Your air conditioner is a crucial component to staying cool and comfortable at home, especially in South Florida. But no one wants to cool their home at the expense of unpleasant odors. Here are a some of the most common odor complaints, and the potential risks each different smell could pose your HVAC system and your comfort.
It’s not uncommon for homeowners to smell an electrical odor coming from their HVAC system. This occurrence is likely due to some sort of mechanical failure. Burned wires and other electrical components that comprise your unit could pose a potentially dangerous situation for you and your family, so turn your system off and contact an experienced and reliable cooling company immediately.
Damp and Musty Odor
In warmer months, and particularly in more humid regions like Florida, it’s not uncommon for your home’s HVAC to emit dank and musty smells at various times throughout the year. Damp odors coming from your vents are typically associated with water entering through attics, basements or leaks in your ductwork.
Mold–including aspergillus, cladosporium and stachybotrys atra (also known as black mold)–is another common cause of bad smells. You will need to find a special mold killer solution, appropriate cleaning supplies and call a professional to eliminate any signs of mold inside your home. Diagnosing mold issues is especially important in protecting and improving your home’s indoor air quality as well as the health of those who live there.
A recently dead or decaying rodent causes a very pungent, unpleasant odor. You can remove deceased or rotting pests yourself, or call a specialist to handle the job.
Over the warmer months of spring and summer, your heater sits and collects dust while out of use. If you notice a burning smell coming from your vents after turning your heat on for the first time in the season, it’s most likely due to the system burning off the accumulated dust.
However, if your unit is set to cooling and you notice burning smells, turn the entire system off right away. This could be a warning sign of an overheating motor or other electrical problem that could lead to costly expense repairs or even danger. It’s important to have this issue diagnosed by an experienced HVAC technician.