When your air conditioner is spotless and operating right, it’s not normal to be smelling anything odd. Unusual air conditioner noises and weird smells are a sign that something is out of whack. If your air conditioner is past its prime or you haven’t had a tune-up done recently, they can be a clear sign you need pro air conditioning repair in Rapid City.

Here are six of the most frequent air conditioner smells and how you can resolve them.

1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals

If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, particularly a chemical smell, it isn’t a good sign. You could also observe your:

  • Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
  • Home air conditioner smells sweet

These sweet, chemical scents are typically a hint that your air conditioner is suffering from a refrigerant leak. Your system needs this gas to move heat through copper coils, which can break out as time goes on.

Four Signs You Are Dealing with a Refrigerant Leak

In addition to the odd smell, here are four other signs that you are dealing with a refrigerant leak.

  1. Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is operating.
  2. Ice on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
  3. It’s hard keeping your house cool or achieving your programmed temperature.
  4. Increasing electrical costs.

How You Can Fix It

A refrigerant leak requires skilled assistance from a heating and cooling company like Street Heating and Cooling. Your cooling technician will locate and repair the leak before recharging your system with refrigerant.

Fixing a refrigerant leak usually costs between $225 and $1,600, based on nationwide averages compiled by HomeAdvisor. Your exact cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how long it needs to fix.

If your air conditioner was installed earlier than 2010, it’s likely it runs on R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made due to its harmful effects on the ozone layer. As a result, repairs can be very expensive so it may be best to schedule air conditioning installation in this situation.

2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas

If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s likely nothing wrong with it. But there’s a significant likelihood you have a natural gas leak in your house. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to signal you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be toxic in big amounts.

How You Can Solve It

If you detect a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we advise:

  • Switching off your gas supply.
  • Opening windows.
  • Evacuating your home promptly.
  • Calling your gas company without delay.

3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty

People who contact us regarding this issue usually report their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s running. Also referred to as dirty sock syndrome, this smell is typically caused by a dirty evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Excess water can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most typical in areas where you turn on heating at night and during the morning before switching to cooling during the afternoon.

How to Fix It

The best approach for preventing dirty sock syndrome is to regularly replace your air filter and schedule yearly air conditioning maintenance with Street Heating and Cooling. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unblocked, because standing water can also produce unpleasant odors.

4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar

If you are experiencing air conditioner mildew smell or a pungent, vinegar-like odor, it might be caused by several situations, like:

  • A clogged filter
  • Extra condensation
  • Plugged condensate pan or drain line
  • Moldy air conditioner or ductwork

How to Solve It

Inspect your filter first. If you haven’t replaced it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, we recommend replacing it. If that doesn’t solve the smell, call Street Heating and Cooling at 605-206-3915.

5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic

If you’re noticing an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be a number of things wrong. These involve:

  • Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
  • Motor that should have lubrication.
  • Broken fan belt.
  • Electrical trouble.

Electrical issues should be checked immediately to prevent a fire. If you notice burning plastic when your air conditioner is operating, shut it off and reach us at 605-206-3915 immediately.

6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee

An overpowering ammonia odor means there could be mold growing within your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold creates.

How to Repair It

Mycotoxins are hazardous to your wellness. That’s why it’s important to have a specialist like Street Heating and Cooling check your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when necessary.

Our Pros Can Eliminate Strange Air Conditioner Smells Rapidly

You deserve to be comfortable in your house and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you need relief from your noxious air conditioner, reach us at 605-206-3915. We’ll figure out the trouble quickly and take care of it at a competitive.