Woman wondering why her AC is acting up

Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

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 affect your home comfort.

Where do the smells come from?

Begin with what the odor smells like. If the odor resembles a rotten egg, this could be a signal of a gas leak. If this is the case, you should open your windows, turn off the gas supply, evacuate the home and reach out to 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 issue.

Just like anything in your house, if your air conditioner isn’t cleaned properly or taken care of, there’s a good chance that dirt and dust will accumulate. And because components of your air conditioner aren’t front and center, cleaning them can often go overlooked.

Buildup of mold, dirt and other particles is one of the most common sources of odors with air conditioners. It can happen with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. Luckily, regular maintenance can help avoid this buildup and reduce the chances that an unfriendly smell starts dispersing throughout your house.

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

It’s also possible that a small animal 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?

Check your filter. This is a common culprit for air conditioner odors. If it’s been a long time since you’ve exchanged your air filter, try replacing it with a brand new one. We typically suggest changing your filter every two to three months. But it’s also key to keep in mind other factors that would require you to replace it more repeatedly, 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 reducing the smell, it’s probably time to contact a professional. Especially if it’s been an lengthy period of time since your last air conditioning checkup. The pros can examine the situation to see if a thorough cleaning can do the job. You may also want to 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, West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. can help you assess the situation and discuss possible solutions. You should be able to enjoy your cool indoor space in the warmer summer months, without having to suffer with undesirable odors. You can arrange an appointment with our experts online or give us a shout at 614-450-1575.

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