AC Smells That Indicate a Problem

Posted On: July 07, 2016

As the proud owner of a cooling system, you’re probably pretty familiar with at least a few common problems that plague us here in Hamel. Maybe your system has experienced poor air flow or made some funny noises. But have you ever suspected that your system might be smelling odd?

At Ernst Heating & Cooling, we’re pretty familiar with the ins and outs of air conditioner repair. In fact, we’ve seen just about everything! Have some funky odors emitting from your vents, ductwork, or the unit itself? You might have a problem on your hands.

For AC repair you can count on in the Metro East area, contact the certified team at Ernst Heating & Cooling today!

Strange Smells & Your Air Conditioner

The downside is your air conditioner is stinky. The upside is what kind of stink it is can provide a pretty clear indication of the issue. This means the problems that cause funny smells are often easily diagnosed and depending on the cause, a fairly simple fix as well!

Common odors from air conditioners include:

  • Musty, dusty, thick smells. If your system kicks on and it suddenly smells like an old attic or basement, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with exactly what you’re smelling—dust and debris! When dust gets into your cooling system, it tends to settle in the unit, in the filter, and in your ductwork. This can lead to a lot of musty stench after a while, and can have your home smelling like an antique shop pretty fast. To fix the issue, you might try changing your air filter if you haven’t recently. If the problem persists, you might want to call in an expert for thorough cleaning and professional maintenance.
  • Moldy, mildewy, rotten smells. Sometimes called “Dirty Sock Syndrome”, a foul smell of rot can come from a few sources. Usually the cause is from a buildup of bacteria and mold on your unit as it settles throughout the months it goes unused. But this can also come as a result of mold taking hold in your ducts. If you’re having trouble with this, have them cleaned! But the problem can also arise from a clogged drain pan or damage to your air conditioner’s drainage system.
  • Burning, stinky melting wire smells. We want to be really, really clear on this one. If you ever smell burnt wiring, “ozone”, or a thick burning smell from your AC system, turn it off immediately and contact a professional. We’d recommend flipping the breaker as well to be extra safe. Whether you get ahold of an electrician or an HVAC specialist, it is very important that you have this addressed right away. These smells indicate exactly what they smell like, and can quickly lead to electrical fire in your Hamel home. Don’t take chances!

Prevent Funky Odors with Routine Maintenance

Most commonly you’ll encounter the dusty, musty smells, though the moldy ones aren’t super common. But you can avoid them both with professional maintenance. Trained HVAC specialists that offer comprehensive care to rigorously clean and check all of the parts in your system, which will prevent most causes for a funny smell. And you’ll get better air quality and heightened efficiency to boot!

Air Conditioning Installation, Repair & Maintenance in the Hamel, IL Area

Why call us? Ernst offers:

  • Options. Our techs make sure that you understand the repair we’re making, how long it will take, and how much it costs—and why. They will also present options to you if applicable.
  • Expertise. Ernst’s installation technicians go through a minimum of one hour of training a week. This helps them stay on top of new technologies, HVAC trends, and new ways to help our clients.
  • Innovation. Ernst was the first in the Metro East area to offer geothermal energy systems, and we are always striving to be at the forefront of the industry.
  • Payment plans. Just ask; we have several financing options available through reputable national companies.

Contact Ernst Heating & Cooling online or by calling us at 618-887-6093 to schedule your air conditioning services in Madison County!

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Chris is great. Listens to my concerns.
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