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Ew, My Air Conditioner Smells Terrible! 4 Common Causes

Your air conditioner is making you sick. If mold is growing in your A/C unit, not only will it smell funky, but you’re also spreading the spores over your entire house. These spores are linked to respiratory problems, so it’s important to get rid of the mold as soon as possible.

That’s just one reason your air conditioner smells. As we get deeper into the summer, you might be noticing a variety of smells coming from your A/C. Especially if you haven’t been using it since last year.

There could be a few reasons for this smell, and they range from the not-so-serious to the potentially dangerous. Let’s explore four of the most common causes of a smelly air conditioner.

1. Dirty Air Filter

If your air conditioner smells musty, the cause is probably a dirty air filter. The air conditioner filter captures dirt, dust, and other airborne particles. Over time, these particles can build up on the filter, causing it to become clogged. When this happens, air can’t flow well through the unit, and it may start to smell bad.

2. Mold or Mildew

As we mentioned before, if mold or mildew is growing inside your air conditioner, it can cause a foul smell. Mold or mildew build-up is the result of a moisture problem. If your air conditioner is not draining as it should, water builds up inside the unit. This creates a breeding ground for mold or mildew.

3. Refrigerant Leak

If your air conditioner is leaking refrigerant, it can cause a fishy smell. Refrigerant is a chemical that helps to cool the air. When there’s a leak, the refrigerant can escape and mix with the air inside your home. This can cause a fishy smell from the air conditioner.

If you think your air conditioner is leaking refrigerant, it’s important to call a professional right away. Refrigerant leaks can be dangerous and should be fixed by a trained technician.

4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar?

If your air conditioner smells like vinegar, it could be due to a build-up of bacteria. Bacteria can grow inside the unit if it’s not cleaned regularly. This build-up of bacteria can cause a vinegar smell.

An electric issue could also be the culprit if your air conditioner smells like vinegar. If there is an electrical problem inside the unit, it can cause a burning smell that some people describe as smelling like vinegar.

While a vinegar smell coming from your air conditioner is not necessarily harmful, it is an indication that the unit needs to be cleaned or checked by a professional.

How to Get Rid of Your Air Conditioner Smells

Now that you know what causes your air conditioner smells, whether moldy, fishy, or like vinegar, you’re wondering how to fix it. To start, always have your unit serviced on a regular basis. Cleaning the filters yourself may be an easy enough job. But maintaining your A/C unit is not a DIY project.

A licensed air conditioning technician is qualified to diagnose and resolve the issues that may be causing your unit to smell and malfunction. They will keep your unit running well and ensure excellent indoor air quality. They will also address any issues before they become more significant problems.

The technicians you need are those at Jerry’s Heat and Cooling. We are your trusted HVAC company in Branson, Forsyth, Hollister, Rockaway Beach, Branson West, Kimberling City, Reed’s Spring, and the surrounding areas. Request an appointment today and let us take care of your air conditioner.

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