In order to be comfortable in the Arizona heat, AC systems are often frequently run around the clock. Concern can arise when there is a problem with an AC unit. One of the most common complaints is unusual smell that comes with the problem. Below are explanations for four unique odors and what causes them.
- Stale Mildew Scent – AC units often produce a mildew scent. The cool equipment mixed with the heat of the outside air causes the formation of condensation. Mold develops in the warm, damp environment of an airconditioning unit. The smell of mold is carried throughout your home from the forced air. This also can produce a health concern for you and your family as you breath the mold infested air. Common signs of air contamination include fatigue, headaches, or respiratory issues. If these symptoms improve after you leave your home, contact an HVAC specialist for an in-depth inspection.
- Hot Electrical Smell – A common sign of an electric problem with your system is the scent of something overheating. These scents can range from a sweet smell to a fishy odor, but are commonly caused by overheated plastic components. To prevent the risk of an electrical fire, you should contact a professional immediately upon smelling anything overheating. If you discover that your AC unit does not have any damaged pieces, inspect all other electrical components of your home. The AC unit may be cycling the smell throughout your home.
- Chemical Odors – In order for an AC unit to work properly, it needs to use refrigerants for the cooling and oil for the compressors. If there is a leak inside of your equipment, your home will have a detectable chemical aroma. These odors are similar to the smell of vehicle exhaust and in other instances, may smell slightly sweet.
- Rotten Egg Odors – The scent of rotten eggs or sulfur is typically a sign of a natural gas leak. This smell has nothing to do with your air conditioning equipment or system itself. Your air conditioner is cycling natural gas through your home as a leak has occurred. A natural gas leak is an emergency and the gas company along with the fire department should be notified immediately.