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Common HVAC Odors

September 21, 2021 | Blog

If you’ve noticed a foul smell coming from your AC unit, it can be a bit scary figuring out what to do. Some odors are dangerous while others aren’t a cause for concern. Knowing the difference between the most common ones will give you an idea of how to approach them. At Ball Heating and Air Conditioning, we offer air conditioning repair and AC tune-ups for any problems that could arise from foul odors. 

Keep reading to learn more about HVAC odors and what you should do about them!

Musty Smell

If your air conditioning system is experiencing an excess build-up of condensation, you might start to notice a stale, musty smell throughout your home or business. This could mean there’s an issue with your unit’s condensate drain line. If the condensation isn’t draining properly, then it can cause mold or mildew to grow. 

If you notice this smell, it’s important to contact an HVAC technician immediately. While mold doesn’t cause major damage to your unit, it can damage your health. Mold spores not only cause allergic reactions but also worsen asthma symptoms and can cause other respiratory issues over time.

Burning Smell

There are a few different types of burning smells to be aware of. 

The first kind is when you turn on your heating for the first time of the season. Usually, this isn’t a cause for concern. Over the year, dust and debris settle on your heat exchanger. Once they start burning, it can cause a smoky smell.

The second kind is electrical burning — this is the one you should really look out for. Electrical burning means your system has a mechanical problem. If you notice the smells coming from the furnace or condenser, do not put it off. There could be a fire risk. Turn off your HVAC system immediately and call an HVAC technician as soon as possible.

Rotten Egg Smell

The smell of sulfur is another odor that should not go ignored. This smell likely means there’s a gas leak in your home. Similar to the burning smell, if the leak is near your furnace, you could have another serious fire risk.

If you’ve noticed this smell, turn off your entire air conditioning system, turn off all electrical appliances and open your windows. Then, evacuate and call both an HVAC technician and your gas company immediately.

Garbage Smell

A rotten, garbage-like odor is one of the less concerning out there. This usually means there’s a dead animal in the ductwork. Pests like mice, possums or even feral cats like to make ducts their home, especially during the winter when heating is often used. 

Not all pests found in AC systems die, however. Many like to build entire nests in them, so another smell that could indicate active pests is urine. After contacting an HVAC technician to help you locate the dead animal or nest, you might want to invest in an HVAC odor treatment such as an air purifier. At Ball Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer indoor air quality testing to ensure you’re breathing healthy air.

Contact Us

If you’ve noticed a strange smell coming from your AC unit and aren’t sure what it could be, contact our experienced HVAC technicians at Ball Heating and Air Conditioning. You can rest assured we’ll thoroughly inspect your system and help you find the best solution.

Why Choose Ball Heating & Air?

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30% Utility Saving Guarantee
You will save a minimum of 30% on your heating and cooling costs or we will refund double-the-difference of your savings not realized during the first year.
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If we do not have your new system operating by the date promised, we will pay you $500 for your inconvenience.
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Peace of Mind Guarantee
All technicians in your home have an extensive background check performed and are randomly drug tested for your safety.

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Zach was very professional and Courteous. He fully explained all the checks he would be preforming before he started. He also advised me of any potential problems with my system and offered options for their resolution. He reviewed the invoice thoroughly with me when he was finished

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Zack came out today for our 6 month cleaning/inspection and was very nice and helpful. He gave a detailed explanation of everything he found and things we can upgrade for better service. We will be continuing to use Ball Heating & Air in the future!

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Zack was incredibly knowledgeable and gave me information that explained a lot of what I was seeing occur in my house. Highly recommend, as the visit was informative and productive.

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