When your air conditioner acts up, you might hear odd noises or detect strange odors, and these provide clues to the cause of the problem. While an air conditioning repair service will use meters and gauges to check the parts to see what's wrong, you might guess at the problem by identifying the odor near your AC. Here are some odors you may smell around your air conditioner and what they could mean.
1. A Burning Odor Could Be Bad Wiring
A burning odor can be a sign of a serious AC problem. Bad wiring could cause a burning odor. The odor could also be caused by a burned-out motor, such as the condenser fan or compressor motor. Turn your AC off until the air conditioning repair service arrives if you smell burning so the compressor doesn't get damaged due to wiring or motor problems.
2. A Sweet Smell Could Be From A Refrigerant Leak
AC refrigerant has a sweet chemical odor. If you detect the smell of chemicals, call an air conditioning repair service to investigate. If refrigerant is leaking, your AC will stop working efficiently, and eventually, it won't be able to cool down your home. An air conditioning repair service will test the pressure in the refrigerant line to see if it's low, and if so, they will find the leaky area and repair it.
A refrigerant leak can be hazardous because refrigerant is harmful to breathe, and it's harmful to the environment. Try to not inhale the fumes when you get close to the condenser. Refrigerant leaks have to be repaired by a licensed contractor, so let an air conditioning repair service deal with repairing the line and filling the refrigerant.
3. A Musty Odor Could Come From A Drain Clog
A musty odor around the air handler indoors could mean there is a leak in the condensation drainage system. The evaporator coils pull moisture from the air, and this moisture drips into a pan and flows out of your house through the condensation drain. When the drain clogs, the water might spill on the floor and cause water damage that creates a musty odor.
An air conditioning repair service can clear out drain clogs, repair drip pans, or put in a new float switch when needed so the condensation drains normally. Cleaning out the drain line is usually done during the annual maintenance visit to prevent problems with drain clogs, but if a clog develops, call an AC repair service to fix the problem before you have to deal with water damage repair.