Maintaining Your Heating and Air Conditioning Units
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Maintaining Your Heating and Air Conditioning Units

Hello. My name is Max. My wife and I have five children who all live at with us in our large two-story house. My wife and two of our kids suffer from severe allergies which means keeping our home as dust-free as possible. I have learned that it’s crucial to keep our heating and air conditioning units properly maintained at all times. We have a fantastic HVAC company that comes out two times a year to perform routine maintenance on our system. They have taught me what I can do on a monthly basis in order to not only help with my family’s health but also keep our system running efficiently. I would like to share some of the tips I’ve been given. I hope you find this to be useful!

Maintaining Your Heating and Air Conditioning Units

Troubleshooting Tips For AC Odors

Kristin Pierce

Bad odors can sometimes invade your air conditioner, which will then cause them to permeate your entire home when the AC is running. Determining the cause allows you to fix the problem and get rid the smell. In fact, proper diagnosis of the cause of the odor may even help you prevent a more major issue with your AC down the road. The following guide can help you deal with some AC odors.

Smelly Feet Odor

This odor is caused by microbes and bacteria that grows on moist areas in the unit. As the compressor and AC motor heats during use, it cooks these microbes and causes the smell of dirty feet to waft out. The simplest way to prevent it is to clean the AC housing and coils thoroughly each spring. Simply wipe them down with a diluted bleach solution or any type of anti-bacterial cleaner.


The musty odor of mold and mildew is a common complaint. The cause is usually moisture that has collected in the drip pan or drainage hoses. There may also be condensation building up in your ducts, which can lead to mildew growth. Begin by emptying the drip pan and rinsing it and the drain hoses with a diluted bleach solution. If the odor persists, schedule a duct inspection and cleaning.

Gun Powder Smells

If you smell anything reminiscent of gun powder or a spent firework when you fire up the AC, turn it off immediately. There may be an electrical short somewhere in the unit, which could lead to a fire. Contact an HVAC contractor, like the ones at Allied Air Conditioning & Heating Corp, to check out the unit before attempting to use it again.

Rotten Eggs

There are two causes for this odor when it comes to the AC. Rotten egg odors are typically associated with gas, but your AC is likely electric. The odor could still indicate a gas leak, though, since the AC could be sucking the odor in from a nearby gas line. If your home uses gas for anything, leave immediately and call the fire department from a safe location that is not inside the home.

The second cause, which is the most likely cause if you don't have gas, is that an animal has died either inside the unit or inside the ducts. You can remove the outer housing from the unit to check for a dead animal inside. An HVAC tech can run a camera through your ducts to see if there is something inside of them.