Four Reasons Your Air Conditioner Smells

Do you detect an unusual smell each time you turn your air conditioner on? If so, don't pass the smell off as normal. When an A/C unit produces a smell, there is almost always an underlying concern causing the problem. Learn about some of the common causes of air conditioner odors, so that you can correct the problem. 

Dirty Filter

The filter on an A/C unit comes in contact with all sorts of substances, including certain odor-causing bacteria. When the screen is clean, many of the odor-causing particles remain trapped within the mesh fibers. However, when the filter is clogged, some of the odorous particles slip through and make their way into the air inside your home. As a result, each time you turn the A/C on, you detect the smell. Repairing a dirty filter is as simple as cleaning the screen or replacing it. 

Molded Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils are responsible for removing the moisture from the hot air that comes into the unit from the outside. Since the coils are a moisture removal tool, it's only natural that some moisture will collect around the coils. However, the problem arises when too much moisture accumulates. The extra moisture creates the ideal environment for mold to form. As the air passes over the molded coils, particles from the mold get into the air and flow right into your home. The result is a mildew-like scent. 

Clogged Condensation Line

The condensation line and evaporator coils work hand-in-hand. The role of the condensation line is to collect the extra moisture that falls from the coils and safely drain it away. Sometimes, the condensation line can get clogged. When this mishap occurs, the extra moisture has no place to collect. Even if there isn't any excess water on the coils, the excess water near the drain can lead to mold growth. These mold particles can also attach to the air that passes over the coils and spread into your home. 

Motor Damage

The motor is the heart of an air conditioner unit. When the motor starts to fail, all sorts of unusual activity happen. If you detect a burning smell every time you turn your air conditioner on, it could be that the motor is failing. If the motor is overheating, it can produce a burning scent that will quickly spread through your home. If you detect this scent, you may need an ac replacement installed.

If you don't know why your air conditioner is smelling, that's fine. What's more important is that you contact a professional to have the unit inspected and repaired or replaced.