When your air conditioner is spotless and running right, it’s not normal to be smelling anything weird. Unusual air conditioner noises and strange smells are a clue that something is out of whack. If your air conditioner is old or you haven’t had service completed recently, they can be an obvious sign you need skilled air conditioning repair in Phoenix.

Here are six of the top air conditioner smells and how you can solve them.

1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, specifically a chemical odor, it isn’t a great sign. You may also report your:

  • Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
  • Home air conditioner smells sweet

These sweet, chemical scents are often a hint that your air conditioner has a refrigerant leak. Your system relies on this gas to transfer heat through copper coils, which can wear out over time.

Four Hints You Have a Refrigerant Leak

In addition to the odd smell, here are four other clues that you are experiencing a refrigerant leak.

  1. Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is operating.
  2. Frost on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
  3. Trouble keeping your home cool or reaching your set temperature.
  4. High energy bills.

How You Can Fix It

A refrigerant leak calls for experienced assistance from a heating and cooling company like Integrity AC & Heating LLC. Your cooling technician will pinpoint and repair the leak before recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant.

Resolving a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, based on nationwide averages assembled by HomeAdvisor. Your exact cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how many hours it takes to solve.

If your air conditioner was installed earlier than 2010, there’s a good chance it runs on R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being manufactured because of its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Consequently, repairs can be significantly expensive so it may be wisest to do air conditioning installation in this situation.

2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s probably nothing wrong with it. But there’s a high likelihood you have a natural gas leak in your residence. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to alert you when there’s a leak, because the gas can be fatal in large amounts.

How You Can Fix It

If you detect a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we advise:

  • Turning off your gas supply.
  • Opening windows.
  • Evacuating your home right away.
  • Contacting your gas company now.

3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty

Homeowners who contact us to report this issue often report their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s running. Also known as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is frequently linked to a filthy evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Excess water can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most typical in areas where you need heating at night and during the morning before transitioning to cooling during the afternoon.

How to Solve It

The best way to prevent dirty sock syndrome is to regularly get a new air filter and schedule yearly air conditioning maintenance with Integrity AC & Heating LLC. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system flowing, since stagnant water can also result in nasty odors.

4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

If you are dealing with air conditioner mildew smell or a pungent, vinegar-like odor, it can be caused by several situations, like:

  • A filthy filter
  • Excess condensation
  • Plugged condensate pan or drain line
  • Moldy air conditioner or ductwork

How to Resolve It

Inspect your filter first. If you haven’t replaced it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, you should replace it. If that doesn’t fix the problem, reach Integrity AC & Heating LLC at 602-971-0567.

5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic

If you’re noticing an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be several things wrong. These involve:

  • Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
  • Motor that requires lubrication.
  • Broken fan belt.
  • Electrical trouble.

Electrical issues should be inspected quickly to prevent a fire. If you notice burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, turn it off and contact us at 602-971-0567 right away.

6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee

A powerful ammonia odor means there may be mold flourishing inside your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold makes.

How to Solve It

Mycotoxins are hazardous to your wellness. That’s why we recommend having a specialist like Integrity AC & Heating LLC examine your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when necessary.

Our Specialists Can Eliminate Unpleasant Air Conditioner Smells Fast

You deserve to be cozy in your home and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you need relief from your noxious air conditioner, give us a call at 602-971-0567. We’ll diagnose the issue quickly and fix it at a reasonable.