What Is That Smell Coming From Your Air Conditioner?

For many people, life without an air conditioner is almost unimaginable. However, these machines are not just individually complex but are also part of a rather complex system. Unless an air conditioning system is operating under ideal conditions, a variety of issues can develop.

Many of the problems that affect these systems are characterized by unique odors. The keen homeowner can use these odors to quickly identify a problem in their AC and have it corrected quickly. Some of the common odors and what they mean include:

Musty smells: This problem is quite common and is caused by the growth of mold and mildew inside the AC. This growth occurs as a result of poor drainage of the condensing water inside the system. Professional AC repair services have the skills and equipment to locate the main problem areas and prevent the issue from happening again.

Rotting garbage: This smell usually comes from a dead animal e.g. a rodent. Sometimes, an injured or sick animal will find its way into the vents and die inside. Clearing this mess can be an unpleasant task for the home or building owner.

A burning smell: If it smells like something is burning, something in the air conditioning system could be overheating. Mechanical components of the AC, e.g. fans and the compressor, can overheat due to several reasons. A distinct electrical smell could mean that it's the motor that's overheating. Whether the problem is from a mechanical or electrical component, such issues are fire hazards. Due to the risks involved, only a qualified technician should attempt to correct such problems.

The smell of gas (rotten eggs): Natural gas has a unique smell added to it so it can be identified easily. If this smell is coming in through the vents, it means there's a high chance of a leak near the ducts. You should leave the building immediately and notify the gas company in such situations. You should also call a technician in case the smell of raw sewage is coming in through the vents. The gas from sewers is rich in methane and a burst sewer near a duct can fill your home with this highly flammable gas.

The role of the property owner in such instances is mainly limited to identifying the problem and knowing which AC repair services to call. Correcting some of these problems comes with many risks that only professionals can safely address.