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Does your air conditioner smell?

Bad air conditioner odors are among the most important issues that homeowners face. The trouble is that you would not be able to tell whether the scent is originating from your appliance, what kind of smell denotes what problem, or what Freon smells like.

In order to solve the issue, you must first educate yourself about it. The following blog discusses a few of the typical causes of odors coming from air conditioners. It might be anything, like the scent of a damp sock, the smell of anything burning, or even the smell of smoke.


An internal combustion engine does not power an air conditioner. Therefore, there is no justification for the stench of operating exhaust coming from your air conditioner. Your air conditioner does utilize certain fluids, though, and when those fluids are heated, they can have an exhaust-like odor.

A leak in your refrigerant line is most likely to blame for a scent like this coming from your air conditioner. Your air conditioner uses a refrigerant as a cooling agent, and a leak might affect how well it works. Additionally, it disperses pollutants into the atmosphere, endangering the ecosystem.

The refrigerant freon, a chlorofluorocarbon, is often used in air conditioners but is gradually being phased out. Heat from the interior air is absorbed by freon and discharged outdoors. But the environment may be seriously endangered. Therefore, if you think there could be a Freon leak, you should always exercise caution.

You must have wondered what Freon smells like whenever you read about a refrigerant leak.

A Freon leak would smell like sweet chloroform, or to put it another way, it would smell like the coolant in your car but sweeter. Although the gas is practically odorless, you may still smell it. However, because it is heavier than air, freon does not stay in the air for very long before falling to floor level pretty quickly.

Get your air conditioner checked out by a pro as soon as possible if it is creating a chemical-like odor. A licensed HVAC technician will quickly fix a Freon leak, which can be deadly.

Open the windows wide in the meantime to ensure proper ventilation in your home. This will stop any negative effects from the chemical leak as well as keep the odor outside.

Burning Parts

Your air conditioner has several electrical parts, including circuit boards, power lines, fans, and compressors.

Your air conditioner is likely burning one or more of these components if it smells like burning plastic or gunpowder. In this situation, immediately turn off your air conditioner and seek advice from a local expert to repair or replace your unit.

The scent of an air conditioner can also be caused by dust that collects within your unit after a prolonged period of inactivity. This dust can burn off and provide an unpleasant odor when switched on after being off for a while. There is no need for anxiety because this is simply transitory.

However, if the odor persists, the air conditioner begins to break down, or the odor is really strong, you must shut off your unit and call your neighborhood HVAC specialist immediately.

Trapped Animals

Dead rats or other animals that have become trapped in an air conditioner can sometimes cause it to smell bad or rancid. You cannot possibly mistake this fragrance for anything else since it is so distinctive and identifiable.

Your ductwork is a potential nesting or hiding place for birds and insects, who regrettably become entangled in the machinery.

These dying creatures eventually release foul odors. When you switch on your air conditioner, it could release a bad odor into your house. Animals that are dying or lodged inside of you might harm various organs and parts of your body.

If you have a ductless or central air conditioning system, it might occasionally happen that lizards or other animals enter your interior unit and cause discomfort.

To prevent such an unpleasant circumstance and having your air conditioner smell like a cadaver, it is necessary to always pest-proof your unit. You may either do this yourself or get a specialist to help you remove the deceased animal.

Locate the precise duct from which the odor is from, remove the cover with a screwdriver, and then carefully remove the carcass. If the deceased animal is hidden, it might be challenging. Keep a flashlight close at hand. Once removed, make sure the area is dry and gently wipe it clean. Checking your ductwork is advised to make sure nothing is broken and to seal any access spots.

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