Air conditioning system

AC Smells & What They Mean

When the summer heat starts cranking up, so typically do we begin to crank up our AC units. Sometimes though, unpleasant smells can begin to waft about and permeate through the property. Many times, this can be attributed to dust collecting in your system and will burn off and dissipate after a couple of days. Other times, the unpleasant smell persists, signaling a potentially larger other issue. If this is the case, it may be time to get your AC unit professionally checked out to diagnose and correct the issue to restore your indoor air quality.

Fire
Electrical components like circuit breakers, fans, power wires and compressors in your air conditioner can start to burn. When your air conditioners smells like burning plastic or gunpowder, one of the components in your air conditioner is likely burning. You will not see flames, but the aroma is alarming. You can also sense a burning smell when you have not used your air conditioner for a long time. Dust settles on the components in your unit, and when you turn it one for the first time in months, dust can burn off. If you smell burning, the best thing to do is to turn off your unit and call your local HVAC company quickly.

Rotten Eggs
When your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs or sulfur, you may have a natural gas leak. Natural gas is odorless, but utility providers add different smells to alert consumers to gas leaks. Gas leaks are flammable and explosive and exposure can be dangerous to your health. High levels of natural gas coming from the air conditioner can lead to unconsciousness and lower the levels in your blood. Call your gas utility immediately to make sure you do not have a gas leak. You should also alert your HVAC professional.

Exhaust Fumes
Your air conditioning unit may not be powered by gas, but exhaust fumes can still come out of your air conditioner. Fluids can leak from components and cause the release of toxic gases. The particles coming out of your air conditioning system can cause many hazards due to lower levels of oxygen.

Moldy
Do your vents smell like mold when the air conditioning system is running? Mold can be a common smell, but it is not good. Condensation occurs when your unit is running and moisture needs to drain properly. If it does not drain right, it escapes into the air ducts and mold can build up. Call your HVAC technician. They know where mold buildup happens and can clean it up. Moldy smells do not usually cause problems to the unit, but it does produce decreased air quality. Lower air quality and mold spores can cause respiratory issues.

Gun Powder
Gunpowder-like smells are often due to a burned-out fan motor or circuit board. These smells do not pose dangers, but they are annoying. Turn off your unit as soon as possible and call your local HVAC company to have your unit checked out.

Before you turn on your air conditioner at the beginning of summer, have it inspected by your local HVAC professionals. They can find loose wiring, worn belts, and point out wear and tear on the unit.

For a consultation and to schedule an appointment contact us today at 561-572-3636

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