When your air conditioner starts spewing unusual or gross odors, it is necessary to take notice because it could be a sign of a significant problem. Ignoring unpleasant smells coming from your air conditioner may lead to additional damage to your AC or even pose a risk to your health and safety.

Depending on what you're smelling, the cause might be bacteria or fungus in the system. In other cases, it could also signal something mechanically wrong with the AC. Some smells are a warning of a harmful situation, like a natural gas leak.

At All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc, we have a nose for these sorts of things. If you smell something odd coming from your air conditioner, there's a good chance our team of skilled pros has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned a reputation as the premier company for air conditioning repair in Huntsville.

What does a specific odor billowing from your air conditioning mean? Here are a few common air conditioner smells and what they may mean:

Your AC Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it might be because of a buildup of bacteria or fungus in the system. When moisture builds inside the unit, it can create an environment that is beneficial to the growth of bacteria and fungus. This can result in a foul odor that is often described as smelling like feet.

Another possible explanation for the smell may be a dirty air filter. When your HVAC system's air filter becomes choked with dirt, dust and other particles, it can cause low air quality and a musty smell that bears a resemblance to feet.

To fix this problem, it's important to have an experienced specialist inspect and clean your air conditioning system, including the evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain line. It's also important to replace the air filter regularly to provide good air quality and protect against the development of bacteria and fungus.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your air conditioning unit smells like rotten eggs, it may be because of a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a unique odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur, which is added to it to make it easily detectable.

A natural gas leak is a situation that is extremely dangerous and requires immediate attention. If you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, immediately open windows and doors to ventilate the area, make everyone leave the building and call your gas company or emergency services right away.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Mildew

If your cooling system is giving off an odor like mildew, it may be due to a accumulation of moisture inside the unit. When moisture accumulates inside a cooling system, it can cultivate the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty odor that it similar to mildew.

Another possible explanation for the smell might be a dirty air filter. If the air filter becomes clogged, it can result in poor air quality and a musty smell that resembles mildew.

Regular air conditioning maintenance from All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc can help avoid both of these situations, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a terrific way to keep your system working at its best!

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Urine

One of the most unpleasant things is when an air conditioner smells like urine.

If your air conditioning equipment reeks of urine, it could could be caused by multiple factors. One potential cause is a collection of bacteria or mold in the your cooling system. This can happen in the event that moisture accumulates in the system and creates a moist environment that can promote bacterial growth. The bacteria can emit a foul odor that resembles urine.

Another potential cause of the smell could be a plugged drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away properly, but if the drain line becomes stopped up by debris, it can cause water to back up and accumulate inside the unit. This can produce a musty smell that can stink like urine.

Your AC Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your AC smells like burning plastic, it might be because of an electrical concern with the unit. After a while, the electrical elements in the air conditioning system can wear out or bust, which can create a burning smell that resembles plastic.

Another possible reason for the smell could be a foreign object lodged in the unit. If something foreign gets trapped in the air conditioning system, it can become hot and result in a smell that reminds people of burning plastic.

If you think you smell burning plastic coming from your cooling system, it’s worthwhile to call a professional right away.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioning smells like gas, it could be because of a natural gas leak in the unit or in your home. Natural gas has a recognizable aroma, often described as smelling of rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because this scent is incorporated into natural gas so that it is easily detectable.

As mentioned previously, a natural gas leak can be VERY hazardous and requires immediate attention. When you suspect a gas leak, turn off your air conditioning system, open windows and doors to air out the home, get everyone out of the building and contact your gas company or emergency services straight away.

Your AC Smells Like Fish

If your AC smell like fish, it could be due to a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture causes an environment that fosters the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a strong odor that is often described as smelling like fish or, as mentioned earlier, it also can create a smell like dirty feet.

Another possible cause of the smell could be a dead animal or other biological material stuck within the air conditioning system. This often can take place if an animal such as a mouse or bird gets trapped inside the unit and dies.

To solve the issue, it's often necessary to have a professional check out and clean your cooling system. They will be able to find the source of the smell and take the proper steps to remove any contaminants and stop the problem from recurring.

Your AC Smells Like Vinegar

There could be several reasons your air conditioning system smells like vinegar. One possible cause might be a clogged air filter. One other potential cause of the smell might be a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can generate a chemical odor that resembles vinegar.

To fix the issue, it's important to have a skilled specialist examine and clean your air conditioning.  If the odor continues after the cleaning and exchanging the air filter, it's best to reach back out to a professional to identify and repair any hidden issues with your air conditioning. Or, the tech can tell you if your air conditioning should be replaced.

If you are wanting to upgrade, All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc can help locate the right unit to fit your home’s needs. We deliver reliable, skilled air conditioner installation in Huntsville.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Chemicals

If the smell of chemicals is coming out of your air conditioning unit, it could be caused by a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that is often described as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.

One other possible reason for the smell could be something wrong with the electrical wiring or elements inside the air conditioning system. This can produce a burning smell that resembles chemicals or burning plastic.

If you think your system has a refrigerant leak or an electrical concern, it's important to shut down your air conditioning system right away and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be dangerous and may require immediate attention to avoid injury or damage to your home.

Weird Smells Coming from the Air Conditioning? Call the Pros at All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc

If your air conditioner smells nasty and you aren’t able to fix it easily on your own, call the cooling experts at All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. We have years of experience working with a wide variety of air conditioning systems. Our crew has fixed a multitude of air conditioning problems throughout the years—including weird smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Huntsville!