Reasons Your Air Conditioner Smells Bad

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Air conditioners provide cool, comforting air during the hottest of summer months.

Sometimes, however, that air can be made less pleasant because it has a bad odor to it. The important thing to understand, though, is that not all bad air conditioner odors are created equally.

By understanding the distinct bad smell of your air conditioning unit, you can often understand what is causing the odor, thus making it easier to identify and fix the problem.

Musty Odors

One of the most common odors that people report coming from their air conditioning units is a musty or moldy smell.

They might describe this odor like the smell of dirty socks or the smell of a basement. This type of odor is usually exactly what it smells like: the result of mold or mildew.

Whether these nasty particles build up outside or inside of the unit, they are serious issues that can majorly affect air quality and breathing, especially if a home has people with asthma or allergies living in it.

While cleaning outside the unit can sometimes help, if you smell this smell, it is always a good idea to have the unit professionally inspected to see if mold and/or mildew have become a major problem.

Cigarette Odors

Sometimes, people who do not smoke or who do not smoke in the home will complain of a cigarette smell from their air conditioning unit.

Unfortunately, cigarette smoke has a way of lingering, even if no one has smoked in the home for many years. Cigarette smells can also enter the home if anyone smokes near the outdoor unit. If you have vents connected to another home, they can even come in from that home if someone inside smokes.

Cleaning evaporator coils and changing filters can sometimes get rid of this smell. If it's pervasive, however, a thorough, professional cleaning may be in order to get rid of the smell for once and for all. However, until the source of the smell has been identified and eliminated, chances are that it will not go away entirely.

Chemical Odors

One final thing to be on the sniff-out for is any chemical odors coming from your air conditioner. Such smells often mean that you have important air conditioner fluids leaking out of your unit and into your home.

If this is the case, your air quality can be compromised, as well as the efficiency of your air conditioner.

With any strange smell, remember that it is always a good idea to seek the help and advice of a professional air conditioner service.