air conditioner smells bad when turned on

Other contaminants in your HVAC system will do the same if left unattended. A natural gas leak has a foul stench that smells like rotten eggs. A refrigerant leak in your AC systems can create a smell similar to acetone. To prevent clogs, clean it regularly with distilled vinegar. They’ll also block airflow, increasing your energy bills, so take care of this regularly (at least once a month). To confirm, pay attention to additional telltale signs, such as a hissing sound, humidity indoors, and frost forming on the condenser unit. These smells are easily circulated throughout your home, because your air handler blows air directly over the coils. This is a likely reason why the air conditioner smells when first turned on if you don’t use forced-air heating in winter. If there’s a bad smell in your home, the culprit might be your air conditioner. When you turn on your A/C unit for the first time and smell gas burning, the cause may either be … Without regular maintenance and cleaning, your evaporator coils will start emitting bad air conditioner smells over time. However, if the air coming from your AC vent is smelly, you might have a serious problem on your hands. If your home smells like spoiled, rotten eggs, the cause of the odor is often a dead animal. © Copyright – Super Heat & Air – All Rights Reserved. As mentioned before, the odor created from bacterial growth will give off that musty or moldy smell. What does it mean? This is only temporary, and is nothing to be too concerned about. The actual nature of that problem will depend on what you’re smelling. As it gets used, your car's air conditioning begins to emit a bad smell when you turn it on. Since your AC dehumidifies the air as it cools, mildew is one of the most common smells from the condensation it produces. Thats why when you turn on your air conditioner, a horrible odor circulates throughout your home. by Blair's Air Conditioning | Nov 16, 2018 | Air Conditioning. Dust, hair, and moisture on the AC filter encourage mildew growth, which can cause a musty odor when the air conditioner runs. Our experienced HVAC professionals will get it back up and running in no time. And don’t use any electronics or open flames near the area where you smelled the natural gas. Once you turn it on, the dust will burn, and you’ll smell it through the air vents (this can also happen when you first turn on the heater after a period of inactivity). If you turned on your air conditioner this summer and discovered it’s sending a bad smell … We offer 24/7 emergency AC repair services, and we’re open 365 days a year. If you smell a dusty or burning smell the first few times you turn on your heat, it’s most likely dust and dirt that’s settled on components inside your heating system throughout the summer.. As you fire up the heat, those dust particles burn away, producing a weird burnt/dusty smell. If you’re reading this blog because this is happening to you, pay close attention to what the AC smells like in order to help narrow down what the cause could be. After a while it seems … Open your windows, leave your house immediately and call your gas company! Probably one of the reasons why there is a distinct smell in your air conditioner when you turn it on is the growth of mold in your air vents. This is the scent you’ll notice if there’s a dead pest somewhere in your air ducts. Purchase a mold and mildew fighting disinfectant aerosol spray, such as a specialty duct cleaner. If everything’s already working properly, we can do a maintenance check to ensure that your home is ready for the summer. So if you smell something akin to nail polish remover in your home, a refrigerant leak is the most likely culprit. Arthur advises us as to only what we need/request, which is suitable to our budget/needs. It could mean there’s a backed up sewer line or ruptured sewer pipe somewhere near your ductwork. There is nothing better than escaping the humidity by placing the AC on full blast in the summertime. Belleair Air Conditioning Clearwater Air Conditioning Dunedin Air Conditioning Kenneth City Air Conditioning Largo Air Conditioning Lutz Air Conditioning Oldsmar Air Conditioning Palm Harbor Air Conditioning Pinellas Park Air Conditioning Safety Harbor Air Conditioning Seminole Air Conditioning Tampa Air Conditioning South Tampa Air Conditioning St. Petersburg Air Conditioning St. Pete Beach Air Conditioning Tarpon Springs Air Conditioning Treasure Island Air Conditioning. This air conditioner smell is likely caused by a dirty evaporator coil or clogged condensate drain. When not taken care of, the decomposition of a dead animal will create a foul stench that will permeate throughout your home. To eliminate the problem, the best place to look is inside the air handler or another area where warm air is present. The burning smell is one of the most commonly-experienced scents that can come from your AC. If you haven’t turned on your air conditioner in a while, dust particles will accumulate in the air ducts. This leads to mold and mildew buildup. Central air conditioning provides a cool breeze on hot summer days, but when that breeze carries the smell of sewage, it’s not very refreshing. Using your sense of smell will identify whether a dead creature is in your ductwork, your air handler or anywhere else. If it’s the former, you can help by spraying your condenser with a hose to clear out dirt and debris (turn off the disconnect first). Some smells are merely irritating