Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

If You Smell These HVAC Odors, Don’t Worry. They’re Normal.

When your HVAC puts out terrible smells, it doesn’t always mean that it requires an expensive repair. Some HVAC smells could be simply due to excessive condensation or a dirty air filter. Let’s explore the innocent HVAC smells.

Stale Cigarette Smoke

If someone smokes in your house, the fumes can accumulate in the air filter and the evaporator coil. Consequently, every time you run your HVAC system, you may smell old cigarette smoke. Changing the filter, having the coil cleaned, and smoking outdoors can fix the issue.

Stinky Feet or Dirty Socks

The smell of dirty socks or stinky feet is usually caused by stagnant water collecting in an HVAC unit. A quick, professional cleaning can solve the problem.

Mold or Must

Your air-conditioning system dehumidifies your home’s air while cooling it. If the excess condensation doesn’t drain away properly, it can cause mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew smells do not indicate a serious problem with your HVAC system, but they can degrade your indoor air quality.

Even a clogged filter can harbor these contaminants, so you should start by changing your filter. If these HVAC smells persist, call an HVAC technician to find and clean the mold buildup.

Dirty Trash

While dirty trash or rotting garbage smells may come from your HVAC unit, they don’t indicate that your unit has a problem. These HVAC smells are likely due to a dead critter decomposing in your ductwork or HVAC system. While it’s not particularly dangerous, you’ll want to have an HVAC technician remove the dead animal as soon as possible.

If you notice an odor coming from your HVAC vents but can’t tell if it’s harmless or hazardous to your system, be sure to contact an HVAC professional. To learn more about HVAC smells and any other HVAC issues, contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We’ve served the HVAC needs of satisfied residential and commercial customers throughout the Yuma area since 1952.