What's That Smell? 3 Causes Of AC Odors

Posted on: 7 June 2017

If you've got foul odors floating through your home, and you've checked all the usual suspects, the problem might be with your air conditioner. You might not realize this, but your air conditioner can leave your home smelling bad, especially if it's got a problem that's been overlooked. Luckily, you don't have to shut your air conditioner off to get relief from the problem. In most cases, foul odors coming from your air conditioner can be traced by to three simple culprits. Here's how to identify the origin of your smelly air.

Dirty Air Filter

When it comes to problems with your air conditioner, many of the issues can be traced back to the filter; including foul odors. If you're noticing a dank, musty odor each time your air conditioner cycles on, begin your search for the source right at the filter. The first thing you should do is replace your current filter with a fresh one. Second, use your vacuum to remove any dirt and dust that might be trapped along the edges of the filter compartment. Finally, wash the filter compartment door. Fill a bucket with warm water and add one teaspoon each of grease-cutting dish detergent and lemon juice. Wipe the filter compartment down using a damp cloth and your cleaning solution.

Clogged Condensate Line

Your air conditioner has a plastic tube called the condensate line. This condensate line is responsible for draining the condensation that develops when your air conditioner is running. Over time, your condensate line can get dirty. It can even fill with mold and algae. Unfortunately, the mold and algae will leave your condensate line smelling less-than-fresh. When that happens, the foul odors will filter right into your home. If you're noticing a moldy smell whenever the air conditioner is running, it's time to clean the condensate line. Pour a small amount of household bleach into the condensate line and then use a pipe cleaner to scrub the inside of the line. This will remove the mold and algae that are causing the foul odors.

Problem in the Ducts

If you've got foul odors coming from the ducts, and you haven't had them cleaned in a while, it's time to have that taken care of. Dirt, allergens, dead bugs, and even rodent fecal matter can build up inside the ducts. Get rid of odors by having your ducts cleaned. Not sure how often you should have your ducts cleaned? A good rule of thumb is to have your ducts cleaned whenever you notice dirt building up on the walls or ceilings around the vent covers.

If your air conditioner is leaving your home smelling foul, it's time to take matters into your own hands. If the problem persists, be sure to contact an HVAC technician, like Northwest  Heating &  Air Conditioning Inc, near you.


HVAC For The Layman

Do you remember the last time your air conditioner died? Although you might have been tempted to write off the problem as a simple quirk, serious air conditioning issues might mean that your family gets stuck living in a hot, humid, uncomfortable environment. I have been a homeowner for a long time, and you wouldn't believe how many times I have come across issues with my HVAC systems. I want you to know how to recognize the early signs of trouble, which is why I decided to put up this page. By reading here, you might be able to learn the intricacies of HVAC in layman's terms so that you can get things resolved as quickly as possible.