When your air conditioner starts putting out weird or gross aromas, it is important to take notice because it could be a sign of a major problem. Ignoring unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioner could lead to further damage to your AC or even pose a risk to your health and safety.

Depending on the smell, the root of the problem might be bacteria or fungus in the system. On the other hand, it could also sign something mechanically wrong with the AC. Some smells are even indicative of a harmful situation, including a natural gas leak.

At Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc., we have a nose for these sorts of things. If you smell something peculiar coming from your air conditioner, you can bet that our team of talented specialists has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned a reputation as the first call for air conditioning repair in Muskogee.

What does a particular smell wafting from your air conditioning mean? Here are several common air conditioner smells and what they may mean:

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it can be caused by a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the unit. When moisture accumulates inside the unit, it can establish an environment that is favorable to the growth of bacteria and fungus. This can produce a bad odor that is often described as smelling like feet.

Another likely explanation for the stench of dirty feet could be a dirty air filter. If an air filter becomes choked with dirt, dust and other particles, it can cause low air quality and a musty smell that resembles feet.

To solve this problem, it's important to have a quality service tech inspect and clean your air conditioning system, including the evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain line. It's also important to exchange the air filter regularly to provide good air quality and restrict the growth of bacteria and fungus.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your reeks of rotten eggs, it could be due to a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a unique odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur, that is added to it to make it easily detectable.

A natural gas leak is very dangerous and requires immediate attention. If you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, immediately open windows and doors to air out the area, evacuate the building and call your gas company or emergency services at once.

Your AC Smells Like Mildew

If your air conditioner is giving off an odor like mildew, it could be due to a collection of moisture inside the unit. When moisture accumulates inside a cooling system, it can foster the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty stench that bears a resemblance to mildew.

Another possible explanation for the smell might be a dirty air filter. Once the air filter becomes clogged, it can lead to poor air quality and a musty smell that has a resemblance to mildew.

Regular air conditioning maintenance from Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. can help avoid both of these problems, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a great way to keep your system running at its best!

Your AC Smells Like Urine

One of the most undesirable things is when an air conditioner smells like urine.

If your air conditioning equipment reeks of urine, it could could be caused by multiple factors. One likely cause is a collection of bacteria or mold in the your HVAC. This can happen in the event that moisture accumulates in the system and creates a moist environment that can promote bacterial growth. The bacteria can produce a foul odor that some people describe as smelling like urine.

Another feasible cause of the smell could be a clogged drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away effectively, but if the drain line becomes stopped up by debris, it can cause water to back up and accumulate inside the unit. This can produce a musty smell that can stink like urine.

Your AC Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your air conditioning unit smells like burning plastic, a possible cause could be an electrical problem with the unit. After some time, the electrical parts in the air conditioning system can wear out or break, which can produce a burning smell that resembles plastic.

Another possible cause of the smell could be a foreign object that somehow got in the the air conditioner. If something foreign gets caught in the air conditioning system, it can heat up and result in a smell like burning plastic.

If you notice something that smells like burning plastic coming from your cooling system, it’s worthwhile to contact a professional right away.

Your AC Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner smells like gas, it could be due to a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a distinct odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because an odor is incorporated into natural gas to make sure that it is easily detectable.

As mentioned earlier, a natural gas leak can be VERY hazardous and calls for immediate attention. When you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, open windows and doors to air out the home, get everyone out of the building and phone your gas company or emergency services as soon as possible.

Why My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish

Should your air conditioner smell like fish, this could be a sign of a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture produces an environment that fosters the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a strong odor that can be described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can cause a smell like dirty feet.

Another plausible explanation for the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material caught inside the air conditioning system. This often can happen if an animal such as a mouse or bird is trapped inside the unit and dies.

To fix the issue, it's often necessary to have a professional check out and clean your air conditioning system. They can identify the source of the smell and take the correct steps to remove any contaminants and stop the problem from recurring.

Your AC Smells Like Vinegar

There could be numerous reasons a home's air conditioner smells like vinegar. One possible cause might be a clogged air filter. A second potential cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that is described as smelling of vinegar.

To fix the issue, it's important to have a skilled tech inspect and clean your air conditioning.  If the odor continues after the cleaning and exchanging the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to diagnose and repair any hidden issues with your air conditioning. Or, the tech can tell you if your air conditioning ought to be replaced.

If you are wanting to upgrade, Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc. can help locate the correct unit to fit your home’s needs. We deliver dependable, expert air conditioner installation in Muskogee.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Chemicals

If the smell of chemicals is emitting out of your air conditioning unit, it could be due to a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical scent that some people describe as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.

Another possible cause of the smell could be an issue with the electrical wiring or elements inside the air conditioning system. This can result in a burning smell that it similar to chemicals or burning plastic.

If you suspect a refrigerant leak or an electrical problem, it's important to turn off your air conditioning system immediately and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be harmful and may require immediate attention to prevent injury or damage to your residence.

A Nasty Odor Coming from Your AC? Contact the Experts at Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc.

If your air conditioner reeks and you aren’t able to fix it smoothly on your own, reach out to the cooling professionals at Hix Air Conditioning Service, Inc.. We have plenty of experience working with a wide variety of air conditioning systems. Our crew has fixed countless air conditioning problems over the years—including funky smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Muskogee!