When you walk into your home, smelling something horrendous is one of the worst surprises you can receive. If you find that the foul odor is coming from your air conditioning unit, the next step is to identify the odor and where in your unit it’s coming from. Here are some common smells from your unit that can linger throughout your home.
AC Smells Like: Burning
If you smell burning from your AC unit, you probably have an electrical problem. The burning smell can come from either a blower motor that overheated or a mechanical failure of some sort. This is due to the build up heat of plastic insulation on wires, causing melting and the burning smell in your unit. Also, if plastic, rubber, or other objects get caught in your ductwork, this can cause a burning smell. Even dirty air filters can overheat your AC unit, creating a burning smell.
AC Smells Like: Rotten Eggs
If your air conditioning smells like rotten eggs, you could have a potentially serious issue. The smell usually comes from a backed up sewage line that has split near a break in your air duct system. From the sewer, methane gases, the cause of the stench, leak into your AC unit, allowing your air ducts to circulate all around your home. Finding the break in your air duct is a good start, but you typically need to contact a professional for plumbing repairs to fix your sewage line and rid the rotten eggs smell for good.
AC Smells Like: Musty
If your air conditioning smells musty, this usually means that mold is forming inside your air conditioner. Get rid of this odor by thoroughly cleaning it out. Replace your filter, and then clean the inside of your air conditioner, followed by your front grille, your coils and the condensation drain line. Your AC unit should be shut off while you clean it out.
AC Smells Like: Gas
The heating portion of your HVAC system is more than likely powered by natural gas running in your home. Therefore, if you air conditioning smells like gas, open up all your windows and go outside immediately. Contact your gas company and have them investigate the gas smell from your air conditioner.
AC Smells Like: Rotten Animals
If your house smells like rotten animals, there’s a break in the AC ducts under your home. Animals that have been harmed or that have been looking for shelter away from the California heat, often get into your air vents and die there. This isn’t the most preferred smell to come from your air conditioner, but it can happen.