Brevard County HVAC Experts
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Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Musty?

Strange Smells Coming From Your Air Conditioner? 

When you walk through the door of your home — or shortly after it rains — do you smell something musty in the air? If you do, then your home may be struggling to fight off organic growth and bacteria in its air vents. Dampness welcomes the growth of mold — and it can appear in your HVAC unit very quickly. But that’s not all! There could be other reasons for your home’s funky aroma. Continue reading to learn why your air conditioner is smelling musty and more importantly, what you can do about it:

What's Causing the Musty Smell Coming From My AC?

  • Reason #1: You may have a drain line block. A common reason you smell a damp, musty scent is because the drain line of your HVAC system is blocked. A sign is if you see water pooling in your drip pan. Stagnant water welcomes mold to breed. Make sure your drain lines are clear, and you might notice a difference in the way your home smells.
  • Reason #2: Your AC may be too big for your home. Sometimes homes have HVAC systems that are too large for the size of the home. When this happens, cooled air is moving too quickly and the HVAC system cannot wick the water out of the air at a good rate. The result is the buildup of mold.
  • Reason #3: Your evaporator coils are dirty. Organic growths, like mold and bacteria, have a tendency to grow on your HVAC system’s evaporator coils, so you’ll want to clean them thoroughly with disinfectant. The problem with these growths is if you miss any, they will multiply. Cover all your bases!

How to Remove the Musty Smell from Your AC

Now that you have an idea why your air conditioner smells strange, you’re probably wondering how to get rid of the odor! Luckily, a thorough cleaning can tackle the issue.

Steps to remove AC odor:

  • Turn off your air conditioning unit
  • Change the air filters
  • Clean the evaporator coils with a cleaning agent or bleach solution
  • Clean the condensate line with the cleaning solution
  • Gently wipe the air conditioner clean and leave to dry
  • Reassemble the part once the AC is fully dry

Other Unusual Air Conditioning Smells Explained

  • Mold & mildew odors: If you air conditioner is giving off a mildewy smell, your air filter is probably due for replacement. This is a natural problem for air conditioners over time and is very simple to fix. New air filters can be purchased readily from your local home improvement store.
  • Rotting odors: If your air conditioner smells like rot, you probably have a deceased animal trapped somewhere inside of the unit. You will need to find and remove the animal, then give the inside of the AC and/or your ducts a good cleaning.
  • Sewer odors: A sewer scent can be the result of plumbing problems near the air conditioner. Even a small whiff of gas or sewage can carry through the whole house. Take care of the plumbing and the smells should disappear.
  • Exhaust odors: It’s possible your air conditioner could be giving off an odor of exhaust or a similar automotive smell. The culprit for this smell is usually a leak or similar problem with the mechanical components of your air conditioner. For this issue, you will need to call a specialist to take a look at your air conditioner.

Does Your Air Conditioner Smell Weird? Weather Engineers is Here to Help!

We all know what the muggy Florida weather season is like. With so much rain — and the threat of hurricanes for a good part of the year — it’s natural for moisture to accrue in your HVAC unit making your air conditioner smell weird. But you don’t want that moisture to stay for long and risk health hazards. Weather Engineers is prepared to mitigate the issues and get your HVAC unit clean and healthy. Contact us today to schedule! With our Preventative Maintenance program, you can rest assured your AC will stay clean and smelling fresh all year!