When your air conditioner is spotless and running correctly, you shouldn’t be smelling anything strange. Unexpected air conditioner noises and odd smells are a sign that something is off. If your air conditioner is past its prime or you haven’t had a tune-up completed within the last year, they can be a clear sign you need skilled air conditioning repair in Portland.
Here are six of the top air conditioner smells and how you can repair them.
1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, especially a chemical odor, it isn’t a great sign. You may also observe your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical odors are regularly a clue that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak. Your system needs this gas to move heat through copper coils, which can crack as time passes.
Four Hints You Are Dealing with a Refrigerant Leak
Besides the strange smell, here are four other hints that you have a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner runs.
- Ice crystals on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- Difficulty keeping your residence cool or achieving your programmed temperature.
- Increasing utility costs.
How You Can Fix It
A refrigerant leak needs skilled assistance from a heating and cooling company like Three Rivers Heating & Cooling. Your cooling specialist will locate and mend the leak before recharging your system with refrigerant.
Fixing a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, according to nationwide averages assembled by HomeAdvisor. Your precise cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how long it needs to repair.
If your air conditioner was installed prior to 2010, it’s likely it uses R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being manufactured as a result of its harmful effects on the ozone layer. As a consequence, repairs can be very expensive so it may be smartest to schedule air conditioning installation in this instance.
2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s possibly nothing wrong with it. But there’s a good chance you have a natural gas leak in your house. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to warn you when there’s a leak, since the gas can be deadly in heavy concentrations.
How You Can Repair It
If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we recommend:
- Switching off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Going outside promptly.
- Contacting your gas company without delay.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
Individuals who contact us regarding this issue usually report their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it runs. Also called dirty sock syndrome, this smell is typically created by a dirty evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Moisture can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most often seen in climates where you turn on heating at night and during the morning before turning on cooling later on.
How to Repair It
The best method for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to routinely replace your air filter and schedule routine air conditioning maintenance with Three Rivers Heating & Cooling. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system flowing, since excess water can also create noxious odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are experiencing air conditioner mildew smell or a pungent, vinegar-like odor, it might be caused by several situations, like:
- A clogged filter
- Excess condensation
- Plugged condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Fix It
Inspect your filter first. If you haven’t put in a new one within the last three months and can’t see light through it, it’s time to replace it. If that doesn’t solve the issue, call Three Rivers Heating & Cooling at 503-213-4433.
5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If you’re experiencing an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be a number of things wrong. These involve:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that should have lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical problem.
Electrical problems should be examined right away to prevent a fire. If you smell burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, shut it off and call us at 503-213-4433 without delay.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
A strong ammonia odor means there may be mold flourishing within your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold makes.
How to Repair It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your health. That’s why it’s important to have a specialist like Three Rivers Heating & Cooling look at your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when needed.
Our Pros Can Eliminate Unpleasant Air Conditioner Smells Fast
You deserve to be comfortable in your house and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you are looking for relief from your stinky air conditioner, contact us at 503-213-4433. We’ll diagnose the problem quickly and fix it at a reasonable.