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AC Cooling efficiency, Heat pump heating efficiency, Energy Star, Air conditioning efficiency, HVAC efficiency

Your Ultimate Guide to Energy-Efficient Heating & Cooling

According to Energy Star, almost half of a  family’s utility costs go towards heating and cooling their home. An average family spending around $2,200 a year on utility bills, which means that over $1,000 is spent a year on heating and cooling alone. This guide is intended to provide you with easy to understand ways to increase the HVAC efficiency of your system and lower your utility bills. Plus, implementing these tips will help your local community and the environment.

An average family uses a lot of energy within their home throughout the year. In fact, it equals almost twice as much greenhouse gas emissions as a car. One of the easiest ways to cut your family’s gas emissions is to lower your utility usage by conserving energy and/or using energy efficient appliances in your home. It might seem harmless to keep your lights on in rooms you aren’t using or purchasing less energy efficient products, but it does impact the environment.

So how does your HVAC efficiency and home energy impact and/or equal greenhouse gas emissions? It all starts with power plants. In order to provide you electricity, power plants burn fossil fuels. This process of creating electricity emits greenhouse emission gases into the atmosphere and environment. Therefore, your energy use at home directly correlates to how much associated greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere. The less energy you use at home means the less harmful greenhouse gases are released through the process of making electricity.

Speak to a HVAC Expert: Click Here

Consider HVAC Efficiency Upgrades When: 

HVAC efficiency HVAC upgrades

Hot and cold spots in your home

Have you noticed hot or cold spots in your home? This may indicate that either your home is not properly insulated or that your ductwork isn’t sealed completely.

Expensive and/or frequent repairs

HVAC repairs can be expensive, especially if it becomes a pattern. A pattern of your system breaking down definitely impacts it’s efficiency and can be a red flag that your system is on its last legs. 

Higher utility bills

If your utility bills are increasing, it means that your HVAC efficiency is decreasing over time. This can occur for a number of reasons and does not immediately mean you have to replace your system. Ask yourself when was the last time you had your system maintenanced? The industry standard is that you have your HVAC system professionally maintained at least once a year. This not only keeps your system more energy-efficient, prevents breakdowns, but also keeps any manufacturer warranties that you have in check. 

HVAC system is over 10 years old

The HVAC efficiency of your system can decrease dramatically as it ages due to the normal wear and tear of use. If your HVAC system is over 10 years old, it may be in your best interest to get a free estimate on a new system. Advanced heating and cooling technology have made the newer systems more efficient; plus utility companies offer rebates in order to incentivize for local residents to install more efficient systems. 

Using an older non-programmable thermostat

Do you have an older thermostat that keeps your home at the same constant temperature? If so, you most likely have a non-programmable thermostat. Newer thermostats enable you to set schedules for the temperature in your home. For example, you can the temperature in your house to be colder while you are at work during the winter. This will lower your energy use and utility bills.

Maintaining Your System 

HVAC Contractor

Did you know that regular maintenance on your heating and cooling system can prevent up to 90% of breakdowns? Most breakdowns are caused by dirt, dust and debris buildup on your system that happens naturally over time. Some HVAC maintenance tasks you can perform yourself on a regular basis and other forms of maintenance require a professionally trained technician. 

Change Your Filter

This is the easiest and cheapest way you can perform regular maintenance on your system. A dirty filter blocks the airflow of your system, which leads to lower HVAC efficiency. Filters need to be changed every month to every year depending on what type of filter it is. Click here to learn more about filter types. 

If you are located in the Vancouver, WA and North Portland area, you can purchase your filters from our office located at 6109 NE Hwy 99 Vancouver, WA 98671. We are open from 8am-4pm Monday through Friday. We keep a record of our customer’s filter type for their convenience. 

Schedule an Annual Maintenance

Making sure your HVAC system gets annual maintenance is the most important thing you can do to ensure your system runs at maximum HVAC efficiency. The maintenance should be performed by a professionally trained technician from a reputable HVAC company. HVAC companies are most available to do maintenance during their slower times, which is Spring and Fall. You can choose to have your heating and cooling system maintenance at the same time or having the cooling looked at in the Spring and the heating looked at in the Fall.

