Managing Your HVAC System

What's That Smell? 3 Odors To Check For When Starting Up Your Air Conditioner This Summer

Summer will be here before you know it. With the temperatures starting to heat up, it's time to take your air conditioner on a practice run. Letting your air conditioner run through a few cycles before summer arrives will allow you to identify potential problems. Foul odors are one problem that you might not be expecting. If your air conditioner is emitting some odors that you're not familiar with, here are some troubleshooting tips to help you identify the problem.

Check the Condensation Line

If your home started smelling like mold and mildew as soon as you fired up the air conditioner, you could have a problem with the condensation line. Before you call the repair technician, head outside and inspect the drainage lines. Pay close attention to the plastic tube that runs from the air conditioner to the house. If you notice a greenish buildup inside the tube, it's time for a good cleaning. Disconnect the tube and pour a small amount of bleach inside. Use a pipe cleaner to give the tube a thorough cleaning. This should take care of the moldy smell that's coming from the vents.

Replace the Filter

If you're noticing a dusty smell in your home, the culprit might be your filter. This is particularly true if you haven't changed it in a while. To get rid of the dusty smell, replace your old filter with a fresh one. While you have the filter out, it's a good time to clean the filter compartment too. The first thing you should do is use your vacuum to remove the dirt and dust. Next, fill a bucket with warm water and add a few teaspoons of grease-cutting dish detergent. Using a clean sponge, wash the inside edges of the filter compartment, as well as the outer door. This is particularly important if you notice a buildup of dust on the outer surface of the door. If you notice a significant buildup of dirt and dust inside the filter housing, it might be time to have your ducts cleaned by a professional.

Service the System

If your home began smelling like smoke or overheated wiring when you turned your air conditioner on for a test-run, it's time to have it serviced. The smoky smell could be caused by a system failure or overheating. Before you use your air conditioner this summer, have it looked at by an HVAC contractor near you.