When you first turn on your air conditioning system, after months sitting idle, a smell is not uncommon. This smell may be caused for a variety of reasons. At No Sweat Air Conditioning, we receive an ABUNDANCE of inquiries regarding the smell emitted the first time you turn on your AC for the season. Many of them, while generally not good for your health, are not necessarily a cause for alarm. However, if you are concerned, you can schedule a visit from our licensed technicians.
Most Common Culprits For Air Conditioning Smells
Often described as a chemical, faintly sweet, chloroform-like, or even metallic smell, the aroma of Freon, or R-22 refrigerant is distinct. This could be signs of a refrigerant leak from your HVAC system. A service call from a licensed technician can identify the source of the smell and whether it is in fact a refrigerant leak. If it is, the culprit is most likely the result of a crack in the coils.
Overheating or Damaged System Components
Characterized by an electrical smell, scent of gunpowder, or odor described as burning, can indicated a variety of issues. These smells are most often associated with damaged system components such as fan motors and circuit boards, even compressors or electrical wiring. When the electrical components of your air conditioner overheat, or fries, it emits a burnt smell without noticeable smoke or fire. This type of smell warrants a service call for repairs and to ensure the safety of residents and visitors.
Rotten Egg Smell
Anytime you smell sulfur or rotten eggs rolling through your home ventilation system it is a cause for concern. If your home is connected to natural gas this should be treated like an emergency and you should immediately call your natural gas provider. Even though gas is odorless, aroma is added to alert you of a potential leak. If you smell rotten eggs, that is a major problem.
Exhaust Fume Smell
Certain air conditioning componentns and fluids have a smell similar to the exhaust emitted from automobiles. The types of toxins and fluids that result in this smell can have a major impact on your health, especially over time or in high concentrations.
Mold or Musty Smells
The smell of dirty socks, mildew, or stagnant moisture can be the signs of mold or mildew. It is often caused by moisture not draining properly from the system perhaps due to clogged condensation drain lines. During wet or highly humid periods this could cause mold to builup in your ductwork and throughout the ventilation system. Having your No Sweat Air Conditioning HVAC technician check your system and air ducts can help to determine if a blockage exists. If left untreated the health implications could be dramatic for your family. It is best to speak to a professional and have the problem properly remedied, sooner rather than later.
What Should Your AC Smell Like
It is not uncommon to have a slightly stagnant scent when turning your air conditioner on for the first time in a season. When No Sweat Air Conditioning performs seasonal maintenance, they turn your system on in part to catch any scents or detects smells that might mean a larger problem or issue needs to be diagnosed. Any strong odor or foul smell is likely caused by an issue and emergency service may be warranted. When it comes to a smell that is more than a light one that doesn’t pass almost instantly, there is usually a cause for concern. Having a licensed HVAC contractor diagnose and recommend solutions for your AC system can at least provide you peace of mind.
The cause of odors can be as simple as a dirty air filter that needs to be changed out. It may also be as urgent as a refrigerant or sewer leak. Schedule a service call with your No Sweat Air Conditioning team to provide your seasonal maintenance and see what it’s like to work with true professionals.