assess 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 improve from a proper cleaning.

If you have anxiety about the odors in your home, Ocean Air Conditioning and Heating can help you assess the situation and discuss possible solutions. You should be able to enjoy your cool indoor space throughout the warmer summer months, without having to suffer with unfavorable odors. You can schedule an appointment with us online or give us a shout at 949-525-9119.

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