Duct Cleaning

Did you know that an average home produces over 40lbs of dirt is produced in a six-bedroom home annually? That’s a lot of dirt! Dirt, debris and dust can build up in your duct work, which blocks the airflow of your system and decreases HVAC efficiency. It’s recommended that you get your ducts cleaned every 7 years. 

System Maintenance Checklist 

HVAC efficiency annual maintenance

During an annual maintenance visit, these tasks should always be performed: 

  • Cycle system at the thermostat and address past and current system operation/expectations w/client.
  • Check/change batteries in the thermostat, remote sensors, or remote controls.
  • Examine overall system condition
  • Inspect ductwork/boots and whether it is sealed/insulated/clean.
  • Examine return air duct and check for proper size in relation to the system.
  • Determine Indoor Air Quality type
  • Inspect IAQ including cleanliness of the filter.
  • Check all model numbers, serial numbers, and filter sizes in company records

Electric Furnace/AH

  • Cycle AH at thermostat (emergency heat if paired w/heat pump)
  • Check incoming voltage
  • Check electric heat operation and amperage
  • Clean and check condensation removal system (pump, gravity drain, p-trap, vent)
  • Check for proper install practices displayed
  • Test system operation after all checks and verify all breakers and controls are operational.
  • The system will work upon departure

Gas Furnace

  • Cycle GF in heating from the thermostat (emergency heat if paired w/heat pump
  • Check ambient CO
  • Blower assembly condition (if accessible)
  • Check induced draft motor amperage
  • Visually inspect for safety concerns
  • Determine if a gas odor is present
  • Check flue for proper installation, operation, damage
  • Inspect and clean condensate trap and ensure proper venting of condensation line.
  • Ensure furnace has had proper alignment of burners and will have proper alignment in the future.
  • Inspect ignition system (HSI, pilot, spark). Clean if a spark or pilot system.
  • Check Ohm Value of HSI (if applicable)
  • Inspect heat exchanger with a camera or other physical means and methods.
  • Furnace more than 10 years old? If so, remove heat exchanger if possible and inspect. (Some are not accessible in a reasonable amount of time and Miller’s may use other methods to inspect. Heat exchangers WILL be removed if necessary to confirm a suspected failure.)                         
  • Test system operation after checks and verify all breakers and controls are operational 

Heat Pump/Air Conditioner

  • Check OD fan motor/blade for physical signs of wear (leaking oil, poor wire conditions, stress marks, excessive noise, balance)
  • Visually and electrically inspect compressor by using MΩ meter
  • Verify proper outdoor airflow and perform light cleaning by washing the outdoor unit (heavy cleaning of indoor/outdoor coils is an extra charge)
  • Verify indoor airflow (check external static pressures if necessary)
  • Inspect and lightly clean indoor coil
  • Check and clean condensation removal system (pump, gravity drain, p-trap, vent)
  • Test system operation after all checks and verify all breakers and controls are operational. 

How to Use a Programmable Thermostat Correctly

HVAC efficiency programmable thermostat

Do you work in an office or are routinely away from your home for longer periods of time? If so, a programmable thermostat might be a great option for you to save money on your utility bills. According to Energy Star, you can save up to $180 a year in utility bills if you set your programmable thermostat correctly. 

What Thermostat Schedule Is Best for You?

There are three main thermostat programming schedules for you to choose from with a programmable thermostat. Determining which schedule will work best for you depends on your routine activities throughout the week. Read through the following three schedules and think about your weekly activities such as work, volunteering, etc. 

1. 7 Day Schedule

A week schedule allows you to program a different temperature schedule for each day of the week.

2. Weekday/Weekend Schedule

A weekday/weekend schedule allows you to set a different temperature schedule for weekdays versus your weekends.

3. Weekday/Saturday/Sunday Schedule

This schedule type lets you program a different temperature schedule for the weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Settings of a Programmable Thermostat

The Energy Star table below is a great guideline on how to program your thermostat to save the most money while still staying comfortable when you are at home  (Todd-can we make a Miller’s version of this?)

