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5 Common A/C Smells and What They Mean

5 Common A/C Smells and What They Mean

Your air conditioning system can be a lifesaver in those hot summer months. Unfortunately, your air conditioning system can give unwanted smells from time to time. Depending on the type of smell, it could be a sign that you need help from an HVAC professional.

Burning Smell

One scary smell that your HVAC system can let off is a burning odor. Some people tend to describe this type of smell as gunpowder or a fire smell. Make sure to turn off the power to your HVAC system. Your HVAC system may have a fire. Burnt wires or an overheated motor can cause this. Other damaged HVAC mechanical parts can also cause this smell.

Dirty Socks Smell

One smell that your HVAC air conditioning system may make is that of dirty socks. If you notice this smell in your home, the HVAC condenser coils are growing bacteria. You should contact an HVAC professional. They will check and clean your condenser coils. This gets rid of the smell of dirty socks coming from your system. You can still run your HVAC system while you wait for the arrival of an HVAC professional. Try not to let the smell bother you too much though.

Exhaust Smell

Most people are familiar with the smell of exhaust from cars. Your HVAC system can create this same smell. This happens if fluid is leaking onto a warm part of your HVAC system. The most common place is the HVAC air conditioning motor. Contact an HVAC professional to check out this smell in your air conditioning system.

Garbage Smell

If it's starting to smell like a garbage dump in your home, your air conditioning system may be to blame. Animals seek warmth from the cold winter weather. They can find themselves burrowed in your HVAC system components. When you start your HVAC system for the first time in the summer, you may have a garbage smell fill your home. This means that a dead animal is in your HVAC system. You should contact an HVAC professional to check your system. Make sure to turn the HVAC system off until the HVAC professional gets there to fix this smell.

Mold Smell

A mold or mildew smell could be a sign that your HVAC system is growing mold. This microbial growth could develop in many parts in your HVAC system. Shut off your air conditioning system and call an HVAC professional to clean your system. Mold spores can be harmful to your respiratory system. You shouldn't run your system until the HVAC professional has gotten rid of the mold or mildew growth.

Call Us Today


If you notice odd smells from your HVAC system, you should contact one of our HVAC professionals. Our experienced HVAC professionals can come out and check your air conditioning system. They'll explain the problem that you're having with your HVAC system. We will fix the issue so that you can get back to enjoying the comfort of your air conditioning system. You shouldn't have to deal with those nasty smells.