6 Common Air Conditioner Smells Answered and How to Fix the Issue


Unusual air conditioner noises and off-putting odors are red flags that something is wrong. You may require expert air conditioning services in Cape Coral, Fl if your air conditioner is getting older or you haven’t had maintenance performed in the past year.

Some Smells That Indicate Something Is Wrong With The AC

Let’s discuss the most frequent causes of an unusual air conditioner smell that everyone should know about and quick fixes to prevent further damage:

1. Air Conditioner Has a Gaseous Odor

This could happen due to blocked pipes and the carbon monoxide gas accumulating inside the system. This gas can make its way into your home, and breathing carbon monoxide can be highly dangerous for your health. 

Solution: AC service experts in Cape Coral, Fl, recommend calling the HVA experts to deal with the issue. Here is what you should do if you smell rotten eggs in your home:

  • Switch off the HVAC system and the gas in your home.
  • Open doors and windows for ventilation
  • Leave your home
  • Immediately get in touch with your gas or HVAC service provider.

2. Air Conditioner Has A Musty Smell

Moisture might give your home’s air conditioner an unpleasant odor that smells like a dirty sock, feet, or locker room. It is often due to leakage in condensate pipes, cracks in the drainage pan, or issues in the evaporator coil.

Solution: The best way to fix this issue is to look for and clear the blockage in the condensate pipes if there is a leakage. However, if the issue lies in the drainage pan or evaporator coil, it is best to call an AC installation expert in Cape Coral, Fl.

3. Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If your air conditioner smells like paint thinner or something sweet, there is a possibility of refrigerant leakage in the system. Moreover, if you can hear a hissing noise or see ice crystals on the refrigerant lines or the evaporator coils, it indicates refrigerant leakage.

Solution: Call the AC service technician in Cape Coral, Fl, for an inspection and to repair the issue.

4. Vinegar-Like Smell From The Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner has a pungent, vinegar-like odor, it might be due to restricted airflow. Here are some reasons:

  • A clogged air filter
  • Excessive condensation
  • Blockage in the condensate drain
  • Issues in the ductwork

Solution: Check and replace your air filter. Examine the condensate drain; if there is a blockage, use a condensate cleaning agent to fix it.

5. Burning Plastic Or Burning Rubber Smell

When an AC component overheats, its case or the plastic around it may heat up or burn, producing a burning plastic or burning rubber smell.

Solution: Electrical issues demand professional attention. You should contact your AC installation technician in Cape Coral, FL, immediately if the air conditioner emits a burning plastic or rubber odor

6. Air Conditioner Has A Cat Pee Odor

A strong ammonia smell could indicate mold growing in your air conditioner or ducts. Mold doesn’t smell; instead, the mycotoxins that mold produces do.

Solution: Mycotoxins pose a risk to your health. Therefore, we advise having a technician check out your air conditioner and ductwork and clean them as necessary.

Bottom Line

If your air conditioning gives off an unusual smell, contact an AC service technician in Cape Coral, Fl, to help you fix it. Contact Island Aire of Southwest, Fl, Inc at (239) 935-8880 and schedule an appointment for all your AC needs.