Your home’s air conditioner is one of its important components during the summer months. In addition to keeping the indoor temperature at a comfortable level, it can also make it easier to cycle humid air out of your house. This is important because allowing moist air to linger inside of a residential space can increase the risk of water, pest, and other types of damage. As your home’s cooling system plays such an important role in keeping it in good condition, it is essential to take notice of any strange smells that it may generate. In some cases, these odors indicate a serious problem that needs to be remedied as soon as possible.

Musty Smells Could Be a Sign of Mold or Mildew

If you notice a musty odor coming from the condenser unit, there is a chance that mold is growing within it. It is also probable that mold, mildew, or other irritants are growing along other parts of the condenser that allow it to deliver cool air into your home. Generally, the best way to get rid of mold is to have your cooling system inspected and cleaned by a technician. It may also be necessary to make improvements to your home to prevent water from pooling near your central air system.

The skilled team at Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning in Oak Island can perform an air conditioning inspection in an effort to diagnose what is causing the smell from your AC. Our team can also install a new unit if the existing one is too old or damaged to remain in your house.

Do You Smell Something Burning?

It isn’t uncommon for motors, fans, or other dirty cooling system components to run harder than they should. The increased energy that is required to turn a fan, run a blade or take other actions to move cool air into your home will result in increased friction. Ultimately, these parts may overheat, which can cause various air conditioner components to spark or melt.

There is also a possibility that components are not wired or installed correctly. If this occurs, they could literally melt inside of the air conditioner itself. In the event that you see signs of overheating near a condenser unit, it is a good idea to shut it off from the breaker. From there, you should call a professional to inspect the unit and make any necessary repairs.

Does Your Air Conditioner Smell Like Cigarette Smoke?

If a smoker lives in your home, there is a chance that the odor associated with whatever he or she is consuming will find its way outdoors. Any smoke that gets too close to the air conditioner may be circulated throughout the house. Alternatively, smoke may be absorbed into an evaporator coil, condensate line, or other surfaces on your property. That may also be enough to ensure that contaminated air routinely makes its way throughout your entire home.

Has Something Died Inside Your HVAC System?

Mice, rats, and other rodents will often seek shelter in a home because it is warm, a source of food, and offers protection from predators. In many cases, pests will take up residence in a condenser unit before making their way into your basement or other indoor spaces. If a small animal gets stuck in a condenser unit, duct, or wall, it will likely die there.

As the animal decomposes, it will create a terrible smell that has the potential to spread throughout your entire home. Generally speaking, the only way to eliminate the smell is to get rid of the creature that is causing it. It may also be a good idea to seal up any gaps that pests might be using to gain access to your home.

This may minimize the chances that animals will die in your house again in the future. Getting rid of pest animals may also prevent damage to your property’s HVAC system. Finally, sealing up your property may make it more efficient, which may reduce your cooling bills.

Are There Issues With Your Home’s Sewer System?

A blocked sewer pipe could allow dangerous gasses to make their way back into the home. In addition to causing an annoying odor whenever you turn the air conditioner on, issues with a sewer pipe could cause significant damage to your home. In some cases, raw sewage may work its way into the kitchen or bathroom. Typically, a blockage will occur in the P-trap, and this trap is typically located in the basement.

You Might Be Dealing With a Gas Leak

If the smell that you have encountered reminds you of rotten eggs, there is likely a gas leak in your home. Typically, gas that is filtered through your house comes with an additive that is designed to alert you to such a situation. The reason why this additive is used is that natural gas is actually odorless, which means that you wouldn’t know that there is a problem until someone in your home grew sick due to exposure.

Another sign of a gas leak is the presence of sick trees, small plants, or shrubs around the perimeter of your property. In the event that you smell sulfur, it’s important to call for professional help right away. In addition to causing health issues, natural gas is an extremely flammable fuel source. Your local fire department will likely be able to investigate the issue and take steps to ensure that your house is safe to inhabit.

Stagnant Water Might Smell Like Dirty Socks

A clogged condensate pan could cause water to linger in the same spot for many weeks or months. This problem could also be caused by clogged pipes, a leak inside of your home, or a drainage issue. Over time, the moisture could create an odor that smells vaguely similar to socks that were left on the bathroom floor for a few days longer than they should have been.

It’s important to note that the presence of standing water may attract termites, mosquitoes, and other pests that may use it to breed or to stay hydrated. Moisture can also weaken wood, insulation, and other materials that pests might use for food or to create a nest.

Don’t Attempt to Hide the Smells

It can be tempting to use scented sprays, candles, or other items to mask the smells that your nose is interacting with. However, covering up the odor does nothing to solve the underlying problem that causes it to occur. In some cases, taking these types of steps can actually further reduce your home’s indoor air quality.

If you need help troubleshooting an issue with your home’s cooling system, feel free to call the folks at Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning today. In addition to servicing air conditioners, our team can also repair a furnace, perform an indoor air quality test or install a heat pump in a timely and friendly manner.

company icon