When your air conditioner starts spewing weird or funky odors, it is a good idea to take notice because it could be a sign of a major problem. Disregarding unpleasant smells coming from your cooling system may lead to serious damage to your air conditioning or even pose a risk to your health and safety.

Depending on the smell, the cause might be bacteria or fungus in the system. Other times, it could also sign something mechanically wrong with the air conditioner. Some smells are even indicative of an unsafe problem, like a natural gas leak.

At Done Right Air, we are experienced at getting to the root cause of stinky smells. If you smell something weird coming from your air conditioner, there’s a good chance our team of skilled professionals has smelled it, too—and fixed it! We’ve earned the reputation as the go-to team for air conditioning repair in Milwaukee.

What does a particular smell billowing coming from your cooling system mean? Here are several frequent air conditioner aromas and what they might mean:

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Feet

If your air conditioner smells like feet, it can be caused by a buildup of bacteria or fungus inside of it. When moisture builds inside the unit, it can establish an environment that is conducive to the spread of bacteria and fungus. This can cause a nasty odor that is often described as smelling like dirty feet.

Another potential reason for the stench of dirty feet may be a dirty air filter. If an air filter becomes filled with dirt, dust and other particles, it can result in substandard air quality and a musty smell that resembles feet.

To fix this dilemma, 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 ensure good air quality and protect against the development of bacteria and fungus.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Rotten Eggs

If your air conditioning equipment reeks of rotten eggs, it might be caused by a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a distinct odor, often described as smelling like rotten eggs or sulfur, which is added to it to make it easily detectable.

A natural gas leak can be extraordinarily 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, get everyone out of the building and call your gas company or emergency services right away.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Mildew

If your AC is giving off an odor like mildew, it might be due to a collection of moisture inside the unit. When moisture accumulates inside a cooling system, it can foster the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause a musty odor that resembles mildew.

Another possible cause of the smell might be a clogged air filter. When the air filter becomes clogged, it can cause poor air quality and a musty smell that resembles mildew.

Routine air conditioning maintenance from Done Right Air can help prevent both of these situations, because a good cleaning, inspection and filter change is a terrific way to keep your system running at its best!

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Urine

One of the most undesirable situations is when the air coming out of your HVAC system smells like urine.

If your air conditioner reeks of urine, it could be traced back to a number of things. One possible cause is a accumulation of bacteria or mold in the air conditioning 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 create a foul odor that it similar to urine.

Another feasible cause of the smell could be a clogged drain line. The condensation that forms inside the air conditioning unit needs to drain away effectively, but if the drain line becomes stopped up by debris, it can cause water to back up and build up inside the unit. This can create a musty smell that resembles urine.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Burning Plastic

If your air conditioner smells like burning plastic, it might be because of an electrical issue with the unit. Over time, the electrical components in the air conditioning system can wear out or break, which can produce a burning smell that resembles plastic.

Another possible reason for the smell could be a foreign object that somehow got in the the air conditioner. If something foreign gets stuck in the air conditioning system, it can get hot and result in a smell like burning plastic.

If you notice something that smells like burning plastic coming from your cooling system, it’s worthwhile to phone a professional right away.

Your AC Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioning smells like gas, it could be due to a natural gas leak in the unit or in the surrounding area. Natural gas has a distinctive aroma, often described as smelling of rotten eggs or sulfur. That’s because this scent is added to natural gas to make sure that it is easily detectable.

As we said previously, a natural gas leak can be VERY harmful 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 as soon as possible.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Fish

If your air conditioner smell like fish, you may have a situation where there’s a build-up of bacteria or mold in the unit. Moisture produces an environment that fosters the growth of bacteria and mold. This can cause a strong odor that can be 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 trapped inside the air conditioning system. This often can take place if an animal such as a mouse or bird becomes trapped inside the unit and dies.

To solve the issue, it’s often necessary to have a professional examine and clean your HVAC system. They will be able to identify the source of the smell and take the correct steps to remove any contaminants and keep the problem from recurring.

The Air Conditioning Smells Like Vinegar

There could be multiple reasons your air conditioner smells like vinegar. One possible cause might be a plugged air filter. One other likely cause of the smell may be a refrigerant leak. If the refrigerant leaks, it can generate a chemical odor that resembles vinegar.

To fix the issue, it’s essential to have a skilled mechanic look at and clean your air conditioning.  If the odor lingers after the cleaning and changing of the air filter, it’s best to reach back out to a professional to find and repair any hidden issues with your air conditioning. Or, the tech can tell you if your air conditioning ought to be replaced.

If you are planning to upgrade, Done Right Air can help select the ideal unit to fit your home’s needs. We deliver dependable, expert air conditioner installation in Milwaukee.

Your AC Smells Like Chemicals

If the smell of chemicals is coming from your air conditioner, it could be the result of a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks, it can create a chemical odor that some people describe as smelling like chemicals or paint thinner, vinegar or acetone.

Another possible source of the smell could be problems with the electrical wiring or elements inside the air conditioning system. This can result in a burning smell that is like chemicals or burning plastic.

If you suspect a refrigerant leak or an electrical problem, it’s important to turn off your air conditioning system immediately and contact a professional to inspect and repair the unit. Refrigerant leaks can be harmful and may require immediate attention to protect against injury or damage to your house.

Weird Smells Coming from the Air Conditioning? Call the Pros at Done Right Air

If your air conditioner smells nasty and you aren’t able to fix it smoothly on your own, contact the cooling professionals at Done Right Air. We have lots of experience working with a wide variety of AC systems. Our crew has fixed countless air conditioning troubles over the years—including funky smells. Call us today for quality AC repair in Milwaukee!