The wonderful invention of air conditioners keeps us cool and comfortable during the sweltering summer months. However, they occasionally have an offensive odour that can be quite upsetting. This may result from several factors, including the development of bacteria, mould, or mildew inside the unit. Bad smells can be harmful to your health in addition to being obnoxious.
We’ll review some practical strategies in this blog post to help you breathe clean, fresh air once more and eliminate unpleasant odours from your air conditioner. These suggestions will assist you in maintaining a healthy and welcoming environment in your home or place of business, regardless of whether you own or rent it.
Why does an air conditioner smell like mould or mildew?
In the sweltering summer months, air conditioners are a great way to keep your house or place of business cool. However, they occasionally have a foul odour that resembles mould or mildew. This can be very unsettling, particularly if you need to know why your air conditioner emits this smell.
This section explains the causes of the mould or mildew odour coming from an air conditioner and offers suggestions for prevention.
The moisture accumulation inside the unit is one of the main causes of an air conditioner’s potential for smelling like mould or mildew. Moisture is released during the cooling process, which can build up inside the air conditioner.
Mould and mildew thrive in this moisture-rich environment, filled with dirt and dust. Mould and mildew tend to spread over time, filling the entire unit with an unpleasant odour.
A clogged air filter is another factor that could be to blame for an air conditioner smelling like mould or mildew. The air filter removes dust, dirt, and other particles to keep them from building up inside the air conditioner.
The accumulation of dirt and debris inside the appliance occurs when the air filter becomes clogged and cannot function effectively. This may cause mould and mildew to grow, producing an unpleasant odour.
If the evaporator coil is dirty, your air conditioner may smell musty or mouldy. The air that moves through the air conditioner is heated, and the evaporator coil removes this heat.
The evaporator coil can become covered with dust and debris over time, creating the perfect conditions for mould and mildew to flourish. An unpleasant odour that can be challenging to eliminate can be produced as the mould and mildew spread.
Your air conditioner may be more susceptible to mould and mildew growth if it is older. Older units may have a different ventilation and moisture control level than newer models, making them more vulnerable to mould and mildew growth. Sometimes, the unit may need to be replaced to prevent further mould and mildew growth.
What to do when your air conditioner smells like mould?
You can do several things to solve the problem if your air conditioner is giving off an unpleasant odour, such as mould or mildew.
You can follow these steps to get rid of the unpleasant odour and make sure your air conditioner is blowing clean, fresh air:
Replace or clean the air filter. A clogged air filter can cause dirt and debris to build up inside the air conditioner, creating the perfect environment for the growth of mould and mildew. The air filter can be cleaned or changed to help prevent mould and mildew growth and eliminate odours.
Evaporator coil cleaning: The evaporator coil removes heat from the air and can become soiled and clogged with dust and other particles over time. This might encourage the growth of mould and mildew, which would smell bad. Cleaning the evaporator coil can help stop mould and mildew growth and eliminate odours.
Condensate drain line cleaning: The condensate drain line removes moisture from the air conditioner, but over time, it can fill up with dirt and debris, causing moisture to accumulate inside the unit.
As a result, mould and mildew may grow, and an unpleasant odour may develop. Cleaning the condensate drain line can help stop mould and mildew growth and eliminate odours.
Use an air purifier – An air purifier can help remove any airborne particles, such as bacteria or mould spores, that may be contributing to the unpleasant odour. This can help remove any offensive odours and improve the air quality in your house or business.
Schedule professional maintenance – It is always best to consult a professional if you are unsure how to handle the unpleasant odour coming from your air conditioner or believe there may be a bigger problem at play. A qualified HVAC technician can examine your air conditioner, find any underlying problems, and suggest fixing the issue.
Why does an air conditioner smell like gas or rotten eggs?
A serious issue may be fixed immediately if your air conditioner emits a rotten egg or gas-like smell.
Here are a few potential causes of the odour coming from your air conditioner:
Dead animals: If an animal has entered your air conditioner and died, it may leave behind an odour similar to rotten eggs or gas. Outdoor units that are exposed to the elements run the risk of happening more frequently. Make arrangements with a professional to remove the dead animal safely if you think it might be the source of the odour.
Clogged condensate drain: The air conditioner’s condensate drain is in charge of removing moisture. Over time, it can become clogged with dirt and debris, leading to the buildup of stagnant water inside the unit. An odour resembling rotten eggs or gas may emanate from this stagnant water. The smell can be eliminated, and future problems can be avoided by cleaning the condensate drain.
Chemicals: A refrigerant leak may be present if your air conditioner gives off a chemical odour similar to gas or rotten eggs. A chemical called refrigerant is used to cool the air inside your appliance. An odour resembling rotten eggs or gas may be released if there is a leak. This is a serious problem that needs to be handled right away by a qualified HVAC technician.
