Woman wondering why her AC is acting up

Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

We install air conditioners to help us feel comfortable in our homes. But when you start to experience unpleasant odors coming from your cooling system, it’s more than just irritating. It can greatly impact your home comfort.

Where do the smells come from?

Start 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 problem.

Just like anything in your indoor space, if your air conditioner isn’t cleaned correctly or taken care of, there’s a good chance that dirt and dust will gather. And because components of your air conditioner aren’t right in front of you, 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 occur with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. Luckily, routine maintenance can help avoid this buildup and reduce the odds that an unfriendly smell starts dispersing throughout your home.

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

It’s also possible that a little critter 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?

Assess your filter. This is a usual culprit for air conditioner odors. If it’s been a long time since you’ve changed your air filter, try replacing it with a brand new one. We typically recommend changing your filter every three months. But it’s also key to keep in mind other factors that would require you to replace it more often, such as pets in the home or if a family member has allergies or asthma.

If you’ve replaced the filter and it’s not making a difference, 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 review the situation to see if a thorough cleaning can do the job. You might consider having your air ducts cleaned. Professional duct cleaners can take a look to see if your indoor air quality would improve from a proper cleaning.

If you have anxiety about the odors in your home, JonAire Inc can help you assess the situation and talk through possible solutions. You should be able to enjoy your cool indoor space during the warmer summer months, without having to suffer with unfavorable odors. You can book an appointment with us online or give us a shout at 775-375-0074.

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