Your home is your sanctuary. Ideally, it should be a pleasant environment that you enjoy coming home to and relaxing in at the end of a long day. The last thing you want to deal with is to turn on your AC only to find out that your air conditioning unit smells. Unfortunately, this is a common problem. However, there are solutions! A certified HVAC technician at Intelligent Design in Tucson can inspect your AC unit to determine which of the following culprits is responsible for that unpleasant odor. Once we figure out the cause, we’ll be able to recommend effective solutions for you.

Air Conditioning Unit Smells Due to Mold Growth

One of the most common smells that people notice emanating from an air conditioning unit is the stink of dirty socks. In fact, it’s so common that there’s a name for it: sweaty sock syndrome. Sweaty sock syndrome is nearly always caused by mold and mildew growth. Sometimes, this occurs because there is a clog in the line and the water is not draining properly. Damp environments encourage mold to flourish.

If you’ve noticed that your air conditioning unit smells like dirty socks, an HVAC technician can check the evaporator coils and condensate drain pan for clogs and standing water. Once the underlying problem is dealt with, the technician can clean out all the coils and other affected components to remove the mold spores. The air filter might also need to be cleaned or replaced. Taking these steps will take care of the problem.

Air Conditioning Unit Smells Due to Pest Infestation

It’s not unusual for rodents and other pests to make their way into your ventilation and air conditioning system. Sometimes, pests get trapped in there and die. As the carcass decomposes, it causes a rotten smell to spread throughout the house. In Southern Arizona, pack rat infestations in particular are a common problem for residential and commercial property owners.

If you’ve noticed an odor that smells like dirty trash or like something is rotting, there are a few things you should do right away. First, turn off your AC unit and open the windows to air out the home. Then, call an HVAC technician, who can locate the source of the stink.

AC Unit Smells Like It’s Burning

Burning smells from an AC unit aren’t as common as sweaty sock syndrome, but they are definitely more serious. A burning smell can indicate that a motor is overheating or the wiring is faulty. Shut off your AC unit immediately.

Although a burning smell doesn’t always mean an electrical fire has sparked, you should assume that it has. One way to check for an electrical fire behind the walls is to feel the walls to see if one area feels hot. If so, or if you aren’t sure, it’s best to err on the side of caution and evacuate your home of people and pets. Then, call the fire department and your HVAC company.

AC Unit Smells Like Sewage

A sewage smell is definitely not something you want in your home! If your air conditioning unit smells like sewage when you turn it on, there is a good chance the smell isn’t actually caused by something wrong with the AC. Instead, you may have a backed up sewer line or a ruptured vent pipe located near your AC ductwork. The AC can then spread the odor throughout your home.

The potential for a combined plumbing/air conditioning problem is one reason why it’s great to use an HVAC company that offers both services—like Intelligent Design!

Air Conditioning Unit Smells Like Exhaust Fumes

All air conditioning units run on electricity; they are not powered by gas. (However, some homeowners have opted for solar-powered AC units to reduce their utility bills.) Because of this, it can be a little alarming if you turn on your air conditioner and detect the unpleasant odor of exhaust fumes.

When an AC smells like exhaust fumes, the most likely culprit is a fluid leak somewhere in the system. Most likely, fluids have leaked inside the outdoor unit, causing an unpleasant odor to get circulated throughout the home. You will need to call a certified HVAC technician to fix this problem.

If your air conditioning unit smells bad, or it isn’t cooling your home down properly, you need prompt, reliable assistance. Call the experts at Intelligent Design in Tucson at (520) 462-1538. We’ll send out a certified HVAC technician as soon as possible to investigate the problem and fix it for you. In addition, you may want to ask about our Club Membership. It gives you valuable discounts and priority service! As the No. 1 rated HVAC company in Southern Arizona, we pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service to all of our customers.

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