Home Air Conditioner Smells Bad? Easy Fix.

Nothing feels better than returning after a long, sweaty day in the heat and walking into your cool air-conditioned home. That is until an unsuspected, awful smell fills the air…

If this sounds like an experience you know well, it’s finally time to beat that stinky AC once and for all. This article will take you through the reasons why your air conditioner smells terrible, plus foolproof ways to sort out the stench.

Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas / Rotten Eggs

Air Conditioner Smells bad
Why does my AC smell like gas? Here is why you have foul odor coming from air conditioning vents..


When you switch your air conditioner on, do you find yourself wondering why it smells like rotten eggs or sulfur? Homeowners often think this smell is coming from the bin at first, as it has the same lingering smell like rotten food or rubbish.

The reason your AC is creating this smell is because of a natural gas leak.

A small amount of exposure to natural gas can be dangerous to your health, but you could risk the reduction of oxygen in your blood at high levels. This can result in a loss of consciousness, or in the worst-case scenario – death. It’s critical to sort out this issue, not only for the smell but also for the safety of yourself, your family, and your guests.

Natural gas is odorless, but utility companies mix chemicals (mercaptan) that smell like rotten eggs to make it noticeable when gas becomes dangerous. This means that when your AC becomes unsafe, you will know immediately. Strangely, the smell is helping you identify the problem!

So now you know why your air conditioner smells like gas, but what can you do to fix it?

How to Fix It?

Check out our tips below to combat the rotten egg smell and make your home a safe place.

1. Open All Of Your Windows

Gas is very flammable and explosive. If there’s anything in your house that can produce a spark, if it comes in contact with natural gas, it can cause an explosion. This causes numerous deaths every year, so it’s essential you immediately open all of your windows to disperse the gas.

2. Evacuate Your House

It’s also essential you vacate your house immediately to prevent any further exposure to the natural gas leak.

3. Call Your Gas Company

Once you’re outside, you need to call your gas company and follow the instructions they give you. This could involve turning your home’s gas supply off.

If the smell in your house is really strong or has been there for a while, you might want to skip ahead to step two to avoid further exposure to the gas.

Your gas company will guide you here on in. You must follow their advice to avoid any further complications.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Paint Thinner


It’s pretty common to hear complaints from homeowners about their AC unit smelling like paint thinner. This smell is a warning sign that there is a refrigerant leak.

Now, you might be wondering what a refrigerant is.

Well, as the name suggests, it’s a fluid in your AC unit that helps keep your house cool, like a fridge! Refrigerants, like Freon, travel through closed copper wires in your air conditioning system, but these coils can sometimes break and cause a leak.

This leak can be dangerous to your health.

When exposed to high levels of the leak, your eyes, nose, and throat can become agitated, and you may experience dizziness or nausea.

Once you notice the potent chemical smell, you can be sure a refrigerant in your air conditioning has leaked; it’s time to get that sorted.


Check out our steps below to fixing your AC’s paint thinner smell.

You’ll want to contact a professional technician such as your local HVAC contractor. They can use special equipment to detect the refrigerant and then fix your air conditioning.

A refrigerant leak is unlikely to cause death, but it’s still toxic, so you must contact a professional promptly. If enough refrigerant leaks, it can also break the bank as it can damage expensive parts of your air conditioner that will need replacing.

Be kind to your wallet and contact a professional as soon as you detect the smell.

My Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning


Perhaps you’ve noticed a burning smell but no sign of a fire?

This smokey smell that is coming from your AC unit could mean there is an electrical problem. Burning smells from an AC often mean it is overheating, and it needs to be sorted as soon as possible as it could be a fire hazard.


  1. Turn off your AC. It’s essential to stop the potential fire hazard at its source.
  2. Schedule an HVAC inspection for a technician to look over your AC unit. Do not attempt this yourself as you could cause a fire or further problems.
  3. Keep the AC unit switched off until the appointment.