3 Common Bad Smells from Air Conditioners & Their Meanings

Bad smells from your air conditioner can signal that something is wrong with your AC unit. These smells can indicate various problems, from minor issues to major repairs that may be needed.

1. Garbage

If your air conditioner smells like garbage, the first thing you should do is clean the unit. Start by removing the filter and washing it in warm, soapy water. Next, use a soft brush to clean the interior of the unit, being careful not to damage the coils. If you see any mold or mildew, use a disinfectant to kill the spores.

Once you’ve cleaned the unit, check the drain line to see if there’s a clog. If there is, use a plunger or a snake to clear the blockage. This can be overwhelming to do on your own, and can be easy to damage. The best course of action is to have a professional come out to look at the unit.

2. Dirty Socks

We all know the feeling of coming home to a stuffy, hot house after a long day in the summer heat. The first thing we do is head straight for the air conditioner, turn it on, and enjoy the relief of cool air. But what if instead of cool, refreshing air, you were greeted with the smell of dirty socks?

There are a few possible reasons for this unpleasant smell coming from your air conditioner. One possibility is that the air filter is dirty and needs to be replaced. If the air filter is clogged with dust and dirt, it can cause the air conditioner to smell musty.

Another possibility is that the coils in the air conditioner are dirty. The coils are responsible for transferring heat, so if they are covered in dirt and dust, they will be less effective at doing their job. This can cause the air conditioner to work harder, which can lead to the smell of burning dust.

3. Rotten Eggs

A few different things can cause an air conditioner to smell like rotten eggs.

One of the most common is a build-up of bacteria in the unit. This can happen if the unit isn’t cleaned regularly or if it isn’t properly ventilated. Another common cause of the rotten egg smell is a problem with the unit’s drain line. If the drain line is clogged, it can cause a build-up of water in the team, leading to bacteria growth.

In some cases, the rotten egg smell can be caused by a natural gas leak. If you smell rotten eggs and natural gas, you should evacuate the area immediately and call a professional. 

Final Thoughts

If your air conditioner is emitting any of the bad smells described above, it is vital to take action to determine the cause. These smells can indicate severe problems with your AC unit, and ignoring them can lead to expensive repairs or replacements down the road. If you are unsure of what to do, it is always best to consult with a professional AC technician.

For air conditioning repair in Athens, GA, check out Stiles Services. We are the most reliable HVAC contractor, providing high-quality services since 1974. Message us today for a service estimate or emergency needs.

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