Have you noticed that your AC smells bad lately?

In fact, unusual odours coming from your air conditioning unit can each indicate a different problem. Therefore, identifying the smell will help you determine the particular cause and your AC expert fix the issue. This way you and your family can enjoy good quality air.

So put your detective hat on and do some investigating!

When you get home after a busy day at the office, you lie down on the couch and take a deep breath before doing any housework. However, finding a stale, musty air is the last thing you want to fill your lungs with.

You already know the main causes of indoor air pollution…but what in the world do those unpleasant, disturbing odours mean?

Common AC smells people usually complain about

1. Stale or Musty Smell

One of the main tasks an AC has to perform is dehumidifying the air before pushing it into your house. Since the unit deals with a lot of moisture, it may gradually host mould and mildew if not maintained properly. Unfortunately, these unwelcome “guests” can grow on your filter as well as within the whole unit. For this reason, we advise you to call your local technician and check what exactly causes mould to spread.

2. Burning Odour

Generally, this smell will usually make you think of overheated electrical wires. You’re absolutely right! In fact, air conditioners work by using a number of internal electrical components such as fans and motors. When overheated, your system can’t function properly anymore.

If your AC smells like it’s burning, it can be because of mechanical failure or loose wire connections. However, only an expert eye can find out what exactly is causing this to happen. As this can turn into a hazardous circumstance, it’s best to call an AC professional immediately and fix the problem before it’s too late. 

3. Rotten Egg

Probably one of the most intense and disturbing AC smells is the one resembling to the smell of rotten eggs. You’ll want to take care of it right away, especially if you’re preparing to host a special event at home.

In reality, the smell of rotten eggs can indicate a natural gas leak, which can potentially become a serious threat. In this case, make sure everyone will safely get out of the house and open windows if possible. In the meantime, call your gas company and your AC maintenance expert to take care of the problem ASAP!

Possible symptoms associated with a poor indoor air quality

use allergen filterDust, mould, humidity and other unpleasant smells can cause a number of discomforts, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Dry eyes
  • Sore throat
  • Frequent colds, flu or flu-like symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Allergies or fever
  • Asthma attacks or other respiratory problems

Ways to remove these AC smells for good

In order to eliminate the threats that contaminate the air you breathe, here is some useful advice from our experts:

– Inspect your ducts

To check if you have mould growing in your air conditioner, you will need to examine your ducts first. Mould can also spread on the coil, the drain and on the fan itself. Generally speaking, an accurate and thorough examination can be difficult, which is why it calls for a professional solution.

A qualified technician can actually examine areas you can’t reach by using special equipment designed for the job.

– Check the filters and clean them properly

Next, you should vacuum the interior of the unit thoroughly, then remove and wash the filters under running water. This procedure should remove any loose or airborne mould spores within the unit.

– Ensure your AC receives regular maintenance

Finally, don’t forget about the regular system check! While you can perform some of the routines yourself, we recommend you also get a professional inspection to your unit.

This way you will have the peace of mind of keeping the system clean and healthy all year round.


Our team at Jaric Air Conditioning is fully qualified to handle any air conditioning maintenance service.   Depending on your AC needs, we carefully go through a checklist to remove those unwanted AC smells for good!


Until next time, stay healthy and breathe easily!

Your friend and AC expert,

John Ricca



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