Air Conditioner Smells? This Is What Sarasota Homeowners Should Do

air conditioner smells Sarasota

An estimated 88% of US households use air conditioning to keep their homes cool. We rely on air conditioning to keep our environments comfortable, but what happens when your AC starts acting up?

Strange air conditioner smells are one of the warning signs that you may need repairs or replacement. If you notice odd odors, it may be time to look into the issue.

Here’s what Sarasota homeowners should know about unusual smells coming from an air conditioner.

What Are Common Air Conditioner Smells?

Different AC unit smells indicate different problems. Here are a few of the most common ones that people pick up on and what they mean.


If you detect a burning odor, it usually indicates damaged system components. It could be the electrical wiring, the compressor, the circuit board, the fan motor, etc.

When internal components overheat, you’ll smell it in the air. Turn off your system immediately and call an HVAC repair company. If the system catches fire, call 911 and leave your home.

Rotten Eggs

The smell of rotten eggs or sulfur is usually tied to natural gas, and it can indicate a gas leak. If your furnace uses natural gas, turn off the gas and call for an inspection.

Don’t use the air conditioning until you receive the all-clear.

Sweet Chemical Smells

If you smell an oddly sweet yet chemical-like odor, that’s a sign there’s something wrong with the refrigerant. More specifically, it’s likely a refrigerant leak.

Over time, the coils inside your system can break down, causing the chemical to leak out. If you smell this, schedule an HVAC repair before using your system again.

Moldy or Musty Smells

Air conditioners make the perfect environment for mold to grow. It’s dark and damp inside your system. Unfortunately, mold can cause health problems, like allergic reactions or asthma flare-ups.

Plus, a moldy-smelling home is anything but pleasant.

If the odor seems to come from your air conditioner, it’s usually due to a dirty drain line and drainage system. A clogged drain line is one of the most common maintenance issues homeowners face.


A vinegar-like scent can indicate many AC problems. You’ll want an HVAC tech to take a look at your system to pinpoint the cause.

Common issues include faulty electric motors, mold in the ductwork, dirty condensate pans or filters, condensation in the coils, etc.

You may need your system cleaned or have certain parts repaired or replaced. Special cleaning products designed for air conditioners contain enzymes that target and remove odors.

Keep Your Sarasota AC Running Efficiently

Detecting odd air conditioner smells usually means there’s something wrong with your system. Once you notice one of these odors, be sure to call a heating and cooling company for help.

At Schwartz Air Conditioning and Heating, we’ve been helping residents in the Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch areas for years. We’ll be happy to take a look at your system and get it back in running order.

Learn more about our services here, and schedule an appointment today.

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