Turning on your air conditioner and noticing a strange smell can be a very concerning situation. Most homeowners experiencing strange smells coming from their air conditioner want to immediately diagnose the cause of the smell and find out if it’s a serious problem. The best way to prepare yourself for this issue is to learn about a few of the common smells you might notice in your HVAC system and possible solutions.

Here are a few common HVAC smells that you need to know about, and advice for getting help from an air conditioning professional.

Electrical Odors

One of the most common odors you could smell in your HVAC system is a burning electrical smell. Electrical odors can have a variety of causes. For example, there may be bad wiring in your air conditioner wiring or your motor may be burning out. This smell needs to be examined by a professional immediately as there is a risk for fire with any electrical problem.

Rotten Eggs

An odor like rotten eggs is another smell that can come from your HVAC system. This is one of the most dangerous smells when it comes to an HVAC system, as it means you’re probably experiencing a natural gas leak. If you notice a rotten egg smell, call an HVAC professional for assistance immediately.

Gas Smell

When you turn on your furnace, you might notice an odor that smells like burning gas. This usually occurs when your system has been inactive for an extended period of time. Fortunately, this odor is just the dust in your ductwork burning off now that the heater has been turned back on. Give it a few minutes and this smell should fade away as the dust decreases.

Pay Attention to Mold

For many homeowners, there’s nothing more concerning than smelling a moldy or musty odor coming from their HVAC system. Although this smell isn’t usually an issue with your HVAC units, it does mean that there is moisture in your ductwork that has been allowed to develop into mold. To correct this odor, you will usually need to fully clean your duct system with the help of an HVAC professional.

Oil Smells

An oily smell coming from your air conditioning system can have multiple causes, some of which are minor and others that need to be fixed as soon as possible. When you smell oil in your HVAC system, you need to diagnose the issue.

The most common cause of an oil smell is an oil leak, which can usually be fixed by tightening a valve. If this doesn’t work, you may be dealing with a clogged burner. A clogged burner can be a very serious situation, so be sure to contact a professional if you suspect this problem.

Fixing Strange HVAC Odors

If you’ve noticed a strange odor coming from your HVAC system and haven’t been able to diagnose the source or fix the problem, your best decision is to work with a reliable HVAC service company in Scottsdale. HVAC professionals are very familiar with the types of smells that can come from these systems, and should be able to diagnose and correct your issue very quickly. They can also prevent dangerous situations that result from some of these smells.


Contact the Air Conditioning and Heating experts at Scottsdale Air to learn more about HVAC maintenance programs today. Email us or call 480-359-7141 now!


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