Summer months can become extremely hot and unbearable but the use of air conditioners offer the much needed relief from this weather. While cooling the indoor air, AC also functions to create a comfortable temperature so that you don’t have to deal with unbearable summer heat. With the arrival of summer, you will need to use the air conditioner often but one of the most common problems that affect this appliance is the odor that emits from the AC whenever you switch it on. The smell of the AC fills your home and it is important that you look for the reason for this peculiar smell and how to deal with the problem.

Identifying the AC vent smells

When you find that your AC vent smells, you need to take the right steps to identify the problem and make sure that it does not cause problem to your health. While some smells might be harmless, there are certain smells that can be hazardous to the health of the homeowners. When you find that the smell is unbearable and it does not go away easily then you will need to hire AC experts who will inspect the air conditioner and find out the cause of the smell. The odd smell that emits from the system needs to be addressed at the earliest so that it does not lead to any serious consequences. Regardless of the type of smell that you experience in your home, you might face difficulty in staying at home as it becomes very uncomfortable due to the unpleasant smell that emits from the unit.

With the AC unit running, the bad odor will circulate in every part of your home making it even more miserable for the people living in the household. Finding the source of the smell is extremely important and when you find that your AC vent smells, you need to get your system inspected and serviced at the earliest. While causing problems to the health of your family members, the smell can also lead to serious problems to the air conditioning unit.

If you don’t act immediately, you might have to replace your unit or get the system repaired which can cost you a lot of money. Therefore, it is extremely crucial to look at the different types of AC vent smells and the reason behind the smell.

Know the different kinds of AC vent smells

Stale air/dirty socks smell– the most common smell that majority of the homeowners experience is the dirty socks or stale air smell. This is caused due to the presence of mold and mildew inside the AC unit and this growth indicates that there is some problem inside the ductwork and heater. While the smell caused due to mold and mildew might be harmless, it is important to address this issue at the earliest because it can cause health issues to the homeowners. Inhaling this smell for a longer period of time can cause health problems and thus you need to contact AC professionals who will look at the source of the problem and eliminate the problem from its root. The AC vents in your attic or crawlspace might have mold and mildew and you need to act immediately because the mold spores are known to cause severe respiratory issues. These are the most common indoor air polluters that tend to get build up into the air ducts and it might also deteriorate the indoor air quality.

Gun powder/burning smell– the burning smell that emits from the air conditioning unit indicates that something is burning inside the unit. The AC vent smells like gun powder when the vents or ductwork has faced any issues and the first thing that you need to do is turn off your unit immediately. If the burning smell is very prominent then you will need to call the fire department so that they can inspect the system. Ignoring this smell can lead to fire accidents at your home because the burning smells indicates that something is seriously wrong with the AC unit. After the inspection, when you find that there are no fire incidents then you should get back to your home and call the HVAC professionals who will conduct a thorough inspection of the unit. Whether the smell is from catching fire or due to frayed wire, only professionals can find out the actual cause of fire. An overheated motor or any other mechanical issue can cause the gun powder smell and don’t panic but act wisely so that it does not harm you or your family.

Trash smell– after winter, when you switch on your AC for the first time then a trash smell is common in home. This smell might be because some small animal has taken shelter inside the unit during winters and now they have died inside the unit. This is the reason of the garbage smell coming from the unit and as soon as you notice this smell, you should open all the doors and windows of your room because inhaling this smell might be hazardous for your health. Additionally, you also need to contact a professional who will conduct a thorough inspection of the unit and find out the exact cause of the garbage smell. During inspection, the professionals might find something undesirable inside the unit and they will have to clean and service the unit so that you will no longer experience the smell coming out from your unit.

Exhaust smell– exhaust smell might be uncommon in air conditioners but there are some units that emit this peculiar smell which is similar to chemical smell. The reason of this smell might be excess warming of the internal parts of the unit or refrigerant fluid leakage. Even though this smell is rare, you need to act quickly because ignoring the problem might lead to damage to the air conditioning unit or it also indicates some major underlying problem. You should turn off the AC as soon as you find this smell coming out from the unit because refrigerant and by product gases from this component can be extremely harmful to inhale. It is important to move outside the room and allow fresh air to enter the room so that the exhaust smell can be eliminated. Overusing the AC unit even after this smell might lead to complete breakdown of the system and hence calling AC technicians for assistance is the best way to handle this situation. A qualified and licensed AC technician has the experience in inspecting the system thoroughly so that the actual cause of the exhaust smell can be identified.

