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Air Conditioner Smells Bad When Turned On? Causes and Fixes

Air Conditioner smells bad when turned on? We will explain it in this article. After completing the work in the very warm and restless outdoors, we return home hoping for a feeling of relief. In this situation, before sitting comfortably and relaxing, we all enjoy turning on the air conditioner. But imagine in such a case if you turn on the air conditioner, and it smells awful, how would you feel? It would be a horrible experience, wouldn’t it? So we must consider what the reasons are for this issue.

In this case, you can find a solution to this problem by checking it yourself or contacting a technician. If you are doing this on your own, the evaporator coil can be inspected for mold growth by removing the access panel on the indoor unit cabinet. As this is a very thorough job, it is preferred that an HVAC technician be involved in this task.

Usually, HVAC technicians will fix the problem. Most of the time, they will use some appropriate cleaners to clean the coils and fix the problem. But in addition to this reason, many other reasons can cause the problem of air conditioner smells terrible when turned on.

The smell may also vary depending on the problem with the AC. Therefore, it is possible to come to some idea about the problem that has arisen according to the smell. We can categorize them as follow.

  1. Smells like an exhaust pipe of a vehicle.
  2. Smells like a gun powder
  3. Smells like a rotten egg
  4. Smells like a leakage of gas.
  5. Smells like a mold
  6. Smells like cigarette smoke

According to this, we can see that the different technical faults may occur in AC units related to these distinct smells. The cause of these various smells can be minor and major technical errors. By having basic knowledge about this, many technical errors can be avoided. Another advantage is that here you can get an idea of what problems require professional advice.

Why Air Conditioner Smells Bad When Turned On?

There can be many reasons for this. Sometimes those reasons can be a thing we don’t even think about. But it is very important for us to have at least a minimum knowledge of equipment and machinery in a home or workplace. Especially using equipment like Ac without proper maintenance can even cause serious health problems. Let us now consider some of the main causes of these problems.

A chemical odor coming from the AC

The main reason for such a smoky smell coming from the AC is probably a refrigerant leak. Freon can be pointed out as an example of a refrigerant. These types of refrigerants improve air conditioning performance, but inhaling too much of them can result in health problems.

These types of refrigerants improve air conditioning performance, but inhaling too much of them can result in health problems. In such a situation, the best thing to do is to turn off the system and contact a professional who can deal with it.

Obstructions in the drain line

These problems can be mainly caused by the growth of microorganisms such as algae, mold and bacteria. These drain lines are specially designed to remove excess moisture. But due to various reasons, there are many chances of a bad smell coming out due to blockage of these. In such a situation, many health problems can be prevented by following professional advice.

Not replacing air filters properly

Air filters generally remove small dust particles from the air. Therefore, it is an essential process to replace and maintain it properly and systematically. Due to the air filters not being properly maintained, the AC may smell bad when switched on

Stagnant water remaining in the drain pan 

Due to the blockage of the drain line, water can accumulate in them and cause stagnation. In this case, the increase in microbial growth and its residual water can cause a bad smell. Because of that, it’s necessary to clean those stagnant waters regularly. It can do with a dry towel or something like that. If not, it is best to consult a professional.

 Burning Smell

Most of the time, this situation occurs because the AC has been inactive for a long time. A burning smell like this is normal after an inactive period. But if this situation continues, it can be a serious problem. Therefore, if the condition persists for a long time, the best thing is to get it checked by professionals.

Issues in delivering ventilation air as part of the supply air

Deliver ventilation air as part of the supply air, commonly named the ducts. The damage to these ducts can be a reason for the bad smell all over your house. The main issue here is that cooling does not happen uniformly. It can be pointed out as the easiest feature to identify such a situation.

Doing AC repairs yourself can be dangerous. Since the operation of a machine like AC is mostly related to water, if you go for repairs without a proper understanding of it, electric shocks may also occur.

Therefore, the best thing is to get a person who has good skills in that profession to check it. The other thing to remember is that the smell emitted from an AC can cause health problems by inhaling too much.

If there is any smell coming from the AC, we think you can get some idea about it using this knowledge. Also, an action that some people do is to ignore a minor problem in machinery. But because of that, these minor problems can become serious problems. Therefore, it is very important to carry out maintenance work from time to time.

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