Your home’s central air conditioning system should please several of your senses. First and foremost, the refreshing air should appeal to your sense of touch. You may also see the thermostat set to the right temperature or hear the unit running smoothly. But a sense that is generally not part of the experience is the smell.
If there’s a strange or chemical-like smell coming from your air conditioning, it’s a sign there’s a problem such as a refrigerant leak, mold, or household chemicals getting drawn into the air handler.
Let’s take a deeper look at each of these off-putting scents.
A Moldy or Musty Smell
If you notice a moldy, musty, or ammonia scent coming from the unit or the air vents, it could be a sign that you have mold or mildew growing on your evaporator coil. Mold is especially concerning because the AC could be spreading dangerous spores throughout your home. Call an HVAC professional to inspect and clean the coil and ductwork.
A Sweet, Chemical Smell
This distinct smell can be described as ether or chloroform – and is a strong signal that you have a refrigerant leak in your air conditioning system. The refrigerant captures and transports heat and is part of a closed system, so it doesn’t run out over time. However, if there is damage or corrosion to the coils, refrigerant can leak out, hurting the AC’s performance and causing a potential health risk. Bring in an HVAC technician ASAP to fix the leak and recharge the refrigerant if needed.
The Smell of Cleaning Chemicals or Paint
Does the odd smell remind you of a household chemical or product? You may not be wrong. If products such as cleaners or paints are stored too close to the air handler unit, then fumes could be drawn in and blown throughout the home. To fix this scenario, make sure the containers are completely closed and move the products away from the air handler or into another space.
How to Keep Your Central Air Conditioning Working at Its Best
The best way to avoid a strange smell coming from your air conditioning system is to keep the unit well-maintained, change the air filters regularly, inspect and clean the outside unit, and call your HVAC contractor if you see, hear, or smell anything abnormal around your unit.
This means scheduling preventive maintenance services at least once a year when an HVAC technician can inspect and clean the coils, replace the filters, check for refrigerant leaks, and more. Preventive maintenance will help ensure your AC is running safely and efficiently, while also keeping your home’s air clean.
Change The Air Filters
HVAC experts recommend changing the air filter every one to three months. Although, if you have pets in your home or a family member suffers from allergies, it’s best to change the air filter every 30 days. A dirty or clogged filter can’t properly clean the air and could also lead to other AC problems such as reduced airflow or refrigerant leaks. Changing the air filter regularly will help remove dust, dirt, and other particles from your home’s air while also keeping the blower fan clean.
Keep The Area Around The Outside Unit Clean
Clear away any leaves, grass clippings, dirt, and other debris that has accumulated around your outside AC unit. Leaving this debris to accumulate could cause blockage or hinder its performance. Clear away the debris and keep it clean throughout the season when possible.
Alert Your HVAC Technician if You Spot, Smell, or Hear Anything Unusual
When you’re paying attention to the unit and checking it regularly, you can quickly alert your technician if there’s anything out of the ordinary. If you smell or hear something weird coming from your air conditioning system, contact an HVAC professional right away so they can diagnose and solve the issue faster before it becomes a bigger problem.
If you follow these simple steps and keep up with annual preventive maintenance services, then you can rest assured that any chemical smell coming from your AC will be quickly identified and resolved. You’ll also have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home is safe, clean, and comfortable all year round.
When to Call an HVAC Professional
Whenever there’s an unusual smell coming from your air conditioning, it’s better to address rather than ignore the issue. If you live in the Evansville area, that means calling the friendly, experienced team at Baylor Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. We’ll pinpoint the source of the stench and fix it right away so you can go back to enjoying your AC. Call us today at 812.425.8435.