Why Does My Air Conditioning Unit Smell Bad?

by | Sep 16, 2021 | Home

Does your home smell awful when you turn on your air conditioning unit in Frisco, TX? You don’t have to get rid of the unit just yet. Sometimes, simple troubleshooting can get the nasty smell away. Of course, to do that, you have to know the problem first.

Here are some of the possible causes of a bad smell from your air conditioning unit:

Overheating components

Your air conditioning unit has many electrical components, including power wires, circuit boards, fan motors, etc. These components can overheat, usually when the unit is forced to work harder than usual. When the components overheat, you might smell a gunpowder-like odor. In this case, it’s best to turn the air conditioning off and call in an air conditioning technician in Frisco, TX for a system inspection. Constantly using the unit despite the gunpowder smell can cause more serious problems.

Clogged condensate drain pipe

If you don’t know yet, the cooling process in an air conditioning unit produces water. The water will drip in the condensate drain pan and will exit through the drain pipe. If the condensate drain pipe is clogged, the water will remain on the pan. Stagnant water may cause stinky feet odor.

Mold and mildew growth

Under most circumstances,air conditioning units in Frisco, TX aren’t ideal places for mold growth. Air conditioning units and ductwork only become a breeding ground for the fungus when there’s excess moisture from high humidity, water leak, or stagnant water. As mold develops and spreads, it emits gasses referred to as microbial volatile organic compounds, which often smell unpleasant or musty. You need to address this problem immediately. Prolonged exposure to mold and mildew may cause respiratory illnesses. 

Dead animals and pests

It can be unsettling to think that there are dead animals in your air conditioning and ductwork. But it does happen. When there’s a crack/hole in the ducts, pests such as rodents may find their way and live inside the ductwork. Animals may also take refuge from the cold in the ductwork. They can die in there, leaving you with an animal carcass that would cause a rotten smell. So if your air conditioning unit is blowing a strong, putrid smell, contact professionals to get rid of the horrible odor.

Leaking gas

Natural gas on its own is odorless, but gas distributors mix Methyl Mercaptan in it to give it a distinct smell, specifically like a skunk. This is for easy leak detection. So if your air conditioning unit smells like a skunk spray or rotten egg, there’s leaking gas. It does not come directly from your air conditioning unit as A/C doesn’t use that kind of gas. It’s possible that the gas just made its way into the ductwork into your indoor air. It’s very dangerous, so you should quickly evacuate your place and contact the gas company as soon as you smell rotten eggs or skunks coming through the A/C vents. 

Tobacco particles that are embedded in the air filter

When someone smokes a cigarette indoors, the tobacco particles will likely end up in the air conditioning filters. When you turn the A/C on, the particles will be knocked loose and sent back to your home. So you’re likely to smell stale cigarette smoke coming from your air conditioning unit. This one is easy to fix – replace the filters regularly or don’t smoke at home. 

Air conditioning units release only cold and fresh air. So if the air conditioning unit smells bad, contact a professional to inspect it. It is to prevent further problems with the system and safety risks. Don’t just use aerosol sprays or scented candles to cover up the smell. 

If you need an air conditioning professionals in Frisco, TX, go for GO Heating, Air & Plumbing. The team can also help if the smelly problem is due to a plumbing problem. You can reach the company at 972-532-0008.

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