A woman blowing her nose in a living room, possibly due to a cold or allergies.

Air Conditioning Smells Not to Ignore

Arizona summers are full of blazing sunshine, poolside lounging, and the sweet relief of cranking up the AC. But what if your air conditioner’s cool breeze is accompanied by an unwelcome odor? Certain smells can signal trouble brewing in your AC unit. Here’s a guide to Arizona AC odors that warrant turning off your system and calling your local professional HVAC company.

Burning Rubber or Plastic:

This pungent odor is a red flag. It indicates overheating electrical components, a malfunctioning motor, or a burning fan blade. Continued use can lead to serious damage and even fire hazards. Shut off your AC at the breaker and call an HVAC technician immediately.

Musty or Mildew:

This is a common complaint in Arizona, especially when first firing up the AC after the cooler months. The culprit? Moisture build-up in your air conditioner’s drain pan and lines. This damp environment is a breeding ground for mold and mildew, leading to that unpleasant “dirty sock” smell. While not an immediate fire hazard, it can worsen allergies and irritate respiratory issues. Regular cleaning and professional HVAC system maintenance can prevent this.

Sweet, Chemical Scent:

This could be a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant is the coolant that keeps your AC humming. Leaks not only compromise cooling efficiency but can also pose health risks. This odor requires immediate attention from a qualified technician.

Dead Animal:

Yes, you read that right. Unfortunately, critters like rodents can crawl into your AC unit seeking refuge from the heat, only to meet an unfortunate end. The resulting smell is unmistakable. Turn off your AC, open windows for ventilation, and call a pest control company followed by a local HVAC technician to remove the deceased critter and ensure proper cleaning.

Stale or Stuffy Air:

This might not be a burning-electrical-components kind of problem, but it’s still an issue. A lack of fresh air circulation within your AC system can lead to stale, stuffy air. This could be caused by clogged air filters, dirty ducts, or improper ventilation. Regular filter changes, professional duct cleaning, and ensuring proper airflow throughout your home can combat this.

Call Bruce’s:

Remember, ignoring unusual air conditioning smells can lead to more significant problems down the road. By being familiar with these warning signs and taking prompt action, you can ensure your Valley of the Sun home stays cool, comfortable, and most importantly, safe. Call your experts today at Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating at 480-968-5652 to schedule your appointment.