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Why Does my Central AC Smell Bad?

Here in Arizona, you can’t live comfortably without an AC during the hottest months of the year — but a bad smell coming from your vents can have you debating whether or not you should have to sacrifice your nose for cool air. If your air conditioner smells whenever you turn it on, there are a few possible explanations.

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that certain smells indicate a serious health threat, so it’s vital that you get to the root of the problem as swiftly as possible. The most effective way to do this is to call in a technician like one of our skilled team members!

Mold and Mildew

If an HVAC system has too much moisture, bacteria and mold spores can grow. Their rancid smell is only half of the problem; these spores are carried into your home as you run your system, which enter your lungs and settle onto walls and furniture.

The first step in rectifying this issue is identifying any leaks or drainage issues causing the moisture build-up. Next, with the help of a professional, have a thorough cleaning of your duct walls to help rid of anything that may be lingering on them.

Dirty Evaporator Coils

When you turn on your air conditioning, is your house filled with the unmistakable stench of dirty socks or stinky feet? If so, then you need to schedule an AC tune-up that will clean your evaporator coils and drain your condensate pan.

Overheating Parts

The smell of something burning or smoke is usually a warning sign that your system is overheating and working too hard. You should shut off your HVAC immediately if you smell smoke or fire. Mechanical issues can quickly lead to a fire, and you should call an emergency repair service to take a look right away.

If the burning odor persists, even after you have shut off the HVAC unit, leave your home and contact the fire department. After your home is deemed safe, an HVAC technician can investigate and find the source of any mechanical or electrical malfunctions.

Gas Leaks

The smell of rotten eggs is a warning sign to get out. A typical gas leak would be odorless, but manufacturers add a chemical called mercaptan to create the unmistakable, pungent odor of sulfur or rotten eggs that alert people to a leak.

If you suspect a gas leak, put out any burning flames, do not run any electrical appliances and open as many doors and windows as you can. Leave home immediately, bringing pets with you, and call the gas company.

Get to the Bottom of your HVAC Problems Today!

Whether you need a repair, want to upgrade your air conditioner, or just need a cleaning, the pros at Penguin Air, Plumbing & Electrical are ready and eager to help! Call us today at (480) 747-6800 schedule an appointment directly on our site!

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