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Do You Have Smells Coming From Your Air Conditioning Unit?


While living in or around Pensacola, Walton Beach or Panama City, you know what it’s like to live with hot days and nights, and humidity.  Humidity and excessive moisture can be as tough on your body as they are on your air conditioner.  Once that moisture gets trapped in your air conditioner and flows through your home’s ductwork, you could be in for a rough, smelly time in your home, not to mention putting your health at risk.  Ask yourself what smells you notice in your home every time you use your air conditioner.  Do you notice any of these odors?

  • Smelly socks, phew! Dirty sock Syndrome is the foul, moldy-smelling odor that comes from your air conditioner when you first turn it on. It is caused by the build-up of mold and bacteria on your evaporator coil.  That, mixed with dust and moisture in the darkness of your air conditioner unit, is the perfect recipe for dirty sock

The solution to this problem is easy:  let Peaden do a professional and thorough cleaning of the air conditioner.

  • Gun Powder? Yes, a smell that makes you think of gun powder is usually a sign that something is burning, and that is serious.  The gun powder smell can indicate a short from the air conditioner’s circuit board, or fan motor.  The smell could also be from an overheating motor, a wiring issue, or some other mechanical problem.

Turn the HVAC system off immediately from the breaker box.  If the smell the persists, immediately evacuate the home and contact the fire department. 

Once it is safe to reenter your home, call one of our technicians and schedule a complete service of your unit to ensure there are no electrical or mechanical problems

  • Stale cigarette smoke (even if you don’t smoke). If anyone smoked in the house, casually or otherwise, the cigarette smoke odor could accumulate in the filter and evaporator coil. When you turn on the air conditioner, you could smell stale cigarette smoke.

Another easy fix:  change the air conditioner’s filter and call us for a professional tune-up and cleaning.

  • Dirty Trash smell means a rotting carcass, so a critter has died in your air conditioner or duct system. This smell is impossible to ignore, so get to it fast by first, turning off your air conditioner; then open doors and windows for ventilation; and contact us as soon as possible.  You may also need to talk to a pest management company, but let’s get your air conditioner back to good, working order.
  • Never, ever ignore Rotten Egg Smell (Sulphur)! It could be the smell of leaking gas!

While natural gas is naturally odorless, manufacturers are required to add a chemical called mercaptan to give it that rotten egg smell. If that is what you are smelling, it’s an emergency, so follow these steps:

  1. Don’t operate anything electrical.
  2. Don’t operate matches or lighters.
  3. If there are any open flames, such as candles, put them out.
  4. Open as many doors and windows as you can.
  5. Turn off your gas supply at the meter.
  6. Contact the gas company.
  7. Have the gas company turn the gas back on for you when it is safe.

This is an emergency! 

But also know that you can always call us at Peaden 24 hours a day if you are not sure what it is that you smell.



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