Why Does My AC Smell Bad? Six Causes and Solutions for HVAC Smell

Six Reasons Why Your AC Smells Bad and How To Correct Them

Switching over from heating to air conditioning? You might notice that your AC now carries a concerning or simply unpleasant smell. Here are six reasons why the HVAC system at your office or home might smell bad, how you can get the problem fixed, and how you can prevent it from happening in the future. 

Problem 1: Mold or Mildew

When moisture gets trapped in your air conditioning unit, it can quickly create mold or mildew within your system. Your heating system can provide dryness and temperature that prevents these issues throughout the colder seasons. Unlike your heater, your AC system can quickly foster the growth of harmful bacteria. This will create an unpleasant smell that is then distributed throughout your home. 

Solution: HVAC Care

If you notice a mold or mildew smell, make sure you call your HVAC expert for care. Not only will this produce an unwanted smell, but this issue can also impact the air quality in your home or business.

Prevention: Regular Maintenance

By engaging in regular HVAC maintenance (comfort contracts) you can prevent this issue with annual care. Your HVAC experts will ensure that your system is clean and ready for safe operation. 

Problem 2: Ventilation Issues

Issues with your ventilation system can also produce a moldy smell. Without proper filtration of air, you can distribute dust or moisture throughout your home or business. These can also cause air quality issues in addition to the unpleasant smell.

Solution: Air Filter Change and Ventilation Service

Regular air filter changes are important to not only remove these smells but also to protect your HVAC system from damage. If a mold or mildew issue has already occurred due to lack of ventilation, your HVAC expert will help you get this issue resolved. If your building does not have a proper ventilation system, consult an expert HVAC company in your area to get one installed. new air filters in Raleigh

Prevention: Regular Air Filter Changes and Ventilation Care

It is essential that you have a solid ventilation method in place and that you complete the recommended schedule for air filter changes. Your filter change schedule depends on the type of air filter you buy, any pets that you may have in your home, and the number of people living in your home. Annual HVAC care will also include regular checks, which can help prevent ventilation issues. 

Problem 3: Pest Problem

Your HVAC system can attract critters trying to escape the rain, hot temperatures, cold weather, or other harsh outdoor conditions. Once inside your system, these critters may have a hard time escaping or they may choose to make their new home inside of your unit. You will notice a pest problem if your HVAC is producing a strong rotting smell.

Solution: Pest Control

The best solution when this happens is to call a pest control expert. They will work with you to remove the unwanted visitors (whether it be an animal escaping the outdoors or invasive bugs). Getting rid of the pests producing the smell will clear the air in your home.

Prevention: Home Sealing

Home sealing is an easy way to prevent unwanted visitors from entering your home. During this process, your efficiency expert will detect and seal the openings in your home or office structure. Not only will this improve your efficiency and reduce your energy bills, but it can also help you keep unwanted pests out of your building. 

Problem 4: Sitting Water

Your air conditioner requires proper drainage in order to operate effectively and efficiently. When your air conditioner becomes clogged, it may no longer drain water from your system. This can leave water sitting in your unit. You will notice this problem if your air conditioner becomes less effective and produces an unusual smell. 

Solution: Air Conditioning Drainage

The solution to this ac issue is pretty straightforward. A professional will remove debris blocking your air conditioning unit and drain out the excess water. If your AC continues to try to work through the blockage and the sitting water, it can become strained or damaged. Turn off your system and call an expert for prompt care to get rid of the smell and get your unit running as normal. 

Prevention: AC Care

Regular air conditioning care can prevent your unit from becoming blocked. You might also consider clearing leaves and other debris from on and around your unit. This can prevent blockage from getting blown into your system during a storm. 

Problem 5: Gas or Fluid Leak

An exhaust fluid leak or gas leak in your system can create concerning smells indicative of a serious issue. Your exhaust system is designed to keep your air cleaner, but if damage causes exhaust fluid to leak, it will create an exhaust-like smell. A skunk-like smell can usually be traced to a gas leak. You might have natural gas leaking entering your home through your HVAC system, which can appear with a smell or unscented. 

Solution: Emergency Care

Each of these issues requires immediate professional care. Emergency HVAC specialists are on standby 24/7 and can address your concerns at the first signs of an issue. You should also evacuate your home until it is deemed completely safe. 

Prevention: Regular Care and Inspections 

To protect you against dangerous issues with gas leaks, it is important that your carbon monoxide detector is always working. Regular HVAC care can prevent these gas and fluid leaks from occurring. 

Problem 6: Burned Out Parts

If you notice a burning smell coming from your HVAC system, you might have a motor burning out or another piece at the end of its lifespan. This will also likely (but not always immediately) impact your unit’s function.

Solution: HVAC Repair or Replacement

First, be sure to turn your unit off and call an HVAC expert. Depending on the needed replacement and the damage done to your unit, an HVAC specialist will first try to save you a buck and see if the unit can be repaired. If they think a repair will be unattainable or more costly for you, they will work with you on replacement instead. HVAC Service professional

Prevention: HVAC Care

While every unit and HVAC piece has a limited lifespan, proper care can keep your unit and all of its pieces working for as long as possible. Early detection and preventative maintenance is key to avoiding large issues like this and keeping your air conditioning system running as it should. 

Newcomb and Company – Your Raleigh HVAC Experts

If you are experiencing a smell or issue with your HVAC system, contact the experts at Newcomb and Company today! Our professionals provide quick and reliable HVAC service to homes and businesses throughout Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Garner, Clayton, Wilmington, and beyond. Schedule an appointment with Newcomb and Company to get started today!

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