Info Table

Tips to Maximize the Benefits of Your Programmable Thermostat

Thermostat location

Make sure your thermostat is mounted on a wall that doesn’t get direct sunlight or is near home appliances that produce a lot of heat when in use. 

Energy-saving temperatures

Keep the temperature warmer in the house during the summer and colder in the winter when you are away from home. This will conserve energy and save you money. 

Hold mode

Take advantage of hold mode on your thermostat. This mode keeps your house at the same temperature while you are away. It’s a great option if you are going on vacation. 

Don’t change your programmed settings

Keep to your programmed temperature schedule in order to maximize savings. 

Consider using multiple programmable thermostats

Take the energy savings of a programmable thermostat and put one in each zone in your house if applicable. It will also increase your family’s comfort as you can program the temperatures in different portions of the house.

Change your batteries

You should change your batteries on your programmable thermostat at least once a year. Some thermostats will let you know when it’s time to change the batteries. 

Seal Your Ductwork

HVAC efficiency sealing your ductwork

Your ductwork circulates the air that your heating and cooling system conditions throughout your home. Unfortunately, 20-40% of conditioned air is lost through leaky ductwork in the average home; this leads to a big decrease in HVAC efficiency. It’s extremely important during an HVAC install that the installers properly seal all the ductwork to avoid leaky ductwork. Leaky ductwork decreases airflow, decreases HVAC efficiency and increase utility bills; not to mention, it makes your home more uncomfortable and can cause hot and cold spots within the home. 

If the installers didn’t seal your ductwork properly during your install, don’t panic. Your ductwork can still be sealed. It’s best to have a professional seal your ductwork. At Miller’s Heating & Air, we use the mastic duct sealing solution to seal any ductwork you may have.  

Having your ductwork sealed is generally a fast process and shouldn’t take more than a day. Interested in how much it would cost to get your ductwork evaluated and sealed? Give us a call today at 360-524-2880 or fill out a form online. 

Replacing Your Current HVAC System

Home Performance with Energy Star

We strongly recommend that you get a free estimate on replacing your HVAC system with energy efficient heating and cooling units if any of the following applies to you: 

  • HVAC system is 10-15 years old
  • HVAC system is not working
  • Energy bills have been steadily increasing
  • Paying for expensive and/or frequent HVAC repair bills
  • Interested in newer heating and cooling technology that is more energy efficient 

The HVAC systems on the market can vary greatly in energy efficiency. If you are interested in a energy efficiency heating and cooling units, look for units that are Energy Star rated. During your free estimate, let your Comfort Advisor know that energy efficiency is a priority. They can guide you towards the best energy-efficient options for your home. Often local utility companies offer incentives for residents to promote energy efficient heating and cooling units. Ask your Comfort Advisor what local rebates you are eligible for. 

Furnaces

Furnaces are HVAC units that either uses oil, propane, gas or electricity to heat your home. Gas furnaces are the most common type of furnace in the United States. Furnaces are normally one unit that helps to make up a central air system. The other parts of a central air system is air conditioning, ductwork/ventilation. 

Gas furnace efficiency is measured by an AFUE percentage, also known as Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. The higher the AFUE percentage than the higher the gas furnace efficiency is. For example, a gas furnace with a 90% AFUE rating means that the gas furnace is using 90% of the energy to heat the home while 10% is wasted. AFUE percentages can range from 80% to 98% for gas furnaces that are currently available on the market. Energy Star rated gas furnaces have a high AFUE rating and are considered highly energy efficient. Keep in mind that more energy-efficient gas furnaces do cost more upfront, but they will save you in the long run by lowering utility bills. 

Air Conditioners

Air conditioners are outdoor units with the sole purpose of cooling your home. They are apart of your central HVAC system, which includes an indoor unit and ductwork. It is recommended that when you replace your older outdoor unit, such as an air conditioner, that you replace the indoor unit at the same time as well; this only applies if your indoor unit is older and less energy efficient. Running a high energy efficient outdoor unit with a low energy-efficient indoor unit can cause the whole system to be less energy efficient as well as cut down on the lifespan of the system. 

