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 relaxed in our homes. But when you start to observe unpleasant odors coming from your cooling system, it’s more than just annoying. It can greatly affect 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. Make sure to let the gas company turn it back on for you. It’s not something you want to tackle yourself.

If it doesn’t smell like rotten eggs, you are likely experiencing a different issue.

Just like anything in your indoor space, if your air conditioner isn’t cleaned well or taken care of, there’s a good chance that dirt and dust will gather. 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 more typical culprits of odor with air conditioners. It can take place with the coils, drain pain, air ducts or even your filter. Luckily, regular maintenance can help prevent this buildup and reduce the odds that an unfriendly smell starts diffusing throughout your house.

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

It’s also possible that a small animal 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 retrieve the animal.

What can I do?

Analyze your filter. This is a typical culprit for air conditioner odors. If it’s been a long time since you’ve swapped your air filter, replace it with a brand new one. We typically suggest changing your filter every three months. But it’s also vital to keep in mind other factors that would require you to replace it more repeatedly, 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 call in an expert. Especially if it’s been an lengthy period of time since your last air conditioning inspection. They can review the situation to see if a thorough cleaning can do the job. You could consider having your air ducts cleaned. Professional duct cleaners can take a look to see if your indoor air quality would improve from a proper cleaning.

If you have anxiety about the odors in your home, C-N-O Comfort Zone can help you assess the situation and discuss possible solutions. You should be able to enjoy your cool indoor space in the warmer summer months, without having to suffer with unwanted odors. You can arrange an appointment with us online or give us a shout at 636-255-8997.

Back To Blog