Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Bad?

Does your home’s AC smell bad? It is possible that your AC air smells like sewage, mildew, dirty socks, burning, or rotten eggs. These smells are indicators that there might be an issue with your AC unit.

There are various different reasons to why your indoor air would smell.

  1. Air filtration system is not working productively.

The air filtration system removes dust and contaminants. If your air filtration system cannot perform its duty efficiently, those stinky contaminants cannot be removed from your home’s air, thus causing foul smelling air.

  1. The size of your AC unit is too big for your home.

An AC system removes moisture from the air, acting as a dehumidifier. If your AC unit is too big for your needs, the cooling cycle will be done too quickly, causing the dehumidifying process to be completed prematurely. Eventually, this moisture in your home will build up and grow mold and mildew in your AC units.

  1. Dirty cooling coils.

If your cooling coils are dirty, bacteria can grow. So, when your AC blows air directly on it, your air can pick up the smell from it.

  1. Clogged condensation drains.

Similarly, clogged condensation drains can cause bacteria and mold to grow on it due to the additional moisture.

  1. Your AC unit has some mechanical problems.

Wiring and mechanical problems can cause your motor to overheat. Your AC air will smell like something is burnt, similar to gun powder. If you experience this, you should turn the AC system off immediately from the breaker box and call for a professional.

  1. A dead animal is rotting in your AC unit.

If an animal has died in your AC system or your duct system, you will be able to know immediately when it starts to rot. Keep your doors and windows open and call a pest management company or a HVAC professional to remove it.

If you are not able to identify the root cause to why your AC unit stinks, you might need to call an HVAC professional for help.

ELA Home Repairs is a non-for-profit organization that provides free referral service to Arizona residents.  We have a system to verify that the contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured to protect you from potential home contractor issues.

Call 800-368-7767 or visit www.elahomerepairs.org for a free referral to a licensed, bonded, and insured contractor.


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