AC cooling efficiency is most commonly measured by a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. A SEER rating is determined by how well an air conditioner will run for an entire cooling season. Energy Star rated air conditioners have a high SEER rating as well due to their high AC cooling efficiency. Air conditioners can also be measured for their AC cooling efficiency by EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio. This measurement is determined by how well an air conditioner runs at exactly 95 degrees Fahrenheit. 

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, a highly efficient and Energy Star rated air conditioner might not be the best choice for lowering your cooling utility bills. Due to the overall moderate climate, a highly efficient heat pump may be the better choice. A heat pump can both heat and cool your home and will save you more on your utility bills in either mode compared to an air conditioner. .

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are outdoor units that both heat and cool your home; they can be apart of a ducted central HVAC system or a ductless system. Generally, heat pumps perform best in moderate climates between 40-70 degrees, which makes them ideal for the Pacific Northwest. Ducted heat pumps are normally paired with a gas furnace, which can act as backup heat for your home for temperatures below 40 degrees. 

Air source heat pumps are the most common type of heat pump. So how do air source heat pumps work? They transfer heat either into your home or outside of your home depending on the mode your thermostat is set to. A heat pump in heat mode will pull the heat in the outdoor air and move it into your house; while a heat pump in cooling mode will do the opposite and move the heat from inside your house to the outside. 

Heat pumps are more energy efficient than other heating units because they move heat rather than create heat; creating heat uses more energy. Since heat pump heating efficiency is higher than other heating units, there are often both manufacturer and utility rebates available to incentivize homeowners to make the switch to a heat pump in their home. Like other HVAC units, Energy Star rated heat pumps are considered the most energy efficient on the market. 

Working with a HVAC Contractor

Working with an HVAC Contractor

Though you can complete some energy saving tips on your HVAC equipment yourself, you will need a professional HVAC contractor to complete other tasks for you such as annual maintenance, duct cleaning, duct sealing and installation of Energy Star rated equipment. 

In this section, we provide you some helpful tips of what to look for in a professional HVAC contractor. There are plenty of “Chucks in a truck” that might be available to help you in a bind, but they often don’t carry the same licensing and liability insurance that more reputable HVAC contractors will. Plus, they don’t have the manpower to help you during a heatwave if your system breaks down as a larger company would. 

Picking a Professional HVAC Contractor

Let’s say you have decided to make the change to Energy Star rated HVAC equipment or you just need to schedule an annual maintenance on your existing equipment. How do you pick a good HVAC contractor? What do you look for? We recommend looking for a contractor that: 

  • Completes a heat load calculation of your home in order to properly size your HVAC equipment
  • Gives you an in-depth bid of the work and thoroughly explains it
  • Is a licensed HVAC contractor in your state
  • Carries liability insurance
  • Has worked in your local community for 5+ years
  • Has positive customer reviews only and shows a history of addresses issues if they come up
  • Works with licensed subcontractors such as licensed electricians
  • Installs Energy Star rated equipment
  • Registers your equipment and submits rebate paperwork for you when applicable 
  • Does the initial system startup with you and explains how to use the system/thermostat
  • Offers a comprehensive Maintenance Program so your system will be properly maintained 
  • Has a large service department, including 24/7 Emergency Services, if down the road you need help with your equipment and/or if something breaks down

Sign an Agreement Before Work Begins

A reputable HVAC contractor will have you sign an agreement before beginning your installation. Make sure this agreement includes: 

  • Itemized detail of the work being done and equipment being installed
  • All warranty information: a compressor (if applicable), parts and labor 
  • All rebate information: manufacturer and local utility company
  • Any additional discounts being applied
  • Details when payment is due 
  • Lists the company’s guarantees around your install 

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Almost half of a family’s utility costs go towards heating and cooling their home. This guide provides ways to increase HVAC efficiency. #EnergyEfficiency #Lowerutilitybills #HVAC @millersheatingair

 

45 thoughts on “6 Toxic Air Conditioning Smells and What They Mean

  1. We have a portable air conditioner until 12 BTU when it’s on it draws the smell of creditor in the house.. we have a wood forced air furnace.
    How ca we solve the problem

    Many thanks

    Jen

    1. Hi Jen,

      Unfortunately, we do not service portable AC units. We recommend contacting an HVAC contractor in your area who does.

