The air conditioner in your Arizona home is likely one of the most used appliances! When your system is not functioning properly or completely breaks down, it can create an uncomfortable environment for you and your family. While your system will have typical wear and tear as it ages, other problems can arise. Luckily, your air conditioner has its own way of communicating that something is wrong and does so frequently through giving off smells. 

Understanding what smells your AC system may be giving off and what they mean is important for any homeowner. These different odors can be a sign of minor inconveniences or much larger, health hazards.

1- Electric Odors

Electrical odors are typically an indication of a mechanical issue within your AC unit. As your air conditioner runs, its components wear down and the wiring components can fail. Another cause of an electrical smell coming from your AC system could be dust burning off. This generally happens the first few times you turn your system on for the season. If you notice the smell does not wear off after you turn your system on, you might have a larger electrical issue. 

Contact a professional HVAC professional to inspect your unit and system. They should be able to perform any necessary repairs to the components creating the electric odors. It is best to not use your system while waiting for a technician to arrive.

2- Rotten Eggs

A rotten egg smell is a serious problem! Natural gas has no odor, but most providers add a rotten egg like scent to alert homeowner’s of a leak. If you experience a rotten egg smell, safely get you, your family, and any pets out of the house immediately and call your gas company. You might smell the gas coming from your AC system as it circulates the air inside your home. 

Again, if you smell rotten eggs, be sure to get out of your house immediately. Opening your windows will allow the gas to escape while you wait for the gas company to show up. Also, do not light any flames or operate anything electrical.

3- Must or Mildew

One of the most common smells to come from your HVAC system is going to be a must or mildew odor. As your air conditioner runs, it creates condensation that is typically drained through the condensate pan or line. If this drain is clogged and the condensation builds up inside the unit, mold can develop in the unit and throughout your air ducts. While this may not create a large problem within your AC system, it can lead to poor air quality that can affect your health.  

Finding and removing the mold along with fixing the drain line will typically fix the must or mildew smell. Be sure to consult with a professional technician before performing any repairs yourself to ensure you do not create a much larger problem.

4- Dirty Socks

Another common smell that can come from the condensation created by your air conditioner is dirty socks. Clogged drain pans or dirty evaporator coils are a common cause of the dirty sock smell as it leads to stagnant water. A professional system cleaning will resolve this smell for you to enjoy your air conditioning again.

5- Exhaust Fumes

If you smell exhaust fumes from your AC system, you are not imagining things! Of course, your air conditioner is powered by electricity, not gas. It does however have fluids within the unit that can leak and cause an exhaust fume scent. 

A professional HVAC technician should care from leaking fluids as they can be extremely harmful when handled improperly.

6- Gunpowder

A gunpowder smell coming from your AC unit is a key indicator that the circuit board has shorted and is fried. If you smell gunpowder, be sure to turn your system off and contact a professional HVAC technician. They will be able to properly diagnose the problem and make necessary repairs.

Are you concerned about the smells coming from your air conditioning system?

Reliable Air Conditioning is available to inspect your system and provide the best solution to eliminating the smell. Our team of skilled technicians offer over 15 years experience with cooling & heating repair. Contact our team to schedule professional repair service and be comfortable in your home again.

Is Your AC System Giving Off A Strange Smell?

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Reliable Air Conditioning is a family owned business providing quality residential and commercial heating, cooling, and air quality services to the greater Phoenix Valley, Arizona area. We offer over 15 years experience in the HVAC industry and are committed to providing our customers with professional service they can depend on. Our goal is to keep you comfortable inside your home or business all year long with customized options for your heating and air conditioning needs.

Trust your homes air conditioning and heating repairs and installation to the most reliable technicians in the area. We are committed to providing you with the air conditioning and heating services your need for our unique climate here in Arizona.