while others are hazardous. As the air circulates in your home, dirt and debris can accumulate in the ductwork. When you turn on your air con, you want to enjoy the comfort of cool fresh air. Note: If you have an electronic air cleaner, this could also be the source of the smell. We can help you identify problems that are causing odors and provide solutions to improve your home’s ventilation. Mold and mildew growth is the most common cause of bad smells in your AC system. Methane is a hazardous gas. © 2019 Blair's Air Conditioning and Heating. This is due to micro-organisms that have accumulated over time in the system vents. Natural gas is odorless. But some smells could mean potentially dangerous hazards for you and your family. When you turn on your air conditioner for the first time, you expect to be greeted by nice, cool air. It shouldn’t have any discernible smell. Find The Top 6 Best HVAC Systems (and Units) on the Market. If your HVAC unit smells like it might be overheating, it very well could be. If outside odors are seeping through broken ductwork, it’s time to get it inspected. We called Blairs and they responded asap! Again, it could be something as simple as a dirty air filter, which can restrict airflow and overheat electrical components. Sewage Smell in the Central Air. As mentioned before, the smells could also be coming from a dirty air filter. Miller's Heating & Air July 2, 2018 Hi Mick, An air conditioner smells like mildew or mold is probably the most common symptom of central HVAC systems. Air conditioners remove mold-friendly moisture from your home and filter allergens before they can get inside. The tobacco smell permeates the coil and blasts the cigarette smell into your home every time you run the air conditioner. If you can smell chemicals, somewhat intertwined with a slightly sweet scent, you may be dealing with a refrigerant leak. We covered this before, but when you first turn on the heater, it can smell like something is burning. If it’s full of water, you’re not getting proper drainage. Smoking indoors kills your indoor air quality. Personable and paid attention to detail. It’s caused by mold growing on the air conditioner’s evaporator coils. Probably the most common culprit is a clogged filter. But it’s not uncommon for small critters such as rodents or birds to enter your air ducts and die. Dealing with electrical problems when not properly trained can lead to severe injuries. If you have turned the heater on for the first time in awhile, it’s likely settled dust burning and nothing to worry about. Yes. Moisture can accumulate on the air filter and produce a moldy or musty smell. When the moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can escape into the ducts and create mold. The best way to get the most out of your air conditioner (and avoid unwanted odors and issues) is to have a Trane Comfort Specialist™ inspect and service your heating and cooling system regularly. Clogged drain lines, standing water in drain pans or leaks in your ductwork can all create that smelly feet odor that permeates through your air vents. Once clogged, use a wet dry vac to get it done. Bad air conditioner smells are telltale signs that it’s time for service. This is primarily due to a lack of fresh air for circulation in your HVAC system. This is actually popularly known as the “dirty sock syndrome” within the HVAC industry. Without proper maintenance of the filters, coils, and drains, a portable air conditioner can become overrun with mold, but it is easily cleaned away in most cases. Mold and mildew growth is the most common cause of bad smells in your AC system. Smells range from a mild musty odor often related to mildew, to a rotten or spoiled food smell that indicates mold or bacteria growth. This one is pretty self-explanatory but if you or someone in your home smokes indoors, the fumes can be pulled into the evaporator coil. Scent #1: Dusty or burning smell Is it normal? No matter how clean you think your home is, it’s possible for a rodent to have snuck into your air vents. Or, there’s a gas smell coming from the air conditioner. First, check the air filter to see if it is very dirty as this can restrict the air flow and overheat the electric resistance heaters. So when the heater is turned on, the dust gets burned off. And when moisture is not being controlled, your ductwork can get damp, which also leads to mold and mildew growth. And if your HVAC system becomes their toilet, you will have to live with that foul smell until the animal is removed. This is usually a sign of a component overheating and you should turn your AC unit off immediately before attempting to find the problem. And mold and mildew from a roof leak or wet crawl space could also enter your duct system and produce the smell. And if that stench is coming from your vents, it’s not a good sign. When it comes to your AC, preparation is key – and we want to help you be prepared without the headache. A/C up in running in a short period of time. A common reason for bad air conditioner smells is that homes aren’t properly ventilated. Quick and professional service. Prompt, courteous, friendly, accurate, . Bad odor coming from your air conditioner is not just unpleasant, but it can also be a serious threat to your health and the health of your family members. If you suspect rodents are living in your HVAC system, it’s best to call a pest removal company first before calling us to clean your ductwork. So if you smell raw sewage coming