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

Depending on the cause of the odor, the root of the problem may be bacteria or fungus in the system. In other cases, it could also signal something mechanically wrong with the AC. Some smells are a sign of a hazardous scenario, including a natural gas leak.

At Verona HVAC, we are experienced at getting to the root cause of stinky smells. If you smell something odd coming from your AC, there’s a good chance our team of qualified pros has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned a reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Santa Clarita.

What does a certain smell billowing from your AC mean? Here are some frequent air conditioner smells and what they might mean:

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it may be caused by a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the unit. 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 bad odor that is often described as smelling like stinky feet.

Another potential explanation for the smell may be a dirty air filter. When your HVAC system’s air filter becomes clogged with dirt, dust and other particles, it can result in poor air quality and a musty smell that resembles 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 change the air filter on a regular basis to ensure good air quality and protect against the development of bacteria and fungus.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your air conditioner reeks of rotten eggs, it might be caused by a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a recognizable 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 can be extremely dangerous and requires immediate attention. If you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, immediately open windows and doors to air out the area, evacuate the building and call your gas company or emergency services right away.

Your AC Smells Like Mildew

If your AC is giving off an odor like mildew, it may be due to a accumulation of moisture inside the unit. When moisture accumulates inside the air conditioning system, it can foster the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty smell that resembles mildew.

Another possible reason for the smell may be a clogged air filter. If 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 Verona HVAC can help prevent both of these issues, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a great way to keep your system working at its best!

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine

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

If your air conditioning smells like urine, it could be due to a variety of factors. One possible cause is a collection of bacteria or mold in the your cooling system. This can happen in the event that moisture accumulates in the system and creates a wet environment that is conducive to bacterial growth. The bacteria can emit a foul odor that some people describe as smelling like urine.

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

Your AC Smells Like Burning Plastic

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

Another possible cause of the smell could be a foreign object that somehow got in the unit. If something foreign gets caught in the air conditioning system, it can get hot and emit a smell that reminds people of burning plastic.

If you think you smell burning plastic coming from your AC unit, it’s worthwhile to phone a professional right away.

Your AC Smells Like Gas

If your AC smells like gas, there could be a natural gas leak in the unit or in your home. Natural gas has a distinct odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because an odor is incorporated into natural gas so that it is easily detectable.

As stated previously, a natural gas leak can be VERY dangerous and calls for immediate attention. When you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, open windows and doors to air out the home, get everyone out of the building and contact your gas company or emergency services straight away.

Your AC Smells Like Fish

When your air conditioner smell like fish, this could be a sign of a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture creates an environment that promotes the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a disgusting odor that can be 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 caught in the air conditioning system. This often can take place 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 inspect and clean your cooling system. They will be able to identify the source of the smell and take the appropriate steps to remove any contaminants and stop the problem from recurring.

Your AC Smells Like Vinegar

There could be several reasons an AC smells like vinegar. One possible cause might be a dirty air filter. A second likely cause of the smell could be a refrigerant leak. When 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 specialist examine and clean your air conditioning.  If the odor continues after the cleaning and replacing of the air filter, it’s best to reach back out to a professional to diagnose and repair any underlying issues with your air conditioning. Or, the mechanic can tell you if your air conditioning ought to be replaced.

If you are planning to upgrade, Verona HVAC can help locate the right unit to fit your home’s needs. We deliver trustworthy, skilled air conditioner installation in Santa Clarita.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Chemicals

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

One other possible cause of the smell could be something wrong with the electrical wiring or elements inside the air conditioning system. This can produce a burning smell that it similar to chemicals or burning plastic.

If you suspect a refrigerant leak or an electrical problem, it’s important to turn off your air conditioning system right away and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be hazardous and may require immediate attention to avoid injury or damage to your residence.

Strange Smell Coming from Your AC? Call the Pros at Verona HVAC

If your air conditioner reeks and you aren’t able to fix it easily on your own, call the cooling experts at Verona HVAC. We have plenty of experience working with a wide variety of cooling systems. Our crew has fixed countless air conditioning troubles over the years—including strange smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Santa Clarita!