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What’s the Odor Coming from My AC?

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Deciphering AC Odors

When you start to smell a foul odor in your home, your mind may start racing to try to figure out the source of the smell.

Odors coming from your vents and especially your AC need to be dealt with immediately. It’s not always obvious what is causing the smell, which is why consulting a professional is always recommended. Here are some of the most common smells associated with your AC.

Mold Growth

Because of the cool and warm air mixing inside your AC system, condensation is created in the process. This condensation often leads to mold or mildew growth inside your system. Over time, the smell of mold will travel throughout your home.

Mold can also grow on your air filter, so make sure to change it once it is full.


A burning smell is never something to ignore. If the odor is coming from your air vents or ductwork, it could indicate an electrical or mechanical problem with your AC unit. It’s important to have this looked at as soon as possible by an HVAC professional. Not only could this mean damage to your system, but it could potentially be dangerous. Also, be aware if this smell comes directly from your outdoor AC unit. If it does, turn off the unit and contact your local HVAC professional.

Something Rotten

There are a variety of rotten smells that could come from your vents. It may be something decomposing, rotten eggs, or what is known as “stinky feet.”

If it smells like something is decomposing, an animal may have entered your vents at some point, likely during the winter, and got stuck. Rotten egg smell is usually associated with a gas leak or sewage. It’s possible that a line broke near your air ducts and the odor is seeping into your ductwork. Don’t ignore this - have an HVAC professional get to the bottom of whatever is causing the gross smell.

Fixing Any Problem at the Source

No matter what problem may arise with your air conditioner, the Hobson AC team is here to help. We’ve been serving the community as a family-owned business for decades, and we’re just a phone call away at  817-809-9688 !

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