    1. Hi Dee,

      We actually don’t work on window AC units. We recommend calling other HVAC companies in your area to see who does.

  2. I have an odor in my home that smells like sulfur and sometimes the odor is like a ginger with onion smell, cause at times it causes my eyes to burn, occasionally nose runs a little, it also makes me cough every now and then. The smell gets really bad when I run my hvac. It’s a central unit. Some when I run my hot water seems like it’s coming through my drains,had my water company to check things out it’s not the problem.

    1. Hi Mary,

      Your HVAC system smelling of rotten eggs or sulfur most likely indicates a natural gas leak. Although on its own, natural gas is odorless, most utility providers add the aroma to alert people of a dangerous leak. Don’t take this lightly. If you smell a rotten-egg-like odor in your home, natural gas is likely the culprit, and immediate inspection is a must. While low level exposure is not hazardous to your health, high levels reduce oxygen in the blood, and can lead to loss of consciousness and death. Gas is also highly flammable and explosive, resulting in dozens of deaths each year. If you notice this smell, open the windows to your home right away, get out of the house immediately, then call the gas company.

    1. Hi Mick,

      An air conditioner smells like mildew or mold is probably the most common symptom of central HVAC systems. When the air conditioning is running, there is a lot of condensation within the unit. When the moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can escape into the ducts and create mold. Finding where the mold buildup is and getting it cleaned up will solve the problem. An HVAC repair technician has the knowledge to handle the problem and ensure that it doesn’t occur again. Note: Mold and mildew smells are not serious problems with the unit, but the poor air quality does increase the risk of respiratory infections in both children and adults. You can still use the unit while you’re waiting for repairs, but you shouldn’t put it off for the sake of your family’s health.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      We do not work on window ACs. However, if it is smelling like gas we recommend that you turn it off to protect your healthy until you have a professional come out to inspect it.

    2. My ac smelt like a gassy smell chemical of some sort i called matenace and told them i was smelling something… He said nothing he can do tonight just shut it off, Be there by 8am. i felt kinda disoriented..my friend shared this ad to me and it helped me feel so much better you really have the answers and i thank you so much !! Marie Dillon youngstown ohio….. T Y.

      1. Hi Marie,

        We are glad you found this article helpful and hope maintenance was able to fix the situation for you. If you do smell gas again, turn off your HVAC system in order to protect your health until a professional can look at it.

  3. My home smells like a car or vehicle with a really bad exhaust leak. Its really strong like oil or fuel burning thru an exhaust leak on a vehicle. What could it be??

    1. Hi Shelly,

      Even in HVAC systems not powered by gas, exhaust fumes can still result if fluids leak from essential components. To avoid a dangerous situation, have your system professionally assessed. Burning oil and other fluids can release large amounts of toxic gases, different in chemical makeup than in natural, liquid form. These particulates can be hazardous to your health, depleting oxygen and resulting in an array of health issues.

    2. My AC unit smells like the tip of a match. The red part. Not sure why or what but is this ok to run until the smell burns off? Or will it?

      1. Hi Nickie,

        Is this the first time using your unit in a while? If so, we recommend letting it run for 20-30 minutes to see if the smell goes away. If it does go away, it probably was dust on your unit burning off. However if the smell continues please contact your local HVAC company so a professional technician can assess your system. If you are in the Vancouver, WA or North Portland, OR area we would be happy to help if the smell persists!

    1. When you say it smells moth balls do you mean that it smells moldy or musty? If so, an air conditioner smells like mildew or mold is probably the most common symptom of central HVAC systems. When the air conditioning is running, there is a lot of condensation within the unit. When the moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can escape into the ducts and create mold. Finding where the mold buildup is and getting it cleaned up will solve the problem. An HVAC repair technician has the knowledge to handle the problem and ensure that it doesn’t occur again. Note: Mold and mildew smells are not serious problems with the unit, but the poor air quality does increase the risk of respiratory infections in both children and adults. You can still use the unit while you’re waiting for repairs, but you shouldn’t put it off for the sake of your family’s health.

