What These 5 Air Conditioner Smells Are Trying To Tell You

When you first fire up your air conditioner in the late spring or early summer, there is often a strange odor for a few minutes. But that dusty smell soon dissipates, and you are left with nothing but refreshing cool air. All of the dust that has settled into the unit while it was at rest has burned off, and you can enjoy pleasant temps with no unpleasant smell. However, if the odor continues, you need to understand that this is a warning or even a cry for help from your AC unit. Each of the following five different smells indicates a separate issue that needs attention from the pros at Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning.


Dirty laundry, and especially dirty socks, have a particularly pungent odor. And the reason for that smell is the bacteria that is permeating the fabric. Fortunately, a trip through the washing machine eliminates that foul smell. But when your AC is pumping that same odor through your home, it is not as simple. In the case of your HVAC system, bacteria have infested the AC coils. And it is wafting that smell throughout your home. The only solution is a call to (512) 910-8123 for a professional cleaning. A Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning professional will sanitize your home’s AC condenser and remove that nasty dirty sock odor from your home.


You never want to take a deep breath and smell something burning, because there is only one thing that creates that worrisome smell. And that is a fire. The odor of smoke, gun powder, or something burning emanating from your vents is a final warning that you need to turn off your air conditioner and evacuate your home immediately. Call 911 and then (512) 910-8123 for emergency service.  

Somewhere in your AC, there is a fire. It could be frayed wiring, an overheated motor, or other mechanical issues that have ignited the fire.  And even if it is just a tiny flame at a wire connection, it can grow quickly to engulf your entire home. Never risk your safety trying to locate the problem. Call the 911 and then the pros at Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning to identify and correct the problem so that you know your home is safe.


If the inside of your home smells like you are standing at the exhaust pipe of an old car, then it is time to call (512) 910-8123 for professional help. These nasty fumes are the result of fluid leaking onto the motor or other warm pieces of equipment inside your air conditioner. As the fluid burns off, the fumes waft into your home. Take immediate action so that the leak does not cause significant damage to your entire AC.


During the offseason, it is not uncommon for small animals to invade your HVAC system to seek refuge. Sadly, not all of those animals make it out in the spring. And when you turn on your AC for the first time the next spring, you smell the remains of those critters. Turn off your AC immediately, open the windows, and then call (512) 910-8123 for professional help. A Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning pro will locate and remove the critter that is fouling your air conditioner and your home.


Mold and mildew grow in moist places. And because one of your air conditioner jobs is to remove the humidity from the air, it can begin to retain some of that moisture. When that happens, your AC becomes the perfect place to cultivate mold and mildew growth. And before you know it, that odor is permeating your home.

While the smell is offensive, the more significant concern is that the mold and mildew spores are now floating through the air in your home and are being inhaled into your lungs. This contamination can spark an allergic reaction that mimics having a cold. Or for those who are highly allergic, the result can be what appears to be an asthma attack. Call (512) 910-8123 as soon as you notice this odor and open your windows to air out your home.

Your AC should never be introducing any odor into your home. As soon as you notice an odd smell, understand that this is a clear indication that there is a problem that requires professional help. Call (512) 910-8123 for same-day or emergency service from a factory trained Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning professional before a small issue becomes much more expensive to repair.

Get in touch with your local professionals today to schedule plumbing and HVAC service: 512-910-8123!

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