Allergies and AC filters

Three Ways The Nose Knows When It's Time To Call In An AC Professional For Repairs

If you're like most modern homeowners, you're really looking forward to the beginning of the summer season — and you're in luck because it's only just a few short weeks away. Although you've probably already started preparing for warm-weather fun, it may not have gotten warm enough yet to turn your air conditioning unit on. However, giving your AC system a test run is an important part of preparing for summer — system malfunctions tend to occur most often during the first heat wave of the season, and this often means that customers are left waiting for AC repairs because of the high demand for services. 

Signs that your unit may need repairs before it's good to go for the summer include a variety of peculiar odors occurring after you turn it on. Keep in mind that household air is sucked in through the air conditioner and redistributed throughout the home, so if you're baking an apple pie, that delicious scent may wind up performing every room in the home. Nonetheless, there are certain smells that serve as possible indicators that your system is malfunctioning. 

Following are three unsettling scents that warrant a visit from a skilled AC professional. 

Something's Burning

If you smell something burning after turning on your AC unit, you should turn it off immediately and call a local AC repair professional. There are several possible causes for this. It could be something as benign as an accumulation of dust burning off or something as serious as erosion or other damage to the system's wiring components, which could potentially result in a household fire. The most common reasons for a burning smell are shorted-out circuits and mechanical or electrical issues with the compressor, motor, or fan. 

If the issue is dust accumulation burning off, the smell should dissipate within several minutes. If this doesn't occur, call a professional — and always turn it off and call for help if you detect that particular acrid note that smells like burned wiring.

Rotten Eggs/Sulphur

This odor is strongly associated with natural gas leaks, so err on the side of caution and turn the system off as soon as you detect it, leave the home as a precaution, and call your natural gas company to come out and check for a leak — rotten egg/sulphur smells that occur when you first turn on your AC may be a result of a natural gas leak near the system's ductwork. But what if you don't have natural gas? This odor can also be caused by dead animals in the ductwork. If this is the case, it's time to schedule a thorough ductwork cleaning to remove any dead vermin that may be present. 

Dirty Socks

One of the most common complaints among homeowners when they turn their AC units on for the first time in the spring or early summer is that the whole house quickly begins to smell like dirty socks — HVAC professionals even have a name for this — they call it the "Dirty Sock Syndrome." This is caused by a buildup of bacteria, mold, and mildew on the unit's evaporator coil. The best way to treat this condition is to have your unit cleaned by a professional. Keep in mind that the distributing of mold and mildew spores throughout the home environment may cause buildups in other areas of the home as well as have a negative impact on the health of household members. Healthy adults who don't experience allergies generally aren't bothered by mold and mildew, but infants, children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems have been known to experience adverse effects. 

Reach out to an HVAC company such as Reading Heating & Air Conditioning Inc to learn more.