What Do I Do When My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs?

Air conditioning is such a life-saver in the hot summers in Charlotte, NC, but the air your AC blows out should not have a scent. If you notice that your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, you have a serious problem that requires an experienced HVAC technician.

AC Smells

The air that blows out from an AC should have no smell, but when it does, it is letting you know that there’s a problem. There are a variety of different smells that can come from your AC that signify you need to schedule a repair; some indicate a minor problem, and some are much more serious.

Some of the different smells are:

  • Musty smell
  • Dirty socks smell
  • Burning smell
  • Rotting flesh smell
  • Rotten egg smell

Each smell is caused by a different problem, and an experienced HVAC technician will be able to diagnose the problem and repair it.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs! What’s Wrong?

AC odors can be caused by anything from an overheated motor to mold buildup. However, there is a much more serious problem if your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs. It could indicate one of the following problems:

Sewage Leak

Raw sewage has a strong gassy smell like rotten eggs. If there is a ruptured sewer pipe near your AC duct system, the smell of raw sewage will fill your home when you switch the system on. Inhaling raw sewage is a health hazard, so call your local HVAC technician to perform a thorough inspection and diagnose the problem.

Dead Animal

Occasionally a small animal can make its way into your air ducts and die there. Rodents are the main culprit as they are small enough to crawl in while seeking warmth during a cold winter in Charlotte, NC. 

Once they have died and are decomposing, the rotten egg smell will be noticeable when your AC is switched on. Routine ductwork cleaning and maintenance will keep your ductwork free from critters, but if your AC smells like rotten eggs, it should be checked as a matter of urgency.

Gas Leak

If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there is the possibility that a gas leak is getting into your ductwork. Gas leaks are deadly serious, and you must act swiftly.

In its natural state, gas has no odor, making it impossible to detect. Gas manufacturers are required to add mercaptan, which is a chemical that has a distinctive rotten egg, or sulfuric, smell. Mercaptan lets people know when there is a gas leak that would otherwise go undetected. 

Natural gas can cause a fire or explosion, and it is highly damaging to your health if inhaled. It can even be deadly.

Signs of a Gas Leak

Besides the smell of rotten eggs, you may experience the following signs of a gas leak:

  • Unhealthy or dying indoor plants
  • Dead grass or bushes outside
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Skin irritation

Even the most minor gas leak is dangerous and needs to be addressed immediately. If you suspect a gas leak, act on it as a matter of urgency.

What If I Have a Gas Leak?

If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, it is safest to assume that you have a gas leak and act accordingly. Follow these steps to ensure your safety and the safety of everyone in your home:

  1. Turn off your gas supply at the meter
  2. If you cannot turn it off, contact your gas supplier to organize it
  3. Open all doors and windows
  4. Do not operate anything electrical or anything with an open flame
  5. Ensure everyone on the premises evacuates immediately
  6. Contact the gas company in Charlotte, NC, to report the leak

It can be tempting to ignore a slight smell of leaking gas or try to cover it up with room deodorizers or sprays, but you are risking your safety. Call your nearby repair specialist in Charlotte, NC, to perform a thorough inspection of your AC unit.

Nearby Repair Specialist in Charlotte, NC

HVAC technicians are highly trained to inspect your AC and find the cause of the rotten egg smell. They will run a number of tests to determine whether the smell is a gas leak or a different problem. Your AC can produce a range of smells to indicate different problems, and your HVAC technician is qualified to find and repair each one.

It is recommended that you schedule regular AC maintenance and tune-ups to ensure that your AC is running safely and efficiently. AC smells can be alarming, but a well-looked after AC system will be far less likely to experience problems than one that is not properly maintained. 

Call Air Care Heating and Cooling to Diagnose Your AC Smells

Whether you are experiencing dusty smells, musty smells, or something as dangerous as rotten egg smells from your AC, no one is more qualified to diagnose your AC problems than Air Care Heating and Cooling. 

We offer expert heating and cooling repairs, installation, maintenance, and replacement in Charlotte, NC. Call us today for all of your heating and cooling needs.