What's That Sour Smell Coming From Your Air Conditioner?


You should be able to feel your air conditioner working—courtesy of the sensation of perfectly climate-controlled air wafting over your body. You shouldn't be able to smell your air conditioner, and this is very much a sign that your system needs attention. Just what kind of smell is being produced by your system is actually one of your best clues about what kind of AC maintenance is needed. What does it mean when the smell is pungent and slightly sour?

The Slow Development of Bacteria and Fungi

Although your AC might smell like someone in urgent need of foot deodorant, you're likely to be smelling the accumulation of bacteria and fungi which has developed inside the appliance. This is not an instant development but is something that progressively develops over months (or even years), which can make it more difficult to notice.

Your Unit's Drainage System

Your AC unit features a drainage system. As the unit's evaporator coil draws in heat and moisture, condensation develops within the system. This is perfectly normal, and the system has a drainage system to remove it—expelling this collected moisture via the condensate drain line.

Stagnant Moisture Inside the Unit

If any of the unit's condensation drainage becomes backed up, moisture will build up and stagnate. As time goes by, water-borne bacterial growth will flourish, and fungi will begin to grow in the surrounding damp environment. Your system will still function, but the air circulating inside your home has been tainted by this bacterial and fungal growth.

A Potentially Hazardous Development

The increased volume of bacterial and fungal particles in the air has the potential to be hazardous but is more likely to be noticed in someone with existing respiratory issues. In any event, the situation inside your AC will continue to deteriorate without action. You'll be relieved to hear that the required action is pretty minor.

Professional Cleaning for Your Unit

Call a qualified AC maintenance provider. Your system will essentially need a thorough cleaning (and perhaps disinfection). The unit's drain pan will need to be cleaned, and the condensate drain line may need to be flushed to ensure its ongoing efficiency. Really, all that's needed is a decent cleaning of the unit's components that regulate its drainage.

The return of this highly unpleasant smell can be avoided with regular maintenance of your AC unit. It's easy to overlook what you can't actually see, but your unit will greatly benefit from regularly scheduled maintenance. For more information on AC maintenance, contact a company near you.


3 October 2022

Talking About Electric Heating Systems

Hi there, my name is Shelley. Welcome to my site about electric heating systems. Electric heat has recently fallen out of favor due to the efficiency of natural gas systems. Electric heat is still suitable for small buildings that do not need the high temps provided by upgraded systems. I will use this site to explore all of the building types that can benefit from electric heating systems. I will also share information about system components, installations and repairs. I welcome you to come by often to learn more about this exciting topic. Thanks for coming by. See you soon.