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Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Bad? 4 Possible Reasons & How to Fix Them?

What does your air conditioner smell like? It could be the odor of mold or mildew, electrical burning, or something far more unpleasant. It may not be coming from your air conditioner itself but from somewhere else in your home – or outside of it. Please keep reading to determine where your air conditioner smells are coming from and how to fix them!

Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell? Possible Reasons

There are four possible reasons your air conditioner smells bad, and you’ll want to identify which one is causing your problem so you can figure out how to fix it.

  • You Have Mold Growing in Your Ducts: If you smell an unpleasant odor coming from your air conditioner, it’s probably mold or mildew. A musty smell may mean a build-up of dirt in your AC unit. A bleach-like odor could mean that there are bacteria inside, and a burning smell may be caused by ducts that are not insulated properly.
  • Your Filter is Dirty: If your air smells like dirt or mold, it might be because your filters need replacing or washing, which you should do every 2-3 months, depending on how often you use your AC system. The most common odor from old filters is a musty smell from mildew that can develop when excess moisture sits on top of an older filter.
  • You Have Pets At Home: Pets can create odors in any room of your house, but their scent lingers more in rooms with closed doors where air doesn’t circulate and others like kitchens or living rooms with open-air doors and windows all day long. If you have pets at home, especially dogs or cats, then there’s a good chance that their scents are building up in your HVAC system.
  • Mold is Growing Somewhere Else: Mold grows best in damp places where there isn’t enough airflow to dry it out quickly after getting wet. This means bathrooms with showers or tubs tend to get mold growth easily since the water stays there longer than anywhere else in a house before drying off completely. Leaky pipes under sinks or around faucets can cause mold to grow under cabinets. And if you keep your shoes on racks near a wall, those walls will likely collect moisture and start smelling like mildew over time.

How to Fix It?

  • It is important to change your filters regularly so that dust and allergens don’t build up inside of them, which could cause even worse smells than just having old ones.
  • Keeping air vents open will help dry them out and reduce mold growth to keep your home smelling fresher. The unit should also be kept free of any debris or plants growing near it.
  • Having your HVAC system professionally cleaned every year will go a long way toward preventing odors.
  • It’s also important to note that many manufacturers offer warranties for their products that cover repair or replacement if an HVAC system fails due to poor maintenance (including improper cleaning and regular inspection). So make sure you check what kind of warranty coverage you have before paying for professional cleaning services.
  • To get rid of pet smells in your vents, replace your filter monthly and clean out any hair built up on fan blades and coils by removing panels for cleaning or hiring someone to come out for professional duct cleaning services.

The most common cause of moldy-smelling AC is a lack of proper airflow. Your AC unit cannot properly cleanse itself without you maintaining its optimal running conditions (i.e., regularly cleaning out any leaves and debris that block up its ventilation grill). If you need help finding your air conditioning repair in Garland, TX, or HVAC Repair in Garland, call us: (214)584-4164.

You can also visit 
Miles Mechanical AC for more information about how we can serve you better. We’re here to help 24/7!