When your air conditioner starts emitting weird or gross aromas, it is a good idea to take notice because it could be a sign of a significant problem. Disregarding unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioning could lead to additional damage to your air conditioning or even pose a risk to your health and safety.

Depending on the cause of the odor, the cause may be bacteria or fungus in the system. On the other hand, it could also sign something mechanically wrong with the air conditioner. Some smells are even indicative of a harmful problem, like a natural gas leak.

At Better Air, we are skilled at diagnosing and fixing these type of problems. If you smell something peculiar coming from your cooling system, chances are our team of qualified specialists has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned the reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Dundas and Northfield.

What does a specific odor coming coming from your AC mean? Here are a few typical air conditioner aromas and what they could mean:

Your AC Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it may be due to a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the system. When moisture collects inside the unit, it can establish an environment that is conducive to the development of bacteria and fungus. This can result in a bad odor that is often described as smelling like dirty feet.

Another likely reason for an odor of stinky feet may be a dirty air filter. If an air filter becomes filled with dirt, dust and other contaminants, it can lead to low air quality and a musty smell that bears a resemblance to feet.

To correct this unpleasant situation, 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 replace the air filter regularly to ensure good air quality and prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your air conditioning equipment reeks of rotten eggs, it could be because of 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, which 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 allow gas to escape the area, evacuate the building and call your gas company or emergency services right away.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Mildew

If your cooling system smells like mildew, it could be due to a collection of moisture inside the unit. When moisture forms inside a cooling system, it can promote the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty smell that it similar to mildew.

Another possible reason for the smell might be a clogged air filter. When the air filter becomes clogged, it can lead to poor air quality and a musty smell that is similar to mildew.

Regular air conditioning maintenance from Better Air can help prevent both of these problems, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a very good way to keep your system running at its best!

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Urine

One of the most distressing situations is when the air coming out of your HVAC system smells like urine.

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

Another potential cause of the scent of urine 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 build up inside the unit. This can generate a musty smell that resembles urine.

Your AC Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your air conditioning unit smells like burning plastic, it might be because of an electrical problem with the unit. After a while, the electrical elements in the air conditioning system can wear out or bust, which can create a burning smell that resembles plastic.

Another possible reason for the smell could be a foreign object stuck in the the air conditioner. If something foreign gets caught in the air conditioning system, it can get hot and result in a smell similar to burning plastic.

If you smell burning plastic coming from your air conditioner, it’s essential to call 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 aroma, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because a smell is put into natural gas so that it is easily detectable.

As mentioned before, a natural gas leak can be VERY harmful and calls for immediate attention. If you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, open windows and doors to air out the home, evacuate the building and call your gas company or emergency services right away.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish

When your AC smell like fish, it could be due to a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture produces an environment that promotes the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a strong odor that is sometimes described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can result in a smell like dirty feet.

Another potential cause of the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material stuck in 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 correct the issue, it’s often necessary to have a professional check out and clean your air conditioning system. They will be able to identify the source of the smell and take the proper steps to remove any contaminants and prevent the problem from recurring.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Vinegar

There could be multiple reasons your air conditioning system smells like vinegar. One possible cause of the smell could be a plugged air filter. One other likely cause of the smell could 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 beneficial to have a skilled mechanic inspect and clean your air conditioning.  If the odor continues after the cleaning and changing of the air filter, it’s best to reach back out to a professional to identify and repair any persistent issues with your air conditioning. Or, they can tell you if your air conditioning ought to be replaced.

If you are planning to upgrade, Better Air can help locate the correct unit to fit your home’s needs. We provide reliable, expert air conditioner installation in Dundas and Northfield.

Your AC Smells Like Chemicals

If the smell of chemicals is coming from your air conditioning equipment, it could be due to a refrigerant leak. In a situation where 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 something wrong with the electrical wiring or components inside the air conditioning system. This can produce a burning smell that is like chemicals or burning plastic.

If you believe there is a refrigerant leak or an electrical problem, it’s important to turn off your air conditioning system as soon as possible and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be hazardous and may require immediate attention to protect against injury or damage to your home.

Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Contact the Experts at Better Air

If your air conditioner smells nasty and you aren’t able to fix it simply on your own, call the cooling professionals at Better Air. We have lots of experience working with a wide variety of AC systems. Our crew has fixed a multitude of air conditioning troubles over the years—including strange smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Dundas and Northfield!