Four Causes of Unusual Smells in Your Ducted Air Conditioning System

Are there unusual smells in your ducted air conditioning unit? If so, you shouldn't ignore them. An air conditioner's primary role is to circulate clean air in your home. It should not give off any funky or weird odours. A smelly AC has underlying issues that you should address immediately to avoid further problems. With this in mind, here are four common causes of smells in your ducted AC and what you can do to eliminate them.

Overheated or Damaged Electrical Parts

If your air conditioner's outdoor or indoor unit has a burnt smell, it could be as a result of overheated or damaged electrical parts. Your AC has various electrical components such as the compressor, fan, wires and switchboard. When the unit overheats due to poor ventilation or faults, the parts may start to burn. The result is a plastic or burning smell around the unit. Shut down the air conditioner and contact a contractor to prevent further damage to the electrical components.

Refrigerant Leaks

Air conditioners have a refrigerant that's contained inside copper wires. This fluid absorbs heat from the indoor air and releases to the outside. It changes between liquid and gaseous states as it absorbs heat and loses it to the atmosphere. The refrigerant can leak due to wear and tear or of the unit or damage to the copper wires. 

When this occurs, you will notice the smell of an exhaust pipe around the leaking area. Refrigerant leaks also cause hissing sounds from your AC. You should repair your AC immediately to prevent exposure to the harmful chemicals contained in the fluid.

Excess Moisture in the Ductwork or Indoor Unit

When your AC circulates air into your home, it collects moisture in the warm air and discharges it through the drip lines. If these lines are clogged, the moisture may be retained in your ductwork or indoor unit. This may encourage the growth of mould or fungus in your ducts, leading to musky smells in the air. 

Mould can multiply, invade your entire air conditioning system and cause air quality issues. Thus, clean your drip lines regularly to prevent clogs. If you already have mould in your ductwork or indoor unit, you should remove it immediately.

Dirty Air Filter

When your filters are dirty, the dirt and moisture from the air can cause dingy smells in your home. Also, if you haven't switched on your AC in a long time, your filters may produce funky smells due to the accumulation of moisture. Luckily, this should go away after some time. However, make a point of cleaning your filters to keep the bad smells at bay and improve the air quality in your home.

A musky, stale or burning smell in your AC can signal a greater problem that requires immediate attention. Talk to an air conditioning service for professional repair and maintenance of your unit.