      1. Hi Sandy May, Sounds like you have a similar situation to Lukie. When you say it smells moth balls do you mean that it smells moldy or musty? If so, an air conditioner smells like mildew or mold is probably the most common symptom of central HVAC systems. When the air conditioning is running, there is a lot of condensation within the unit. When the moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can escape into the ducts and create mold. Finding where the mold buildup is and getting it cleaned up will solve the problem. An HVAC repair technician has the knowledge to handle the problem and ensure that it doesn’t occur again. Note: Mold and mildew smells are not serious problems with the unit, but the poor air quality does increase the risk of respiratory infections in both children and adults. You can still use the unit while you’re waiting for repairs, but you shouldn’t put it off for the sake of your family’s health.

  4. Hello,
    For well over (3) months, there has been a foul odor ( I would describe as a dead animal) coming from my bedroom AC vent. It was strongest (3) mos ago, for the first (2) days it was unbearable. The latter few mos, it would come and go. I have removed the vent and inspected for animals but found nothing? Oddly, even at its strongest, it is unnoticeable once the AC is running? Any suggestions? Thanks

    1. That is an unusual situation. Normally when our customers smell something like that there is a dead animal within the duct work. Where do you live? If you are in the Vancouver, WA and/or North Portland, OR area we can have one of our technicians come out to inspect your system.

  5. Hi
    There is a odor coming from my Air Conditioner Unit, that smells like musty or someone’s butt that hasn’t washed! I have been smelling it for at least a week or more! I am a asthmatic it causes me to cough and I feel nauseous at times. How do I solve this problem! Upon turning it off I looked inside I do see mold spots.

    1. An air conditioner smells like mildew or mold is probably the most common symptom of central HVAC systems. When the air conditioning is running, there is a lot of condensation within the unit. When the moisture doesn’t drain properly, it can escape into the ducts and create mold. Finding where the mold buildup is and getting it cleaned up will solve the problem. An HVAC repair technician has the knowledge to handle the problem and ensure that it doesn’t occur again. It’s also important to keep up on annual maintenances of your system in order to keep the indoor and outdoor units clean of mold and dirt.

  6. There is like a rubber smell or electrical coming from the vent. Was checked and nothing was found

    1. Electrical odors could indicate a mechanical problem with your AC fan or compressor, wiring issues, or electrical component failure. Made with a variety of metals and chemicals, prolonged exposure to these fumes is not healthy. The first few times the unit kicks on, it may emit a burning odor that can smell electrical and dusty, give it 20 to 30 minutes and see if the smell dissipates. If it does, it probably was just the dust burning off. If it continues, contact a professional HVAC technician to check out the problem and make repairs. An electrical odor typically is a problem within the motor or the wiring. Attempting to fix either of these items can result in severe injuries.

  7. We had a new central air unit and furnace installed today. I keep smelling something. Its aerosol type smell. Kind of like spray paint.

    1. Hi Patti,

      I would recommend calling the HVAC company that installed your new central air and furnace and explain what you are smelling. Since you just had it installed, it should be free for them to come out and make sure everything is ok with your system.

    2. That is exactly what I smell! We just had it replaced about an hour ago and the smell is making me extremely nauseous ?

  8. I have had a gas smell for several months. Called gas person in February. It ended up being my gas stove/oven per the gas company. Now that the air conditioner on, I still smell a gas smell or paint thinner and I hear an airy sound as well. Have not located the source of the airy sound. Gas people said that I am hearing the gas travel up the wall. Tested; no gas indicated. Called heating/air to do maintenance and to check as well. New roofing in the community. Could this be it. Can smell back draft from neighbor’s vehicle. Which is the problem or all?

    1. Hi JJ,

      When the HVAC company came out to do the maintenance, what did they have to say about the gas smell and airy sound that you have been hearing?

      1. They said it was the upstairs neighbor’s air conditioner. As of this week, the gas people found out that the gas smell was the gas meter and fumes from a stove that I had not cooked on in a month. I still have the air sound. Do you think it is air from a pipe that needs fixing or insulation or something stuck in the vent?