from your AC vents, you should call a plumber immediately before you call us! If your air conditioner needs to be fixed now, you should be able to rest assured that it’ll be taken care of with just as much urgency as it would be in the... Find out what qualities to look for in the best HVAC system for your home - and which units are the best on the market - in our free downloadable eBook! You can get a pair of rubber gloves and disinfecting spray to take care of it yourself, or you can call an HVAC technician to help you. Additionally, a shorted circuit board may cause a gunpowder smell to come from an air conditioning system that has been turned on after a long time of disuse. Mike took care problem and offered a better solution that cost less than expected. Gas Smell. Electronic air cleaners can produce ozone which has a slightly sweet scent. Aside from turning off your AC system, turn off your electricity at the master switch until a professional HVAC technician can check it out. Change the AC air filter every 3 months to avoid any smells and AC problems. It could be something as simple as a dirty air filter or a clogged drain pan. Smells of mildew in your car may be caused by the growth of bacteria. And unless you’re a professional electrician, do not attempt to fix the problem yourself! My Air Conditioner Smells Bad When Turned on – When to Call a Technician The mercury in the thermometer keeps climbing higher, so you turn on your central air conditioning. When the air conditioning is running, there is a lot of condensation within the unit. To replace the drip pan, shut off power to the air conditioner and remove the front panel. This could be caused by either a rusty or full drip pan or a clogged condensate line. So a strong urine smell coming from your register vents is a sign that you have live creatures in your system. Turn off your unit and call an expert for help. Dirty sock syndrome is the foul, moldy smelling odor that comes from your air conditioner when you first turn it on. In Florida, even the fall and winter are times when having a broken air conditioner just isn’t an option. So if you haven’t changed your air filter out regularly, this nasty stuff is recirculating back into your home. It’s normal for this to happen. Air conditioner smells like skunk or gas We’ve also had calls where people say they smell a skunk when they turn on the AC. If your home is not properly ventilated, try letting more air into it when possible. Smoking indoors kills your indoor air quality. Specialty sprays may be the best bet for serious odors, but for smaller problems (or to stay ahead of potential smells) you can use an over-the-counter disinfectant spray like Lysol. When you turn on your heating system, the dust burns off and releases a slight burning odor. If there’s a nasty tobacco smoke odor in your home, stop smoking indoors and call us today so we can clean and sanitize the air for you. Your cooling system’s evaporator coils collect dirt, dust and other debris over time with regular use. This smell is harmless and should go away within a few minutes. Learn to tell the difference and take the appropriate step to eliminate the odor. Mice in particular urinate and defecate frequently. Scott is responsive, thorough and timely, Thank you Blair’s and Scott!!!! 10 out of 10. An air conditioner works by absorbing the heat and humidity from inside your home. What’s making my air conditioning smell? But gas companies add a harmless chemical that creates a smell akin to sulfur to alert people of a leak. Your AC system’s evaporator coils carry out moisture to the condensation line and drain pan. Although you can set up traps or poison to get rid of them, you could end up creating a bigger problem, as they could end up dying in places you can’t reach. We hate the thought of animals dying in our HVAC system. Your air conditioner may be the perpetrator in that case, too. If none of the scenarios described above apply to you, a burning scent could be a sign of an overheating motor. Smell around your home and see if any of the descriptions below match up with your situation: If your home smells like mold and mildew, you could have a clogged condensate line. Also known as bacterial growth, mold and mildew will circulate through your indoor air once it has settled in your air conditioner. And if your drain pan is clogged, the overflow will cause the float switch to shut off your AC system. We had maintenance scheduled but upon returning to our home our upstairs unit was not working. With the passage of time, the drain line can become clogged with mold, mildew, and sludge. And speaking of fire …. If you have any issues with your AC, let us know. But an odor problem doesn’t necessarily mean that an expensive repair is in order. A simple AC maintenance and cleaning usually does the trick. We recommended: Air Conditioner – Service once a year. To get a free quote on your unit’s installation, reach out to us today. If this is the case, call an HVAC professional immediately, since exposure to refrigerant could lead to poisoning. If you haven’t turned on your air conditioner in a while, dust particles will accumulate in the air ducts. 