Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

July 22, 2019

The majority of us install air conditioners to help us feel comfortable in our homes. But when you start to notice unpleasant odors coming from your cooling system, it’s more than just bothersome. It can greatly impact your home comfort.

Where do the smells come from?

Focus on what the odor smells like. If the odor resembles a rotten egg, this could be a sign 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 mess around with.

If it doesn’t smell like rotten eggs, you probably have a different challenge.

Just like anything in your house, if your air conditioner isn’t cleaned correctly 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 more typical culprits of odor with air conditioners. It can occur with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. Luckily, regular maintenance can help avoid this buildup and reduce the odds that an unfriendly smell starts diffusing throughout your house.

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

It’s also possible that a little critter 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 retrieve the animal.

What can I do?

Analyze your filter. This is a usual culprit for air conditioner odors. If it’s been a long time since you’ve changed your air filter, try replacing it with a brand new one. We typically suggest changing your filter every three months. But it’s also important to keep in mind other elements that would require you to replace it more frequently, 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 long period of time since your last air conditioning checkup. Technicians can review 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 benefit from a proper cleaning.

If you have frustrations about the odors in your home, Farris Heating & Air can help you take a look at the situation and talk through possible solutions. You should be able to enjoy your cool indoor space throughout the warmer summer months, without having to suffer with unfavorable odors. You can book an appointment with our experts online or give us a shout at 918-534-8194.