Woman wondering why her AC is acting up

Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

Many of us install air conditioners to help us feel cool in our homes. But when you start to experience unpleasant odors coming from your cooling system, it’s more than just irritating. It can greatly affect 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 indication 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. Be sure to have the gas company turn it back on for you. It’s not something you want to tackle yourself.

If it doesn’t smell like rotten eggs, you are likely experiencing a different issue.

Just like anything in your house, if your air conditioner isn’t cleaned well or taken care of, there’s a good chance that dirt and dust will accumulate. And because components of your air conditioner aren’t right in front of you, cleaning them can often go overlooked.

Buildup of mold, dirt and other particles is one of the most request reasons you’ll notice odors with air conditioners. It can occur with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. However, ongoing maintenance can help decrease this buildup and reduce the probability that an unfriendly smell starts diffusing throughout your house.

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

It’s also possible that a small animal 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 get the animal.

What can I do?

Analyze your filter. This is a typical culprit for air conditioner odors. If it’s been a long time since you’ve changed your air filter, go ahead and replace it with a brand new one. We typically advise changing your filter every few months. But it’s also key to keep in mind other factors that would require you to replace it more often, such as pets in the home or if a family member has allergies or asthma.

If you’ve exchanged the filter and it’s not helping, it’s probably time to contact a professional. Especially if it’s been an lengthy period of time since your last air conditioning examination. They can examine 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 be enhanced from a proper cleaning.

If you have frustrations about the odors in your home, Tokay Heating and Air Conditioning can help you assess the situation and discuss possible solutions. You should be able to enjoy your cool indoor space during the warmer summer months, without having to suffer with undesirable odors. You can schedule an appointment with our team online or give us a shout at 209-257-3156.

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