Sulfuric compounds: If your air conditioner smells reminiscent of rotten eggs, there may be sulfuric compounds. These substances might be created in the neighbourhood by factories, sewage treatment facilities, or other industrial facilities. To resolve the situation, contact your local authorities if you think the smell is coming from outside.
What should you do when your air conditioner smells like gas or rotten eggs?
If your air conditioner is emitting a smell that resembles gas or rotten eggs, here are some steps you can take to address the issue:
- Turn off the air conditioner – If you smell gas, leave the house right away and turn off the air conditioner.
- Schedule a professional inspection – It is best if you suspect the smell results from a refrigerant leak, a dead animal, or another problem. An HVAC specialist can examine your unit, locate the smell’s source, and suggest fixing the problem.
- Condensate drain cleaning – If a clogged condensate drain is the cause of the smell, you can fix the problem yourself. The condensate drain line can be found after you turn off your air conditioner. Pour a solution of equal parts water and vinegar down the drain to help unclog any obstructions that may still be present after clearing away any debris or buildup that may cause the clog.
- Address external sources – If the smell comes from outside sources like factories or sewage treatment facilities, contact local authorities to address the problem.
Why does an air conditioner smell like burning?
To avoid potential risks, it’s crucial to act immediately if you smell burning from your air conditioner. There are several causes for the burning smell coming from your air conditioner, including:
Overheating – One of the most common reasons for a burning smell from an air conditioner is overheating. This can occur if the unit’s motor or compressor is working too hard or if there is a clog in the system, which causes the unit to work harder than it should. If not immediately addressed, an overheating air conditioner can be dangerous and cause a fire.
Electrical issues – Electrical problems can also cause a burning smell in an air conditioner. Faulty wiring, broken capacitors, or broken components may bring on electrical problems that result in a burning smell. Electrical issues can also result in more serious problems, like electrical fires if they are not resolved.
Unclean air filters – If the air filters in your air conditioner are dirty, they may restrict airflow, lead to overheating, and create a burning odour. This problem can be avoided with routine air filter cleaning or replacement.
Blocked air ducts – Blocked air ducts may also contribute to an air conditioner overheating and producing a burning odour. Contact a specialist to clean your air ducts if they may be blocked.
What should you do when your air conditioner smells like burning?
Here are some actions you can take to solve the problem if your air conditioner is emitting a burning smell:
- Turn the unit off – To avoid any potential risks, turn the unit off right away if you smell burning coming from your air conditioner. Wait until the problem is fixed before turning the device back on.
- Examine the appliance – After turning it off, examine the appliance to try to pinpoint the source of the burning odour. Check the motor or compressor for any obvious signs of damage, such as burned or melted wires or an odour of burnt rubber.
- A professional HVAC technician should be contacted to inspect and fix the unit if you cannot locate the burning smell’s source or believe an electrical issue causes the issue. The risk of further damage or injury increases when you try to repair electrical problems independently.
- Replace air filters – If dirty air filters are causing a burning smell, you should replace them immediately to stop the appliance from overheating. This problem can be avoided by routinely cleaning or replacing air filters.
- Clear the air ducts – If the burning odour comes from clogged air ducts, hire a professional to clean them. Your air conditioner’s efficiency can be increased, and overheating can be avoided with the help of clear air ducts.
To avoid potential risks, it’s crucial to act immediately if you smell burning from your air conditioner. To inspect and repair the unit, turn it off, look for any obvious signs of damage, and then get in touch with a qualified HVAC technician.
Regularly cleaning air conditioners or replacing air filters, and clearing air ducts can also prevent the unit from overheating and emitting a burning smell in the future. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your air conditioner functions safely and efficiently.
The presence of mould or mildew growth, refrigerant leaks, or electrical issues are all possible causes of an unpleasant odour from your air conditioner. To avoid potential risks and ensure the air conditioner is operating effectively, it’s crucial to act immediately if you smell something foul.
Cleaning the unit and air ducts, changing the air filters, and managing humidity levels can help solve the problem if you smell mould or mildew. Turn off the appliance immediately, arrange for a professional inspection, clean the condensate drain, address any external sources if necessary, and change the air filters frequently if you smell gas or rotten eggs.
If you smell burning, shut off the appliance immediately, check it for any obvious signs of damage, and then call a qualified HVAC technician to look it over and make any necessary repairs. Air ducts can also be cleared, air filters regularly cleaned or changed, and the unit can avoid overheating and burning odours in the future.
Following these instructions ensures that your air conditioner operates ṣsafely and effectively and provides your home with clean, fresh air. It is crucial to schedule routine maintenance checks and inspections to prevent these problems and quickly address them when they do.
Your air conditioner can continue to give you cool, comfortable air for many years if you take the necessary precautions and care for it.