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Air Conditioning Checking

What’s The Smell Coming From Your Air Conditioner

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

What is that smell coming from your air conditioner? An unusual smell in the air when you operate your cooling system could be surprising, and it may cause you to worry about the source of the odor. In some cases, an odor will dissipate quickly, especially at the beginning of the seasonal use of your air conditioner. In other cases, the ongoing presence of the smell could indicate a more serious issue that requires professional attention from an HVAC technician.


Air Conditioner Check

Duct Leaks

A leaky duct can create a point of access for gasses and other pollutants, especially if the leak is located close to a sewer or gas line. Leaks can also cause dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning if a point of access for the odorless gas is located near a fuel-burning appliance or an enclosed garage. Skunk-like or sewage smells during the operation of your air conditioner are good indicators of the need for duct repair. In such cases, a prompt call to your HVAC company is advisable because of the potentially dangerous conditions related to a gas leak.


Dead Animals

Rodents and other small creatures can infiltrate the duct system of your home. A dead creature might not be noticeable until the air conditioner begins to operate during the spring months. At this point, professional duct cleaning may be necessary to remove the remains.


Mold, Mildew, Dirt, or Dust

Air conditioning equipment has an important role in the dehumidification of the home during the summer. At the end of the cooling season, however, you may simply turn your AC off and forget about it. The drain pan’s collection of water and grime can remain in place, potentially causing mold and mildew to increase, especially in central Florida’s humid and muggy climate. As you start the system in the spring, this residue can cause a smell that is comparable to that of a dirty sock. Similarly, an air filter that has become moist and that is left in place through the winter could harbor smelly mold and mildew. Frequent air filter changes can help, and removing fluids from your drain pan at the end of the cooling season is a good idea as well. Dirt and dust also accumulate, creating a burning smell when activated.


Let Energy Air Figure Out the Smell Coming From Your Air Conditioner

Preventive maintenance is one of the best ways to identify problems with your HVAC system, including dirty conditions in the air handler that could cause mold and mildew issues. This also provides an opportunity to check for duct leaks prior to seasonal air conditioning activity. If you are experiencing unexpected odors from your air vents, we can help to pinpoint the problems and complete cleaning and sealing services as needed. Contact us today to discuss your home comfort concerns.

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