Woman wondering why her AC is acting up

Why does it smell bad when my air conditioner runs?

Many of us install air conditioners to help us feel cool in our homes. But when you start to experience unpleasant odors coming from your cooling system, it’s more than just bothersome. It can greatly impact your home comfort.

Where do the smells come from?

Begin with what the odor smells like. If the odor resembles a rotten egg, this could be a signal of a gas leak. If this is the case, you should open your windows, turn off the gas supply, evacuate the home and reach out to the gas company. Allow the gas company turn it back on for you. It’s not something you want to risk doing on your own.

If it doesn’t smell like rotten eggs, you have a different challenge.

Just like anything in your house, if your air conditioner isn’t cleaned well or taken care of, there’s a good chance that dirt and dust will accumulate. And because components of your air conditioner aren’t front and center, cleaning them can often go overlooked.

Buildup of mold, dirt and other particles is one of the most common sources of odors with air conditioners. It can happen with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. Luckily, ongoing maintenance can help avoid this buildup and reduce the odds that an unfriendly smell starts spreading throughout your house.

Heat and moisture can contribute to increased mold growth, especially in warmer climates. Not only can mold and mildew create a nasty smell, but it can also negatively impact the quality of air in your home.

It’s also possible that a tiny creature navigated into your duct system and died. You can turn off your air conditioner and either give our team or pest control a call to come and remove the animal.

What can I do?

Assess your filter. This is a usual culprit for air conditioner odors. If it’s been a long time since you’ve swapped your air filter, try replacing it with a brand new one. We typically suggest changing your filter every two to three months. But it’s also key to keep in mind other factors that would require you to replace it more frequently, such as pets in the home or if a family member has allergies or asthma.

If you’ve exchanged the filter and it’s not making a difference, it’s probably time to contact a professional. Especially if it’s been an lengthy period of time since your last air conditioning examination. Technicians can review the situation to see if a thorough cleaning can do the job. You might consider having your air ducts cleaned. Professional duct cleaners can take a look to see if your indoor air quality would be enhanced from a proper cleaning.

If you have anxiety about the odors in your home, Kapaun & Brown Inc. can help you review the situation and discuss possible solutions. You should be able to enjoy your cool indoor space throughout the warmer summer months, without having to suffer with unwanted odors. You can schedule an appointment with us online or give us a shout at 641-812-2028.

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