When your air conditioner starts putting out strange or unappealing smells, it is necessary to take notice because it could be a sign of a big problem. Disregarding unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioner could lead to serious damage to your air conditioning or even pose a risk to your health and safety.

Depending on what you're smelling, the cause may be bacteria or fungus in the system. On the other hand, it could also signal something mechanically wrong with the AC. Some smells are a warning of a dangerous situation, such as a natural gas leak.

At Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something odd coming from your AC, chances are our team of skilled pros has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned a reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Pflugerville.

What does a specific odor wafting coming from your air conditioning mean? Here are some common air conditioner odors and what they might mean:

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it could be due to a buildup of bacteria or fungus inside of it. When moisture builds inside the unit, it can create an environment that is beneficial to the spread of bacteria and fungus. This can cause a nasty odor that is often described as smelling like feet.

Another possible cause of an odor of stinky feet may be a dirty air filter. When your HVAC system's air filter becomes filled with dirt, dust and other debris, it can lead to poor air quality and a musty smell that bears a resemblance to feet.

To fix 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 change the air filter on a regular basis to provide good air quality and prevent the development of bacteria and fungus.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your air conditioner stinks like rotten eggs, it may 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, which is because of a substance added to it to make it easily detectable.

A natural gas leak is a situation that is extraordinarily dangerous and requires immediate attention. If you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, immediately open windows and doors to allow gas to escape the area, get everyone out of the building and call your gas company or emergency services at once.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew

If your cooling system emits a smell like mildew, it might be due to a collection of moisture inside the unit. When moisture accumulates inside the air conditioning system, it can promote the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty stench that resembles mildew.

Another possible explanation for the smell could be a dirty air filter. If the air filter becomes clogged, it can result in poor air quality and a musty smell that has a resemblance to mildew.

Routine air conditioning maintenance from Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning can help avoid both of these problems, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a terrific way to keep your system working at its best!

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine

One of the most undesirable scenarios is when your AC smells like urine.

If your air conditioning equipment smells like urine, it could be due to a variety of factors. One possible cause is a buildup of bacteria or mold in the air conditioning system. 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 create a foul odor that is like urine.

Another feasible cause of the smell could be a blocked drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away properly, but if the drain line becomes filled with debris, it can cause water to back up and collect inside the unit. This can produce a musty smell that resembles urine.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your air conditioning unit smells like burning plastic, this could indicate an electrical issue with the unit. After a while, the electrical components in the air conditioning system can wear out or malfunction, which can make a burning smell that resembles plastic.

Another possible reason for the smell could be a foreign object that somehow got in the unit. If something foreign gets stuck in the air conditioning system, it can heat up and result in a smell that reminds people of burning plastic.

If you notice something that smells like burning plastic coming from your AC unit, it’s important to contact a professional right away.

Your AC Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner smells like gas, it could be because of a natural gas leak in the unit or in another part of your home. Natural gas has a distinct smell, often described as smelling similar to rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because an odor is put into natural gas so that it is easily detectable.

As stated before, a natural gas leak can be VERY dangerous and requires immediate attention. Should you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, open windows and doors to air out the home, evacuate the building and contact your gas company or emergency services straight away.

Your AC Smells Like Fish

When your AC smell like fish, you may have a situation where there's a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture produces an environment that is conducive to the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a disgusting odor that is often described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can create a smell like dirty feet.

Another possible cause of the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material caught inside the air conditioning system. This often is possible if an animal such as a mouse or bird becomes trapped inside the unit and dies.

To fix the issue, it's important to have a professional check out and clean your cooling system. They should be able to find the source of the smell and take the appropriate steps to remove any contaminants and stop the problem from recurring.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Vinegar

There could be several reasons an AC smells like vinegar. One possible cause is a dirty air filter. Another likely cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can generate a chemical odor that is described as smelling of vinegar.

To fix the issue, it's essential to have a skilled mechanic examine and clean your air conditioning.  If the odor lingers after the cleaning and changing of the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to find and repair any persistent issues with your air conditioning. Or, the tech can tell you if your air conditioning ought to be replaced.

If you are looking to upgrade, Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning can help locate the correct unit to fit your home’s needs. We deliver trustworthy, professional air conditioner installation in Pflugerville.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If the smell of chemicals is coming out of your air conditioning equipment, it could be the result of a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical aroma that is often described as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.

Another possible source of the smell could be an issue with the electrical wiring or hardware inside the air conditioning system. This can produce a burning smell that is like chemicals or burning plastic.

If you suspect a refrigerant leak or an electrical issue, it's important to shut down 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 avoid injury or damage to your house.

Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning

If your air conditioner stinks and you aren’t able to fix it simply on your own, call the cooling professionals at Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning. We have plenty of experience working with a wide variety of cooling systems. Our crew has fixed a multitude of air conditioning problems over the years—including weird smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Pflugerville!