AC Smells Bad When Turned On

If you’ve ever turned on your air conditioner on a hot and humid Florida day only to be greeted with a bad smell wafting from the air vents, we feel your pain.

No matter where you go in your house there is no escape. That potent odor follows you around as it wafts through your air conditioning system. It doesn’t matter how many candles you burn or air fresheners you spray, you just can’t squash that vile scent.

This is something that many homeowners have had to deal with, but luckily, ridding your air conditioning system of bad smells is typically an easy fix.

Learn what causes your air conditioning system to smell bad when turned on and what you can do about it here.

What Causes Air Conditioners To Smell Bad?

There are a few factors that can cause your air conditioning system to smell bad, but here are most common:

1. Excess Moisture in the Air Vents

Moisture can wreak havoc on your air conditioning system in more ways than one. Because Florida is almost always humid, excess moisture can easily build up in the air vents in your home.

When the water sits for long periods of time, mold can form. As a result, when your air conditioning system kicks on and blows air over the mold, the scent of mildew can waft through your home.

2. Clogged Drain Line

Every air conditioning system will produce condensation as it cycles. This condensation builds up and should drain to the outside of your home via the drain line and into the drain pan.

As time goes on, the drain line and drain pan can clog and cause water to accumulate. This turns into a cesspool of mold, mildew, and bacteria.

As mold grows in your air conditioning system, the smell can waft through your home. Luckily, this problem can be easily remedied by unclogging the drain pan and/or drain line.

The best solution is to call an AC technician to unclog your drain.
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3. Oversized Air Conditioner

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to the size of your air conditioning system. If your AC system is too large for your home, it can short cycle.

This means your air conditioning system will essentially cool your home too quickly, resulting in short air conditioning cycles.

While this might not seem like a bad thing, if your AC is able to cool down your house too fast, then the dehumidifier won’t have time to run. After all, air conditioners don’t just cool your home, they dehumidify too.

When your air conditioner doesn’t have time to properly remove excess moisture, it sits in the ductwork and can result in mold growth that can cause a nasty mildew smell.

If you’re not sure if your system is the right size, call your local HVAC techs for a consultation.

4. Dirty Cooling Coils

Your air conditioner cools your home by blowing air over the condensers cooling coils. If these coils are dirty with bacteria, mildew or other pollutants, the air will pick up these nasty smells. Your air conditioner will blow this stinky air all throughout the house, giving your home a stale and moldy odor.

5. Poor Air Filtration System

Your air filters prevent pollutants from the outside from reaching your house. However, if there is something wrong with this system or you neglect to change your filters, foul smells may fill your home. Try changing your air filters, or call in a professional HVAC technician to check on your filtration system.

6. Dead Critter

It’s not uncommon for a poor raccoon or bird to meet its untimely demise inside your ductwork or vents. However, it is far more common for an animal to die in your walls or attic. This decaying smell gets carried around by the air conditioner, so many assume that the unfortunate creature is in their AC. If you think a dead animal may be stinking up your home, call in a professional to investigate.

Contact Climate Design for AC Repair in Clearwater, FL

At Climate Design, our team of HVAC professionals provides quick and efficient air conditioning repairs. If your air conditioning system smells bad when turned on, we want to help.

Contact us today to learn more about our quality repair services and be sure to ask about our maintenance program to keep your AC running smoothly year round.

When you have a bad smell coming from your air conditioner, don’t wait. Call Climate Design today. That musty smell could be harmful mold, making your air unsafe and damaging your house. Trust the experienced technicians at Climate Design to find and eliminate whatever HVAC odor is causing you woe.

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