        1. It’s difficult to determine the exact cause of the air sound without investigating it in person, but I did speak to a technician and they think insulation would help.

  9. my new 4 ton heat pump began emitting a strong metallic like odor, like aluminum in ac mode. it doesn’t smell at all in heat mode. my evap coil is aluminum. is that what i’m smelling? my old unit had copper coil and i smelled nothing.

    1. Hi James,

      I checked with one of our service technicians. He said that normally that type of smell is emitted during heating mode. Your unit’s indoor coil may be leaking refrigerant, which can give off a metallic smell. We recommend having the company who installed your heat pump come out to take a look. If you are in the Vancouver, WA and/or North Portland, OR area we would be happy to help!

  10. Hi, my air conditioner had recently started to leak water, at first it was small leaks, but then in day 2 the leaks got more severe, to the point where at certain points it was dripping water, i woke up today to a small puddle on the floor under the ac unit (split). There werent any odors inside the room, but i noticed when i smelled the area of the floor where the puddle had been that it smelled like chemicals, and the puddle had a bit of a pinkish hue to it, although otherwise i have not seen the pink hue. The AC still cools as normal, but i have refrained from using it after that. What could that smell be? and is it leaking water or something else.

    1. Hi Maiz,

      I spoke with one of our service technicians. He said that it sounds like water is leaking from your system either because a condensate line is clogged or the copper line isn’t insulated and it’s dripping from there. You would need to get a service technician out to look at your equipment in order to determine the cause of the smell and to stop the water from continuing to leak. If you are in the Vancouver, WA or North Portland area we would be happy to help by sending a technician out to take a look.

  11. james cox on july 10 wrote that his 4 ton aluminum coil ac gave off an aluminum smell. my new aluminum coil 4 ton carrier heat pump does the exact same thing. metallic smell in ac, no smell in heat. my house cools really fast and i’ve had this unit for a year with no recharges. what’s going on here? just hypersensitive to aluminum sell?

    1. Hi Adriaan,

      It sounds like your system is running well and most likely doesn’t have a leak. I spoke with our Service Manager and he thought it might not even be the coil causing the smell. Often times IAQ products emit ozone which can smell metallic. Do you have any IAQ products as a part of your HVAC system? In order to further diagnose the issue, we would recommend having an HVAC company come out to take a look at it. It’s difficult to fully determine the cause of the smell without being onsite.

  12. We have 1-yr old central AC unit. It emits smell when the fan is constantly on and AC is off. When the AC turns on the smell gradually disappears. When the temperature drops to the needed one, the AC turns off and the smell reappears again. The smell is quite strong. Not the mold or musty for sure. And not the rotten eggs either. Some sort of “technical” smell. There is no smell when the fan is constantly on and the unit in the heating mode. The reason of keeping the fan constantly on during the air-conditioning hours is to prevent building mold inside the system.

    1. Hi Vlad,

      Could you explain the “technical” smell in a little more detail? Is it an electrical smell? If it is an electrical smell, it could mean you have a mechanical problem with your AC fan or compressor, wiring issues or electrical component failure. Exposure to this smell/fumes can be very unhealthy. We recommend having a local trained HVAC technician come out to your home and inspect your unit. If you are located in Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR (our service area) we would be happy to send someone out.

      1. Thanks for reply. The smell is vaguely comparable with the smell of burning transformer coils, but not exactly. I know the smell of burning transformer very well. It’s different. The same smell appeared in my previous house from AC unit after living there for 10 years. A year later I moved. And now the same smell at the new place from a brand new AC unit. Amazing. I’m going to ask the guy who installed it to drop by and chek the unit when the pandemic is over.

  13. There is a paint thinner smell coming from my AC vents in my apartment. I called the manager, but her response was not promising. Is it safe to stay in my apartment?

    1. Hi Meghan,

      We would recommend getting a professional HVAC technician out to asses your system right away. Your AC does use an assortment of chemicals in order to run; it sounds like your AC could be malfunctioning (hence the smell) and needing repair. If you are in the Vancouver, WA and/or North Portland, OR area we would be happy to help! Our phone number is 360-695-6500.

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