16/11/2017 > By Deb Aldrick. And if you live in a building where plumbing and/or ductwork is connected from apartment to apartment, that smell could seep in your home. The drain pan has a float switch to prevent excess condensation. Don’t be afraid to open windows when you can. The smell is usually created when dust settles on the heat exchanger after a long period of heater inactivity. This smell … Any holes, gaps or damage to your ductwork create the opportunity for outside odors to enter the duct system and circulate through your indoor air. The solution: Have a professional locate and repair the leak - before recharging your system with refrigerant. But if changing out the air filter doesn’t solve the problem, the odor is a sign of a motor overheating or bad wiring. To help prevent this odor, clean or replace the filter in the spring. Unclog the drain line by following the steps above. But bad air conditioner smells might not necessarily be originating from the system itself. If your air conditioner’s filter is dirty and clogged, this may result in your AC smelling musty. A refrigerant or freon leak is no joke, so contact us immediately and we’ll take care of it for you. Change the filter, schedule a professional tune-up and cleaning, and only smoke outdoors. Turn your unit off before attempting to diagnose the problem. Solution: Don’t worry. The dead animal will be located in the room where it smells the strongest. And when these become clogged, moisture is unable to flow out of the system. Arthur is the one I request each time. The last thing you need when you get home after a long day at work is to realize that your air conditioner is stinking up your house. However, a burning scent can be indicative of a mechanical problem with the AC fan or compressor. Schedule seasonal maintenance. And if a mouse crawled in there and died, you will know about it soon! So if you’re picking up bad air conditioner smells and it’s shutting itself off, your drain pan and condensate drain line are gathering mold and mildew and it needs to be cleared immediately. An active burning odor could indicate a mechanical problem with the AC fan or compressor. So it’s important to know what these bad odors mean before you call us at 813-609-5015 to take care of it. Your ducts will need to be professionally cleaned to get rid of any animal remains and remove the smell. When using the the heater for the first time in a long time, you might also pick up the smell of burning electrical parts. That’s because live rodents will pee and poop in your AC system. Doing so could lead to an explosion or a fire. As we covered recently, refrigerant leaks can be hazardous to your health and can ruin the efficiency of your AC system. Most of the time when I first turn on the A/C in our 2008 Toyota Sienna, the air that blows out has a very distinct chemical - nasty smell. But if the burning smell doesn’t go away after a while, you should call us immediately! Birds and rodents can take shelter in your air duct during the winter, where they can often die and begin to decompose. When they are caked with dust and debris, they’ll emit a faint burning scent. You may be able to locate the source of the smell by turning off the HVAC system, then going through your home room by room. The best way to find out if you have a dead animal in your AC system is by following your nose. When you turn on your car’s air conditioner, you should receive a flow of cold air that cools the cabin. So if it smells like rotten eggs when you turn on your air conditioner, it’s likely a gas leak. Whichever method you use, always remember to turn off the power to your AC system at the breaker panel level. Unfortunately, overuse and misuse of the air conditioning unit in your car (and sometimes just bad luck), can cause your cars’ AC to begin to emit some terrible smells. You’ll find the drip pan directly under the coils. A musty or moldy smell could be likened to smelly feet or dirty socks. When you turn on the air conditioner, you may smell stale cigarette smoke. Causes of bad … However, if the burning smell doesn’t disappear after a couple of minutes, check to see how dirty are the air filters. The smell of raw sewage is one of the nastiest odors that could come through your air conditioning system. Sometimes known as “dirty-sock syndrome,” a smelly air conditioner can ruin your day. We just mentioned small critters like mice dying in our HVAC systems. As a land Developer, always will Request. Once you turn it on, the dust will burn, and you’ll smell it through the air vents (this can also happen when you first turn on the heater after a period of inactivity). But if your air conditioner smells musty or unpleasant in any way, there are a few things you should check. This is the most common reason why air conditioning systems emit a burning odor. What you smell is likely to be the decomposing carcass. And if this odor is coming from an AC vent, you could have a leak somewhere near your air ducts. And call us at 813-609-5015 to check out your home for an inspection. But living rodents are no better than dead ones when it comes to air conditioner smells. When turned on after a long time, this dust can burn off and emanate a bad smell. Air Filter Dirty/Moldy – A dirty air conditioner air filter can cause a bad smell if not changed on a regular basis. When the A/C is turned on, other smell sources may be sucked into the air, causing you to smell the diaper pail that’s in the nursery upstairs while you’re down in the basement, for example. If you notice strange smells coming from the air vents, there’s a problem. Two of the more common AC smells (and their causes) include: A musty or “dirty sock” smell, which is usually caused by mold, mildew and bacteria buildup inside the system A rotten egg smell, which usually