Many have experienced this in the past: you turn on your air conditioner to make your home more comfortable, but when it kicks in, you notice a bad smell emanating from the vents. Air conditioner odors can occur for several reasons. Knowing the cause of the scent is essential to fixing the issue and making it go away. Keep reading to learn more about why the smells appear and how to get rid of them.
Rotten smells coming from the AC can be the result of many different things. One of the most common AC issues people experience is referred to as “Dirty Sock Syndrome.” This occurs when bacteria and mold build up on the evaporator coil and create a moldy odor that is similar to dirty socks. Another common AC smell is heating or burning wires. This is a distinct odor that is caused by a loose cable or short-circuited board. Do you smell the scent of rotten eggs coming from your vents? If so, it may be caused by a dead animal in the air duct. This is a serious situation that will require professional help to fix.
How to Remove AC Odors
The causes listed above are just a few of the many things that can cause a bad air conditioner smell. To get rid of the smell, use the tips below.
- Clean the AC: Though some parts of the AC must be professionally cleaned, you can clean the air filters, outdoor unit, and ducts on your own. All you need is a rag, brush, and a vacuum cleaner with a long hose attachment. Cleaning will help to remove and prevent any bacterial buildup.
- Install Duct Filters: These help to control odor and keep your ducts cleaner. You can easily find them at your local home improvement store.
- Perform Seasonal Maintenance: Getting your system inspected regularly helps it to stay clean and operate efficiently. The technician will also keep their eye out for any issues that could create a foul odor in the future and repair them before they progress any further.
- Use Artificial Odor Control Methods: Sometimes, the odor may not be coming from the HVAC system, but rather the air outside. In this case, you may need to rely on other odor control methods, such as candles, aerosol sprays, and incense. You can also use an air purifier or put baking soda inside the ducts.
Some air conditioner issues require professional help fix. If you have done everything you can and the smell still continues, it is time to call an HVAC professional. They can inspect every inch of your HVAC system and discover the root cause of the odor. A technician can also clean every nook and cranny of the system. This is essential if your unit is severely clogged with dust and debris, or if you notice mold growth inside the air conditioner. You also need to call a professional if you suspect there is a dead animal inside one of the air ducts. Because this can cause health issues, it requires cleaning and disinfecting by a professional.
If you’ve noticed foul odors coming from your air conditioner, call on an expert from Cox Air to see how we can get your home smelling fresh again.