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What is that Smell From My Air Conditioner?


lady wondering why her ac unit smells like skunk

Air conditioning can make your home much more comfortable than it otherwise would be, but sometimes that comfort comes with a price. Stinky, musty smell coming from the HVAC can permeate your home and even cause health problems like allergy and asthma flare-ups.

Depending on the cause of the odor, it can be difficult, if not impossible, for a homeowner to take care of the underlying problem. When you’re dealing with a smelly air conditioner, it often becomes necessary to seek professional help.

Be Aware of Household Odors

If there are strong odors present in your home, you may notice them more when the air conditioner kicks on and starts to circulate the air. Before inspecting your air conditioner for odors, make sure you’re not dealing with a garbage can that needs to be emptied, burnt food, pet odors or other typical household smells. Once you’ve ruled out other sources of the smell, you can start looking at your air conditioning system.

Air Conditioner Smells Musty

The most common cause of a persistent musty odor coming from the AC is mold or mildew growing somewhere in the system. This can occur inside the condenser coil, within the unit itself or somewhere in the ducts. Mold and mildew can grow in window AC units that don’t have good drainage.

Wherever the problem resides, it’s important to call a professional for help. Finding the mildew or mold may entail inspecting the ductwork, drainage pan, drain lines or cleaning the condenser coil. Drain pans can be emptied, leaky ducts repaired, condenser coils cleaned, and drain lines flushed; however, these steps may be more involved than you can deal with on your own. At ACE Home Services, our professionals are eager to help you keep your Phoenix AC system mold-, mildew- and odor-free.

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AC Smells like Rotten Eggs

If a smell of rotten eggs is coming from your air conditioner, you could have a natural gas leak. This is most likely to occur if your AC is part of an HVAC system with an attached, natural gas-fueled heat pump or furnace. Natural gas leaks are extremely dangerous, so if you have a suspicion that you smell rotten eggs, call for professional help from your gas company and an experienced HVAC technician immediately. At ACE, we’re available 24 hours a day, every day of the week. We don’t charge for house calls, and there are no additional charges for nights, holidays or weekends.

Your AC has a Burning Smell

For homes in which cigarettes are smoked, it’s possible for the condenser coil to absorb that odor and begin smelling like cigarette smoke when the unit is in operation. This can be remedied by having the condenser coil professionally cleaned. For other smoky or burning odors, there could be electrical or mechanical problems in your unit that are responsible. If you smell burning or the odor of smoke (unless it’s because of smoking in the home), turn the AC off immediately and call a professional HVAC technician to inspect the unit and make repairs.

If Your A/C Unit Smells Like Skunk Call ACE Home Services!

Should you find yourself asking, “Why does my air conditioner smell?” or if your ac unit smells like skunk don’t hesitate to contact us for help. At Ace Home Services, we’ve been proudly serving Phoenix and the surrounding areas for two decades. Our experienced professionals are standing by to help you!

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