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The Best Fix For A New Air Conditioner That Smells

The Best Fix For A New Air Conditioner That Smells

Who wouldn’t like to enjoy a refreshing breeze in the comfort of their home when the temperature rises? Suddenly, something dampens the atmosphere; there is an unidentified odor. You track out the source of the scent, which is your just installed air conditioner. Do not worry; we will address the root cause and possible solutions.

There are several causes of the strange odor coming from your air conditioner. The scents you may notice when your air conditioner isn’t working properly are listed below, along with their causes:

  • “Rotten egg” sulfur odor from a gas leak
  • Filter buildup due to cigarette smoke
  • Mold, mildew, and excessive humidity
  • Stagnant water within the air conditioner, gym socks, or smelly feet
  • Dead Body: Animal or pest carcass found inside your air conditioner.
  • sewer gas leak into the drain from sewage
  • Overheated plastic inside the air conditioner is causing a burning odor.
  • Extended air conditioning unit storage, which is prevalent in new units, has a plastic odor.
  • Leak of refrigerant in the car exhaust

Along with providing answers to frequently asked issues, we’ll also share some useful advice on how to enhance the efficiency of your air conditioner.

Reasons For The Odor Of Air Conditioners

The Best Fix For A New Air Conditioner That Smells

Odors are frequently indicators of potential health risks in your house. There’s a potential that the issue is not with your air conditioner, even if you might not be aware of it. The air conditioner amplified the stench to the point where it caught your notice, suggesting that there may already be a problem.

Here is a list of potential causes for an offensive-smelling air conditioner:

“Rotten Egg” Sulfur Smell
Don’t disregard this. A gas leak is usually the cause of a rotten egg stench, unless you have a nasty egg hiding someplace in your home. Gases are difficult to identify since they frequently have no odor or color. Mercaptan, which gives off a distinct rotten stench when added to gas, is added by manufacturers for safety reasons.

The color of plants changing to brown or orange-like is another indication of gas leakage. Since grasses and shrubs are sometimes the first plant types to change color, keep an eye on them. In the event of a rotten egg smell, take the following actions.

  1. Do not operate any electrical equipment. Switch off your circuit breakers right away.
  2. Don’t ignite a candle or a match. Put out any open flames that are nearby if you see them.
  3. Since gases are typically hazardous, open all doors and windows to let fresh air in.
  4. Offset the gas meter. Call the gas company and ask them to do it if you are unable to.
  5. Please order everyone inside the building to leave.
  6. Call the gas company and the fire department in your area. Request a gas line inspection and a welfare check on your neighbors.

Cigarette Smoke
Do you have a brand-new air conditioner and are perplexed by the tar-like odor it emits? Make an effort to recall if anyone in your home has lately smoked a cigarette. If so, the filter and evaporator coil of the air conditioner most likely become clogged with smoke.

The Best Fix For A New Air Conditioner That Smells

Changing the filter is the greatest answer to this problem. We’re sure you’ve experienced being close to a smoker and having the scent of cigarettes linger, don’t we?

Usually, bathing and changing clothes are the only ways to get rid of the smell. The same is true for your AC filter; switch it out with a new one, let the room air out, then turn the unit on and you’re good to go.

Filter replacement instructions are included in AC unit manuals. On the internet, there are other lessons like the one in the video down below. A professional’s advice is also available if you need a tune-up and extensive cleaning.

Mold and mildew may start to grow in your air conditioner’s system as a result of high humidity, wetness, and exposed dirt. Installing a whole-home dehumidifier that eliminates surplus moisture and disperses the condensate outside could help avoid this from happening.

The Best Fix For A New Air Conditioner That Smells

To help keep your condensation drain line and evaporator coils clean, schedule time to perform a full cleaning, fine-tuning, and bi-annual inspection.

If there is a mold infestation, you will see a greenish-black buildup on the ducts and pipes.

Smelly Feet Or Gym Socks
All air conditioners function by cooling off hot air. Tiny droplets of water condense as a result of this process and develop inside the air conditioner. Any standing water might encourage the growth of bacteria and fungi inside the air conditioner. If there is a mold issue, deep cleaning will eliminate the musty smell of feet.

Deceased Body
If your air conditioner is spanking new, this problem should be the last thing to blame because it is doubtful that an animal would have entered and perished within. Open your doors and windows for ventilation if this occurs for some reason, get in touch with your supplier, and request a replacement or refund.

If you have a pest issue at your home, get in touch with a reputable pest control business, and have them do any necessary repairs.

Due to a dry P-Trap, sewer gases will flow up from your drain. P-traps are made by manufacturers to prevent sewage gas from evaporating with water. Pour water down the drain to restore the water barrier in the P-trap in order to solve this issue.

If the issue continues, you might have a broken sewer vent pipe or a clogged sewer line. Make an appointment with your plumber to fix it. Because sewage gas is poisonous, continuous exposure can cause major health issues.

Burning Odor
Something is undoubtedly burning if you can smell it. Overheated plastic in electrical components, whether overheating motors or poor cabling, is the most frequent cause of this mysterious odor. Whatever the source, turn off your circuit breaker right away.

If you smell gun powder, your air conditioner is short-circuiting. Additionally, the scent of rotten eggs or fish may occasionally come from burning plastics.

Plastic Aroma
Most new appliances, including air conditioners, have a plastic-like odor. The scent of plastic is a result of the item spending a lot of time in storage. The smell normally goes away in one to two weeks and isn’t strong enough to be harmful.

Remove the unit from its packaging, and then leave it in a well-ventilated room for a week. Wait till the plastic odor starts to fade as the days go by.

Keep in mind that a burning plastic smell differs from a plastic aroma. Burning plastic gives out a fishy, slightly disagreeable smell, whilst the first has a more bearable and offensive smell.

Car Exhaust
Electricity, not an internal combustion engine, powers air conditioners. It therefore has no justification for smelling like automobile exhaust. However, when heated, refrigerant cooling liquid may have an exhaust-like odor. This odor suggests that your refrigerant line may be leaking, which would impair the efficiency of your air conditioner.

The most often used refrigerant is freon. Seek professional assistance if there is a leak since it should be swiftly stopped. Both people and the environment can be endangered by freon.

Precautions To Take Before DIY

Even if hiring a pro could set you back several hundred dollars, it’s far safer and preferable to do so than to DIY an electrical component while working blindly. You shouldn’t tamper with the AC system because a small mistake could result in an electrical shock.

These suggestions may be useful if you believe you can repair the issue with your AC unit.

  • Have a helper waiting to help you with the repair.
  • Double-check that you have read the operation manual.
  • Use the appropriate tools for the job.
  • The most important advice is to shut off the main power to the air conditioner and to put on personal safety gear.

Do Not Cover Up the Odor

Avoid using air fresheners, perfumes, or scented candles to mask unpleasant odors. You want your house to smell good, yet you’re only causing more harm. It will be impossible to breathe because of the aromatics combined with the offensive odor coming from your air conditioner. This could later result in allergies, asthma, or nausea.

Pay attention to the situation at hand and spare yourself any potential health issues. Your AC will only suffer further harm if you put off needed repairs. If you feel like it, you could wish to purchase a brand-new AC unit.


Both newly installed and older air conditioners need routine cleaning and maintenance. By doing this, you’ll make sure that your air conditioner operates smoothly and with excellent performance.

As they say, prevention is always preferable to treatment. You may extend the useful years of any appliance and avoid expensive repairs with tune-ups and inspections.

The Best Fix For A New Air Conditioner That Smells

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Written by HVAC Contributor

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