Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell?

We all love the refreshing feeling that comes with switching on our air conditioning unit and enjoying a cool breeze in the scorching heat. That’s why nothing is more frustrating and unpleasant than noticing a bad smell coming out of your unit. This unwanted odor can ruin your mood, and if left unchecked, it can become a health hazard.

So why does your air conditioner smell? Below, let’s explore the potential reasons why your AC smells bad and what you can do about it.

Dirty Filter

The air filter is an integral part of your air conditioning system, and without it, your AC unit can’t perform efficiently. The filter protects your indoor air from harmful pollutants. However, it’s important to know that this filter needs to be swapped out on a routine basis — or else it will become clogged and dirty.

So, why does your air conditioner smell bad when the filter becomes dirty? Over time, the filter will become filled with dirt, dust, and various other types of unpleasant debris. When this happens, your AC system will emit an unwelcome odor.

Although this can be why your AC smells bad, there are many other reasons to replace your air conditioner’s filter regularly. Let’s take a look at why such a simple maintenance task is so important:

Replacing your AC filter is a DIY project that you can do yourself. However, it’s also worth mentioning that you can call an HVAC technician to handle the replacement.

Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are known to flourish in moist areas, and if you have a blocked condensate line, the chances are that your air conditioning system will struggle to dehumidify the air in your home adequately. When the evaporator coil fails to absorb excess humidity, this creates the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. The presence of mold and mildew in your air conditioning unit smells a lot like dirty socks.

If you notice that your AC smells bad and you think mold is to blame, it’s critical to get your air conditioning system checked by a technician. A professional will inspect your unit, clean it, and eliminate any mold or mildew growth, preventing health hazards from affecting your loved ones.

Dead Animal

A dead animal stuck in your air duct or indoor unit can emit an unpleasant smell that may fill your home. Ductwork and the indoor unit are favorite spots for birds, rats, squirrels, and mice to build nests and reproduce.

If your air conditioning unit gives off a smell that smells like something died inside, it’s essential to contact an experienced technician right away. The professional will check for dead animals and remove them if necessary.

Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant leaks can be frustrating to deal with for several reasons — including the smell it emits. So, why does your air conditioner smell when there’s leaking refrigerant? In this situation, the smell that comes from your air conditioning unit is usually similar to nail polish remover.

It’s also crucial to mention that a refrigerant leak can be extremely hazardous to your health and can affect the environment, so don’t hesitate to call a technician to inspect your AC unit. Fortunately, this is where Pacific Air can help. Whether you need a quick repair or complete AC installation in San Jose, you can trust us to provide you with the perfect solution in a quick and safe manner.

Schedule Your AC Services With the Experts

Why does your air conditioner smell all of a sudden? As you can see, that question isn’t always easy to answer. There can be many reasons why your AC smells bad, from dirty components to major leaks. Unfortunately, ignoring these foul odors can often lead to bigger and costlier problems later on.

Don’t wait to call the experts at Pacific Air when you notice something out of the ordinary with your AC unit. Whether you need a comprehensive repair or an AC tune-up, we’re always here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment in San Jose, CA!