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It seems shocking to many homeowners, but sometimes, your air conditioner might start smelling a bit funky. This is a common problem, and in most cases, you can solve it by cleaning the unit.

However, some scents are more worrying than others. For instance, if your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, it could be a sign there’s a serious issue lurking underneath the surface.

This is why you should treat every funny scent from your air conditioner as a potential hazard and work on resolving the issue right away.

Here are some smells you may experience as an HVAC owner:

1. Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs

This is not only unpleasant but could also potentially be very dangerous. When an
air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, it’s a clear sign that you might be dealing with sulfur.

This gas is a health hazard when it occurs in high concentrations and could cause many health issues for your family. The main culprit in this instance is normally a gas leak. Even though natural gas is odorless, it may have a rotten eggs smell when coming from your AC.

We recommend shutting off the gas supply, opening the windows, and calling the fire department. Only then should you call your
HVAC technician of choice. 

In some cases, an air conditioner smells like rotten eggs due to a dead pest problem. These poor critters may try to find shelter in your air ducts, but if they die during their stay, they’ll emit a foul odor.

We recommend calling pest control first. Once the dead animal is removed, you should contact an AC technician who can clean your ducts, permanently getting rid of the stench.

2. Air Conditioner Smells Like A Sewer

It’s bad when your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, but the smell of sewage is on a whole different level. The good news is that it’s actually quite simple to resolve. 

For the most part, this happens due to a clog in the drain line. This pipe removes water from your system, but when it’s blocked, water starts backing up into the system, causing a sewage-like smell in the process.

We recommend unclogging the drain line with vinegar, which is usually enough to break down the clog.

Keep in mind that a drain line can also lead to mold growth since moisture and dark are the prime conditions for this infestation to happen. An HVAC technician can help you resolve this problem by giving your unit a thorough cleaning.

3. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gunpowder

If your AC starts smelling like the 4th of July, you might have a severe problem. Generally speaking, a smell of gunpowder indicates that components such as power wires, fans, circuit boards, or the compressor have started burning.

This is a major electrical issue, one you should never try to resolve on your own. Shut the breaker and call a professional
HVAC service company immediately.

4. Air Conditioner Smells Like A Chemical

A chemical odor radiating from AC sounds (or smells) concerning, and in many cases, it is. It’s not unusual for homeowners to report the smell of chlorine, paint thinner, or formaldehyde.

Sometimes, the cause behind it could be pretty benign. For example, there could be a chemical smell if you’ve just changed your air filter. In other cases though, it could indicate a freon/refrigerant leak. 

Additionally, some homeowners also report the smell of glue, but this is normal if you’ve just made any changes to your ductwork. 

Still, whenever there is a chemical smell radiating from your air conditioner, ventilate the entire home and get in touch with an AC technician. This is the only way to rule out a dangerous freon leak.

5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Wet Socks

Just like the smell of sewage, the stale smell of wet socks typically occurs due to a clog in the condensate line. 

While your first step should be checking if there’s a clog, you can also swap out your air filter since this smell can occur due to a dirty filter. Since this component of your HVAC filters all the air in your system, if it’s covered in dirt, it can spread a musty smell throughout your home. This is quite common, especially in Florida where humidity levels are high and filters have a shorter lifespan.

6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning

As you can see, most of these smells have multiple causes. The champion in this regard is a burning smell with so many different causes that you’ll need two hands to count them all out.

If you haven’t used the unit in a while, it could just be dust burning off in your system. The smell will go away on its own in about half an hour or so.

However, if that doesn’t happen, you might have a critical malfunction on your hands. Pay special attention to a plastic-like burning smell- It could point to anything from a malfunctioning compressor to the broken fan motor or a multitude of other components.

There is also a chance all of this happening due to wires inside the unit burning up. Naturally, this can be dangerous and cause an electrical fire, so you should power down the air conditioner ASAP and call a technician who can uncover the root cause.

Why Professional Help Is Necessary

If you’re unlucky enough to be in a situation where your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, you need backup. While some smells are pretty easy to resolve, some point to severe breakdowns or pose significant health hazards.

For more serious issues (those that don’t include swapping out an air filter or using a bit of vinegar), you have to call a professional with a hefty amount of experience. 

If you’re situated in Broward, Palm Beach, St Lucie, or Martin counties, you only need one company -
Aztil Air Conditioning.

We’re experts in all HVAC-related matters and can quickly help you if your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs. We’ll resolve the underlying issue(s) and provide a thorough cleanup of your HVAC system to ensure the smell goes away permanently.

Contact now at +1-888-123-6789 to schedule an appointment and your air will smell fresh once again




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