bad smell coming from ac

Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Bad When Turned On?

When an air conditioner produces an odor along with cool air, your home will no longer be a comfortable place to rest and relax. AC smells can be caused by a variety of factors, including dirt, mold, mechanical malfunctions, moisture, pests, and more. If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, it’s important to take action right away. Poston Brothers Heating and Cooling can find the source of a smelly air conditioner and fix the underlying cause quickly. Learn the reasons behind common ac smells and what to do when you notice them.

Why Your Air Conditioner Smells Bad When Turned On

If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, there could be something in the system that shouldn’t be there, or a normal part of the system may not be working correctly. Some air conditioner smells can be resolved quickly on your own, while others will require the help of a trained HVAC technician to conquer.

Here are some of the most common odors reported when your central air conditioner smells bad when turned on, and their causes.

Lingering Household Odors

Cigarette smoke, pet hair, cooking aromas, cleaners, and more – these things can all stay behind in your home, hiding in your air conditioning equipment instead of being expelled outdoors as exhaust. These particles become trapped in the system and produce an unpleasant odor whenever the cooling system runs.

These particles commonly become trapped in a dirty air filter or on a filthy evaporator coil. Regular maintenance and air filter replacements can help prevent this reason why your air conditioner smells bad when turned on. Whenever you notice these smells, perform some cleaning to your ac unit right away to eliminate them. The air filter should be replaced as needed, which can be every 1 to 12 months depending on the model and your home. The evaporator coil should be cleaned every 6 to 12 months.

Moldy, Stinky Feet Smells

If your ac smells musty, it’s likely that mold or mildew is growing somewhere in the system. Mold commonly grows within the ducts or on the evaporator coil of the indoor unit.

If your home air conditioner smells like stinky feet when turned on, this could also indicate mold or mildew growth too. This usually means that there is water trapped in the system somewhere, which can lead to the growth of mold and mildew. The drain pan may be full of stagnant water and the condensate drain system clogged.

  • Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove standing water from the drip pan. Clean the drip pan with bleach or vinegar to prevent further mold growth.
  • Remove materials clogging drain lines using a garden hose, long wire, cleaning brush, or another household tool. If you are unable to clear the line, call a heating and cooling company to make the repair.

A Foul, Rotten Smell

Homeowners often complain that the air conditioner smells bad when turned on before discovering a pest or vermin infestation in their home. Insects and small critters can access your home from outside and chew through materials to infiltrate the ducts. Rodent and bug droppings, a dead animals, and other pest matter cause odors. Commonly the area where they nested is typically the source of the odor that makes a strong air conditioner smell.

Have a pest control provider inspect the system and treat any active infestations. In addition to addressing any pests, it’s also important to have your ducts cleaned and check your air conditioning unit for signs the pests accessed these areas. Make repairs to vent covers and other exterior barriers to prevent access into your HVAC system.

Burning or Electrical Odors

One of the most common reasons an air conditioner smells bad when turned on is because of overheating components. Electrical odors can be caused by several different components, including circuit boards, fans, blower motors, compressors, and more. An air conditioner burning smell or an electrical odor can go hand in hand with damage and the need for replacement. If you’re noticing a burning smell, call an HVAC technician to make the necessary repairs right away to prevent as much damage as possible to your air conditioner unit and the impacted parts. 

Chemical Smells

When noticing an air conditioner smell that is sweet, chemical-like odors are commonly caused by a refrigerant leak. If you’re experiencing a sweet chemical odor similar to chloroform or ether, it’s likely due to coolant escaping the system. The best way to get rid of this smell is to ventilate the home. This will help to prevent exposure and toxicity. Call your heating and cooling company, as an HVAC technician must find the refrigerant leak, make repairs, and refill the system with the proper volume of refrigerant.

AC Repairs in Burlington, KY

If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, the cooling system may need repairs. Call the Poston Brothers Heating & Cooling team to make an appointment for air conditioning system repair today.

Heat Pump vs Air Conditioner: Which is Best for My Home?

When replacing heating and cooling equipment, it can be difficult to decide whether to install a heat pump or an air conditioner in your home. Both HVAC appliances have their pros and cons, and the best option for each homeowner will depend on specific needs, preferences, and budget. Poston Brothers Heating & Cooling breaks down the basic similarities and differences between heat pump vs air conditioner units so you can make an informed decision about which one you’d like to use.

What Is an Air Conditioner?

Air conditioners are the most common cooling systems in the world. Split system central air conditioners use an outdoor air conditioning unit connected to an indoor furnace or air handler. They work by taking the warm air inside the house and moving that heat outdoors to be released into the atmosphere. This process is facilitated by refrigerant that cycles between the indoor and outdoor coils.

What Is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a split heating and cooling system that transfers heat from one area to another. An outdoor heat pump unit connects via refrigerant lines to an indoor air handling unit.

The heat pump can cool a space by removing heat from the home just like an air conditioner does. The big differentiator between a heat pump and an air conditioner is that a heat pump can also heat a space, which an air conditioner cannot do. The heat pump isn’t just a cooling system, it can also operate in reverse, moving heat energy from the outdoor air to the indoor air supply, supplying warm air to the home. Heat pumps are known for their convenience as an HVAC system that can both heat and cool a home in one unit. Air conditioners can only produce cold air, so they need to be paired with a furnace to create warm air in the winter. The air conditioner uses the furnace’s blower and the indoor cooling coil is housed in this cabinet, but the two systems operate separately.

