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Imagine it’s a sweltering Louisiana day, and you just want to relax at home with your air conditioner on blast. But you start noticing this horrendous smell from your air conditioning unit. When an HVAC system works correctly, there should be no reason it’s making a smell. Air conditioner odor is common and easily fixable in most cases, but depending on the sign, it could be a severe chemical leak. 

Luckily for you, Reggie Broussard’s Air Conditioning and Heating are made up of only expertly trained HVAC technicians and can be the team your family relies on for residential air conditioning in Houma, LA, and the surrounding areas. We specialize in AC repair and even offer ductwork services to make your home air distribution top-notch. Let’s learn more about why your air conditioner smells funny and how to fix it. 

5 Most Common Reasons Why Your HVAC Smells Funny

Smelling something funny coming from your HVAC system can be disconcerting, especially if you don’t know the source of the smell. There are many reasons why your unit may be giving off an unpleasant odor, but these five are some of the most common ones:

1. Unburned Fuel

If you smell something reminiscent of gasoline, it could be a sign that your furnace is emitting unburned fuel. This could be caused by various issues, from a cracked heat exchanger to incorrect air and gas mixture settings. This tends to smell like rotten eggs, so it’s safe to say that it won’t go unnoticed. Natural gas tends to have a more sulfur-like odor; it’s best to manage it immediately as it can be hazardous in large quantities.

2. Musty, Mildew Odor

If you’re noticing odors similar to dirty socks or an abandoned laundromat, this could be a sign that mold or mildew may be responsible. This smell often indicates mold or mildew buildup in your air ducts or evaporator coil. Musty odors typically come from mold or mildew growth inside the air ducts, which can happen in humid climates or when the water has gotten into the system. This can occur if the system is not properly serviced and cleaned or if a water leak has gone unnoticed. 

3. Burning Dust

If you smell something like burning dust, it could result from accumulated dirt and debris on your blower motor or furnace heat exchanger. This common problem can be easily remedied by cleaning out your system. A fresh and clean air filter allows for proper airflow, meaning that dirt, dust, and other debris cannot collect in your system. However, as these particles accumulate, they can cause musty odors to develop over time.

To avoid this, routinely replace your air filters and keep your HVAC system clean and well-maintained. Additionally, consider using a filter designed to reduce odors like baking soda or charcoal.

4. Refrigerant Leak

Smelling something like a sweet or musty chemical could indicate a refrigerant leak in your air conditioning unit. This serious issue should be fixed as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your system. Aside from the smell, other clues that hint towards a refrigerant leak include hissing sounds from your unit while running, ice crystals forming along the vent, and increased energy bills. 

5. Ammonia Leak

This distinct smell makes it very noticeable and detectable; if you’re starting to smell an odor similar to cat pee, you could be dealing with an ammonia leak. A faulty refrigerant line or condenser usually causes an ammonia leak, and it’s essential to have these components inspected regularly to ensure that all parts are in good condition. This results from mold not being taken care of and has now released mycotoxins into the air through your ducts. 

If ammonia fumes are present, contacting an HVAC technician is essential, as ammonia leaks can cause serious health problems. 

How Do I Get Rid of the Smell in My Air Conditioner?

The first step in removing an unpleasant smell from your air conditioner is to clean the unit thoroughly. Remove the front panel and visually inspect for any signs of mold buildup or debris. If you can’t locate a visual source, mold or bacteria has likely built up inside your air conditioner’s cooling coils or drain pan. In this case, it’s best to call a professional technician to avoid inhalation of any more chemicals. 

At Reggie Broussard’s Air Conditioning and Heating, our residential air conditioning services in Houma, LA, include inspecting the unit thoroughly to identify the source of the smell, cleaning or replacing various components as needed, and suggesting preventive maintenance measures to prevent future odors from occurring. Our experienced technicians can identify the source of the smell and provide solutions to eliminate it quickly and effectively. We understand that odors from your air conditioning system can be unpleasant and distracting, and we’re here to help.

Fix Your Air Conditioner Today!

Reggie Broussard’s Air Conditioning and Heating offers professional air conditioning repair services to help you keep your home or office comfortable. We are experienced in all repairs, from minor maintenance jobs to major overhauls. Our technicians can diagnose the problem and quickly work to restore your system’s operation. We use only the latest technology, so you can be assured that we have the skill and knowledge to fix your air conditioner quickly and efficiently. We also offer 24/7 emergency services, so you know that the repair job can be done whenever needed. 

Don’t let the summer heat get in your comfort; call Reggie Broussard’s Air Conditioning and Heating today for fast and reliable AC repair in Morgan City, LA. We look forward to hearing from you!