So, you are sitting in your living room asking yourself
“why does my air conditioner smell bad?”
Well, let me tell you.
A smelly air conditioner is not uncommon. There are a lot of things that can cause your air conditioner to smell bad.
Let’s start with identifying the odor.
The two most common odor complaints are smelly sock and rotten eggs.
When you get a big whiff of the air coming out of your vent’s, does it smell like mold/mildew/dirty socks or does it smell like you forgot to pick up the Easter eggs and they are rotting in your air vent?
Let’s tackle the dirty sock smell first.
The dirty sock smell is caused by mold or mildew in your system. The two places you could have mold or mildew at is in your ductwork or on your evaporator coil.
Dirty ducts can breed mold. It can get in there and spread.
The evaporator coil is the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. You have warm air blowing across damp coils. If dirt gets in there, mold and mildew can start breeding.
The other thing that can cause the dirty sock smell is a clogged drain line.
If your air conditioner drain gets clogged, the standing water can breed mold and bacteria. That odor will get sucked into your vents and distributed through your home.
How do I fix it?
If you smell dirty socks in your vents, you should first make sure it is not just dirty socks your kid stuffed in the air vent.
If your vents are sock free, check around your indoor HVAC unit. Look for water in the drain pan or around your system. If there is no water in the drain pan or around your unit, you probably do not have a clogged drain.
At this point, you will probably need to call a professional. The only way to be sure there is mold or mildew on the evaporator coil or inside your duct work is to visually inspect it.
Once there is confirmation of a mold or mildew presence, you will need to have it cleaned and identify the reason it formed in the first place. If you just clean it, it will come back.
Now on to the rotten egg smell.
If you smell rotten eggs in your home, first check to make sure all the Easer eggs were found. If it’s not an actual rotten egg, it’s probably a dead animal in your duct work or near your HVAC system.
Trouble shooting this is straight forward. The smell will be worse the closer you get to it. Find the vent that the smell is the worst. Then call a pest control specialist and point them in that direction.
Stinky air coming out of your vents is not only unpleasant but it is also unhealthy. If your air conditioner smells bad, you need to have a professional come out and fix the problem. Don’t breathe dirty air.