Updated at: 23-09-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

Most people have experienced the musty smell in their home when they first switch on the air conditioner after hibernation. Is it just dust that’s been accumulating over time? What about the stench of rotting eggs? Or a smouldering odor? Are any of these odors coming from my air conditioner dangerous? Can it be repaired or does it mean a new air conditioner is needed instead?

To get rid of the foul smell in your air conditioner, give us a call.

How do I know if the smell is coming from my A/C?

You can be sure the A/C is the source of an unusual scent if you only notice it when the air conditioner is on and running, especially if the smell becomes stronger as you approach closer to the vents. The problem arises, though, when you detect an unpleasant odor, like that of a soiled diaper or cigarette smoke, but you are unable to place its source. In that instance, your air conditioner may be to blame. The diaper pail in the nursery upstair can be detected while you’re down in the basement if the A/C is on and sucking other smells into the air. A prior tenant or a friend who smoked in the house could have drawn in the smoke and exhaled it via your air conditioner’s coils, causing the stench of cigarettes to permeate your home every time you turn it on.

Air Conditioner Smells: 6 Reasons Why Your AC Smells Awful & Solutions

Why does my air conditioner stink?

If your air conditioner smells, there are several possible causes. Here are a few more common offenders, in addition to those already mentioned:

Smell: Musty/Dirty Socks

The evaporator coil and filter of the air conditioner could be the source of the problem.

Smell: Mold/Mildew

A clogged condensate drain line (i.e., water building), an air conditioner that is too large for your home (i.e., running quick-cooling cycles and not effectively dehumidifying your home’s air), or general moisture buildup could be the cause.

Smell: Rotten Egg

Pest or dead animal in the ductwork or attic, or a natural gas leak near the ductwork, are all possible causes.

Open the windows, leave the house immediately, and call the gas company if you suspect a gas leak. It’s possible that this is a life-or-death situation.

Smell: Burning

Problems with the fan and compressor may be to blame.

Smell: Sewage

Possible Source: Backed up sewer line or ruptured vent pipe near the ductwork

Smell: Gun Powder

A clogged sewer line or a burst vent pipe near the ductwork could be the source of the problem.

Smell: Exhaust

Blocked or damaged vent pipes near ducting may be the blame.

Why Are Strange Smells An Issue?

Smells coming from your air conditioning system, such as rotten eggs or mildew, are all signs that something is wrong with your air conditioner.

During the beginning of the cooling or heating season, your HVAC system may emit a burning smell when dust that has settled in the unit burns off. It’s possible that your vents are filled with rotting eggs, which could indicate a gas leak or the presence of a dead animal. Mold can be detected by a musty or filthy sock-like odor.

If your air conditioner smells musty, you may have a problem with your system’s air filtration system. Bacteria thrive in a dark, moist environment like your digestive system.

To put it another way: Your central air conditioning unit (AC) is distributing harmful mold spores throughout your home. It’s important to keep your family safe from these spores, especially if one of them has an allergy.

Strange odors emanating from the HVAC system should never be ignored by homeowners. Calling a qualified air conditioning technician to inspect your system is the best course of action to take if you’re experiencing persistent odors.

Why Your Air Conditioner Smells Bad & How To Fix It

Five Reasons Why Your AC Smells Musty

You can help your air conditioner repairman locate the problem by conducting some troubleshooting while he or she is on the way. As a result, your HVAC unit will be serviced faster and accurately the first time, restoring your home’s fresh scent.

Whether your air conditioner is smelling musty, here are five things to look for to see if that’s the problem.

1. The Drain Pan is Full

Water droplets are deposited in the drip pan or drain pan because your AC unit eliminates humid air from your home. Due to normal wear and tear, the efficiency of this component of your HVAC system will degrade over time.

Mold will grow in an inefficient drip pan, resulting in the musty odor in our house when the unit is running. To get rid of the smell, have it replaced by a professional HVAC specialist in your area.

To find the drip pan, look right beneath the evaporator coils of your system.

2. Frozen Evaporator Coils

When you switch on your air conditioner, it takes in warm indoor air, eliminates humidity, and cools it before returning it to the room via return vents. Air filters must be kept clean if they are to function properly in this procedure.

Water droplets from humid interior air build up on the evaporator coils when dirt and debris obstructs airflow. As the refrigerant in the AC unit cools the air, the water in these droplets will freeze. To restore optimal airflow, your HVAC expert will need to defrost the condenser coil and replace the filters.

To find the evaporator coils, look inside or near the air handler, which is the part of your system that houses the blower fan.

3. Excess Moisture In Ducts Or Vents

High humidity levels or a drainage leak are the most common causes of excess moisture in air ducts and vents. Mold and mildew may have made their way into your ducting if you notice a musty odor when you switch on your air conditioner.

Because mold exposure can lead to serious health problems in the upper respiratory system, it’s important to contact a qualified HVAC technician right away. To get rid of musty odors for good, you’ll need to have your ducts and vents professionally cleaned and repaired.

Your ducts are connected to your home’s vents. It is possible that some of the ducting is hidden away in the ceiling or in the crawlspace, which means that a specialist must be called in to check for mold.

4. Blocked Condensate Line

The condensate line is a short, PVC-coated pipe that runs alongside the condenser. It’s the portion of your air conditioner that’s placed outside of your house. Water from the drip pan is directed into your landscaping or storm drain by this device.

Due to its small size, it’s also a prime spot for the growth of mold, mildew, and sludge. Clogs and musty odors are inevitable as a result of this.

Condensate drain lines are short pipes that flow from your home’s interior to the outside of your unit’s condenser.

5. Incorrect AC Size For Home

In order for your air conditioning system to function properly, it must be the appropriate size for your house. Increasing the size of the unit will result in a lack of dehumidification and an increase in the amount of excess moisture. As a result, it will repeatedly cycle on and off, resulting in premature failure.

If you’re not sure if your air conditioning unit is the right size, ask your HVAC specialist. It’s more than just the square footage of your home that determines the size of your HVAC unit. Additionally, your service specialist will take into account the number of residents, the type of insulation in your home, and the climate in which you live.

Ask a service technician to check out your equipment.

Air Conditioner Cleaning: 3 Reasons Why Your AC Is Stinking – The Urban Guide

How do I get rid of air conditioner smells?

It’s a good thing that most air conditioner odours are caused by filthy or clogged air filters, because cleaning or replacing the filter usually takes care of the problem. Keeping your condensate line free of debris might also assist. There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing the smell of urine in your home, but the most common is that you’ve got a diaper someplace in your house. The only way to get rid of a nasty smell is to bring in the experts if you’ve already cleaned or changed the filter, cleansed your condensate line, and eliminated any visible odor sources and still can’t get rid of it. The more serious the problem, the more important it is to have a thorough inspection of your home.

The easiest method to safeguard your house and your budget against unanticipated A/C problems is to include its system components in your home warranty in addition to completing routine maintenance on your air conditioner. As a result, you won’t have to worry about the expense of covered repairs.

Trust R & T Services To Solve Your Air Conditioning Odor Issues

If you notice a strange odor coming from your cooling system, call a professional as soon as possible so that your home’s air quality isn’t compromised.

If you want to avoid a musty odor in your house, make sure to schedule regular air conditioning repair.

Over the past 30 years, R&T Services’ air conditioning specialists have been solving Billings’ air conditioning problems. As a company, we take great pride in the depth and breadth of our professional expertise.