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A/C Service Troubleshooting Tales: What’s That Smell?

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Sometimes we hear from customers who have turned on their air conditioning for the first time after it’s sat idle – maybe they’ve been out of town, or they’re returning to a vacation property for the first time in months – and it’s producing an unfamiliar and unpleasant smell. There’s little that’s less inviting than a room that’s rapidly filling with an odor you don’t care for; here’s a couple of reasons we’ve found are common culprits to the odd smells that can come out of air conditioners.
Most likely, the problem is simply that your air conditioning filter needs to be cleaned. If you haven’t cleaned your filter in a while, you might be in luck and all you need to do to get rid of the unwanted odor is a straightforward cleaning. Filters can clog up with all sorts of unwanted nasties from pollen to mold, and left to their own devices can create quite a stink. We offer an automated filter reminder service as part of our personalized maintenance reminder schedule; sign up with us and never forget again.

If your filter isn’t the problem, there’s a good chance you’ve got a buildup of mold around your evaporator coil. And while the smell is a problem, the bigger issue is that the coil can suffer permanent damage from the mold, and — if not addressed in a timely fashion — that mold can grow and extend into your home’s ductwork, requiring extensive cleaning and sometimes replacement to take care of the problem.

Regardless, we recommend contacting one of our technicians sooner rather than later to diagnose the problem before any permanent damage is done; we can also provide information about UV light air purifiers we install that can mitigate these sorts of problems and make your air cleaner, and safer.


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