Heat Pump vs Air Conditioner – Which Is Right for My Home?

Making the call on a heat pump and an air conditioner can be difficult, as both system types have some major similarities. Often, it comes down to the subtle but real differences found in a heat pump vs an air conditioner and how these elements apply to a homeowner’s situation.

Do You Need Heating and Cooling, or Just Cooling?

When deciding between a heat pump vs air conditioner debate is basically null when it comes to each system’s cooling abilities, as they function the same way. You can check out their SEER rating, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, to see how efficiently specific units perform. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the cooling system. The heat pump efficiency when cooling a home is much better than central air conditioning systems. 

If you need a heating system for your home, a heat pump is your only choice for heat pump vs an air conditioner. The ability to reverse operation is what makes the heat pump so versatile—it can be used to cool or heat any space, whereas most other HVAC systems serve one function only. The heating efficiency of heat pumps is measured by HSPF, or Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. With mild winters in Kentucky, heat pumps typically offer highly efficient heating. However, when outdoor temperatures drop too low some heat pumps can struggle to be energy efficient. Many homeowners use heat pump systems most for cold air and pair their HVAC system with a gas furnace as a heating system. This is a smart solution for heating efficiency in the cold winter months. 

What’s Your Budget?

Overall, heat pumps tend to have higher installation costs. The indoor air handler is typically more affordable than a furnace, but the outdoor heat pump unit can cost more than an air conditioner. One of the major benefits of a heat pump is that it can also act as an air conditioner, so you don’t have to buy two separate units. If you need a solution for heating and cooling, purchasing a heat pump may be the more cost-effective choice. For cooling only, an air conditioner is more affordable.

HVAC Installation in Burlington, KY

If you’ve chosen a side in the heat pump vs air conditioner debate, it’s time for HVAC installation! Call Poston Brothers Heating & Cooling today and request an estimate for heat pump installation or air conditioning installation in your home.

The Importance of Indoor Air Quality

When it comes to air quality issues, many people think about smog and outdoor air pollution as well as the effects it can have on our bodies. In reality, indoor air pollution issues are a much bigger threat, yet lots of homeowners in the Burlington, KY area aren’t aware of this. Poston Brothers Heating & Cooling share the importance of indoor air quality and how good air quality can decrease bothersome allergy and asthma symptoms this spring.

Importance of Indoor Air Quality for Homes

Pollution has long been promoted as an outdoor issue, but more recently information has become available regarding indoor pollutant levels. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air inside a home or building can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air.

Why does indoor air harbor more pollution than outdoor air? Outdoor air flows with the breeze and the weather which dilutes the concentration of various contaminants. Inside, there just isn’t the same level of air movement. Today’s homes often lack the needed ventilation to continuously remove indoor air, which is often heavily polluted. Many homes have inadequate ventilation which restricts air movement. There needs to be a proper air exchange rate met to help get enough outdoor air inside and cycle the air carrying indoor air pollutants outside.

The importance of indoor air quality really comes into play when we discuss exposure. Exposure to indoor air pollution is what puts people at risk for health symptoms and issues. The average American spends 90 percent of their day indoors. Indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Those of us who are most susceptible to health issues caused by exposure to certain airborne contaminants are more likely to spend an even greater portion of time indoors.

Poor indoor air quality often leads to health problems, and many indoor pollutants make certain health issues, like allergies, worse. Allergens build up inside a home, exposing allergy and asthma sufferers to more of their triggers so they are more likely to suffer symptoms. Even in healthy people, exposure to high indoor air pollutants can lead to health side effects like runny noses, headaches, fatigue, and more. Long-term exposure to certain indoor air pollutants has been linked to the development of cancer and respiratory diseases.

Fight Spring Allergies with Good Indoor Air Quality

People who have asthma or suffer allergies are no strangers to the importance of indoor air quality. The amount of indoor air quality pollutants found in the air inside their homes and workplaces has a real and noticeable impact on the way they feel.

Spring allergies are common in a large portion of the population. Pollen counts are high this time of year as trees and grass bloom. Mold spores can exist in high volumes over the spring months, too. Even though these contaminants originate outside, this outdoor air coming indoors can easily increase indoor pollutant levels for people who suffer from these allergies. The pollutants make their way into homes through open doors and windows, on our shoes and clothing, and even on our pets. Once they come inside, poor ventilation keeps them trapped inside, and over time quantities continue to build. This can greatly increase indoor pollutant levels inside the home and can make allergy sufferers feel awful.

Reducing the number of indoor air pollutants and focusing on trying to improve indoor air quality in the home can help you lessen your spring allergy symptoms. The right tools can help you remove these particles from the indoor air supply and fill your living spaces with fresh air so your symptoms decrease.

Gain Better Indoor Air Quality Through HVAC Solutions

Your HVAC system and tools that work with it are key when it comes to the importance of indoor air quality. Improving ventilation by adding mechanical solutions can push out polluted air and fill your home with fresh air throughout the day. Indoor air quality equipment like air cleaners and air purifiers remove particles or neutralize organic contaminants so exposure is reduced.

Poston Brothers Heating & Cooling knows the importance of indoor air quality and how it can impact your health this season. Contact us today to learn more about installation of indoor air quality equipment that will reduce indoor contaminants for a healthier indoor environment.