Oil smells– this smell in your HVAC is an indication of an oil leak and it is an easy to repair option where you only have to fix the HVAC tank so that oil leakage can be prevented. Even after fixing, you are still experiencing the oil smell then it means you will need to hire professionals for the repair of the unit. As soon as you find the oil smell coming out from the system, you will need to inspect the unit and even after the inspection if you don’t find any oil then it is an indication that the oil burner of the unit is damaged. Improper installation or clogging of the fuel pumps can lead to damage of the oil burner and only a professional can fix the problem so that you can continue using your AC units without any hassles. There are instance when you notice sooth or smoke emitting from the AC vents and in this situation you will need to call emergency HVAC professionals who will handle the situation expertly. They will ensure that any issues with the AC unit is fixed immediately so that your home and family will be protected from any undesirable situations caused due to oil leak.

Sewage smell– some air conditioners might also emit sewage smell as soon as you switch on the unit and this smell needs to be addressed at the earliest. The sewage smell might be due to the collection of methane around or inside the ductwork and the unbearable smell might make it difficult for homeowners to stay inside the room. While the smell is very bad, it can also be extremely dangerous for anyone inhaling this smell and only an experienced HVAC technician can handle this problem in the most efficient manner.

Cigarette smoke smell– when your AC vent smells like cigarette smoke this might be due to a minor reason. When the evaporator and filter of your AC absorbs the smell of cigarette, then the odor is blown back from the air vents into your home. You need to make sure that your system is serviced on a regular basis so that it does not smell like cigarette anymore. The best way to eliminate this smell is by replacing the air filters so that you will no longer have to experience this odor. You can contact HVAC professionals who will replace the air filters so that you will no longer have to experience the cigarette smell inside your home.

Urine smell– the smell of urine inside your home can be the most distressing smell and it becomes impossible to stay inside the room when your AC emits urine smell. There are several reasons for this smell but the most common reason is the buildup of mold or bacteria in your cooling system resulting in this pungent smell. The smell can also emit when moisture accumulates in your system thereby creating a wet environment and the smell comes from the bacterial growth which leads to the foul odor. Another important reasons why your AC vents smells like urine is because of blocked drain pipe inside the unit. When the debris gets accumulated inside the drain pipe and the water does not get drained away then it can create a musty and urine smell in your unit. The best way to handle this situation is by hiring HVAC experts who will ensure that every component of your AC unit is serviced and maintained professionally. With the intervention of AC technicians, you will no longer have to deal with any undesirable smells as they will find the root cause of the problem and fix it at the earliest.

Ammonia smell– the presence of ammonia smell inside your room as soon as your turn on your air conditioner mean the presence of mycotoxins in your indoor air. This smell comes from the large mold colonies and it is extremely harmful for human health when this smell is inhaled for a long period of time. The chemical smell can also be a result of coolant leak and it is important to stay alert as soon as you notice the smell of chemical coming out from your unit. Contacting AC experts is the best way of diagnosing the problem with the air conditioner unit so that it can be fixed at the earliest.

Tips to prevent bad odor coming out from the AC

Air conditioner maintenance on a regular basis is the key to keep all kind of problems at bay. It can also prevent the bad odor from emitting from the system so that you can protect yourself and your family from any kind of significant damages. Always keep your AC clean especially the vents and the drain pans so that there are no problems with the AC components. Regularly changing the air filters is also very important and you need to call HVAC professionals to change the air filters to maintain good indoor air quality. If you are unable to find the exact cause of the smell, you need to schedule an inspection of the unit so that the AC experts can use their experience and expertise for handling the problem. This will make your home smell better and you will no longer have to face the risks of serious health issues that might arise due to malfunctioning AC units.

Always take care of the AC components so that it does not result in breakdown of the unit completely which might cost you a large amount of money.