When your air conditioner is fresh and operating correctly, it’s expected you won’t be smelling anything strange. Unexpected air conditioner noises and strange smells are a clue that something is out of whack. If your air conditioner is past its prime or you haven’t had service scheduled within the last year, they can be a sure sign you need professional air conditioning repair in Des Moines.

Here are six of the most common air conditioner smells and how you can resolve them.

1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, particularly a chemical smell, it isn’t a great sign. You could also notice your:

  • Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
  • Home air conditioner smells sweet

These sweet, chemical odors are frequently a sign that your air conditioner is suffering from a refrigerant leak. Your system relies on this gas to transfer heat through copper coils, which can break out as time passes.

Four Clues You Have a Refrigerant Leak

Aside from the strange smell, here are four other signs that you have a refrigerant leak.

  1. Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner runs.
  2. Ice crystals on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
  3. Trouble keeping your residence comfortable or having your desired temperature.
  4. High electrical bills.

How You Can Fix It

A refrigerant leak needs experienced support from a heating and cooling company like Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling. Your cooling pro will find and fix the leak before recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant.

Resolving a refrigerant leak typically costs between $225 and $1,600, per nationwide averages put together by HomeAdvisor. Your total cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how much time it takes to repair.

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, there’s a high probability it has R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being produced because of its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Due to this, repairs can be very expensive so it may be smartest to do air conditioning installation in this circumstance.

2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s likely nothing wrong with it. But there’s a significant likelihood you have a natural gas leak in your residence. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to alert you when there’s a leak, since the gas can be deadly in heavy concentrations.

How You Can Fix It

If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we recommend:

  • Turning off your gas supply.
  • Opening windows.
  • Leaving your home as soon as possible.
  • Calling your gas company immediately.

3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty

People who call us regarding this problem frequently share their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it runs. Also referred to as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is usually caused by a grubby evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Condensation can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most common in locations where you use heating at night and during the morning before switching to cooling during the afternoon.

How to Repair It

The best method for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to routinely replace your air filter and schedule annual air conditioning maintenance with Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system flowing, because stagnant water can also result in nasty odors.

4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

If you are living with air conditioner mildew smell or a pungent, vinegar-like odor, it could be the result of several problems, including:

  • A clogged filter
  • Excess condensation
  • Clogged condensate pan or drain line
  • Moldy air conditioner or ductwork

How to Resolve It

Examine your filter first. If you haven’t replaced it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, we recommend replacing it. If that doesn’t fix the problem, call Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling at 515-278-2900.

5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic

If you’re experiencing an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be several things wrong. These involve:

  • Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
  • Motor that needs lubrication.
  • Broken fan belt.
  • Electrical trouble.

Electrical malfunctions should be checked quickly to avoid a fire. If you notice burning plastic when your air conditioner is running, shut it off and contact us at 515-278-2900 right away.

6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee

An overpowering ammonia odor means there could be mold present in your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold makes.

How to Solve It

Mycotoxins are hazardous to your well-being. That’s why it’s important to have a specialist like Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling examine your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when recommended.

Our Specialists Can Eliminate Strange Air Conditioner Smells Quickly

You deserve to be comfy in your residence and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you need relief from your noxious air conditioner, give us a call at 515-278-2900. We’ll diagnose the issue quickly and fix it at a competitive.