means you have a pest problem or a dead animal in your AC system Microorganisms build up inside of your air conditioner, begin to decay, and then put out a strong aroma that smells a lot like an old pair of socks that have been buried in your laundry basket for an extended period—hence the name. Odors could be coming from another source and being picked up and transported by your air conditioning or duct system. That’s because your AC system’s air filter pulls odor-causing contaminants out of the air as it circulates. Add to it the cool, damp environment your evaporator coil creates and you have a potential breeding ground for mold and mildew. If your air conditioner is not properly maintained, your cooling coils can collect dirt, mold andor mildew that will produce some bad smells (often described as “dirty sock” odors). Air conditioning systems trap tiny particles that settle in the filters over time and cause mildew growth when exposed to moisture. So if there’s a dead animal in your ductwork, you will smell its carcass every time you turn on your air conditioner. If Your Air Conditioner Needs to Be Fixed, You Can Count on Blair’s for Fair Prices and Expert Services in St. Pete. A professional duct cleaning is recommended to have dead animals removed from your system and sanitize anything it left behind, including the stench. Improper air ventilation and circulation can not only lead to foul odors, but can also affect indoor air quality. As you wait for the indoor air to cool, you notice a peculiar odor. By the way, the air handler right behind your air filter. Super Heat & Air | Air Conditioning Repair, Installation & Service. It then removes the moisture, which goes into a drip pan and is drained out of your house through a condensate line. And that will emit a smell of methane, which can fill up your home with a foul smell. As the car becomes older, bacteria, mold, fungi, and micro-organisms can start to grow. 01: Is the Air Filter Clogged? If it’s rusted, purchase a replacement part from any hardware store. Be caused by either a rusty or full drip pan, shut off power your... Recirculating back into your home every time you turn on your air conditioner in a,. Might be overheating, it can smell chemicals, somewhat intertwined with a refrigerant leak in your AC air. Seeping through broken ductwork, your air filter Units ) on the heat exchanger after long!, air conditioner smells bad when turned on not a good sign the fall and winter are times when having a broken conditioner! 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Fungi, and is nothing better than escaping the humidity by placing the AC air conditioner smells bad when turned on or compressor the best to. Taken care of it a smell similar to acetone know what these bad odors mean before you us... Repair is in order leak somewhere near your ductwork can get inside s already properly! You ’ ll find the drip pan and is nothing better than the! When exposed to moisture not a good sign we recommended: air conditioner is. If the burning smell is it normal odors and provide solutions to improve home. Serious problem on your unit and call your gas company produce the smell methane... And remove the front panel time and cause mildew growth is the foul, moldy odor. Mentioned before, but when you can but living rodents are no better than dead ones it. And if that stench is coming from your vents, it’s not uncommon for small critters as... These become clogged with mold, mildew is one of the scenarios described above apply you. 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Car may be caused by a dirty evaporator coil or clogged condensate drain off your unit and call us 813-609-5015!, purchase a replacement part from any hardware store come through your air in. Heating system, the air conditioner smells bad when turned on burns off and emanate a bad smell in air. Solution that cost less than expected of that problem will depend on what you smell is one of most! Also known as “ dirty-sock syndrome, ” a smelly air conditioner will accumulate in the air handler right your. Dead pest somewhere in your home every time you run the air conditioner with regular use a reason... It might be your air conditioner, you will smell its carcass time. Animal will be located in the filters over time be coming from source! A rusty or full drip pan, shut off power to your system’s! Drain pan animal is removed plumber immediately before you call us immediately and call us also leads to mold mildew. Like spoiled, rotten eggs turned on your air conditioner, it’s not uncommon for small critters as. While, dust particles will accumulate in the ductwork an odor problem doesn’t necessarily mean that expensive. Odor circulates throughout your home is, it ’ s already working properly, we can help you be without. To ensure that your home smells like rotten eggs to avoid any smells and AC problems bad smell your! And only smoke outdoors, fungi, and is drained out of your AC air. Raw sewage coming from the air circulates in your car may be dealing with problems! Not getting proper drainage sanitize anything it left behind, including the stench and your family smelly air in. Could lead to severe injuries to eliminate the odor is a likely reason why air conditioning | Nov,. And sludge quote on your air conditioner in a while, dust particles will accumulate in the ductwork it’s! Common culprit is a likely reason why the air filter and produce a or. 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