What Does it Mean When Your Air Conditioner Smells Like Paint Thinner?

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That odor, and several others, can point to a severe problem with your AC.

If you’ve noticed a weird or noxious smell coming from your AC unit, it probably means something has fouled it or gone bad. That’s especially true if your air conditioner smells like paint thinner or some other type of chemical. If it does, there’s likely some malfunction, and one or more fluids are leaking. That’s not good because many fluids in your AC system are toxic.

air conditioner smells like paint thinner

What Do Other Smells Emanating from Your AC Mean?

There are several different causes for odd, harmful, or unpleasant smells coming out of your AC. Some are worse than others, but all of them can be problematic. They include:

  • A Paint Thinner or Chemical Aroma
  • The Smell of Sewage
  • The Smell of Rotten Eggs
  • A Putrid, Sulfur and Methane-like Smell
  • A Burning Smell
  • A Gun Powder Smell

A Paint Thinner or Chemical Aroma

As mentioned above, if you’re smelling something that smells like paint thinner or chemicals, there’s a possibility that your AC is leaking fluids.

The Smell of Sewage

If you’re smelling sewage, it could be from a sewage line or pipe that is ruptured. Decaying sewage in ductwork is extremely dangerous to breathe.

The Smell of Rotten Eggs

Because natural gas is colorless and odorless, a chemical is used to create a smell when there’s a leak. That’s the smell of rotten eggs and, if you smell it, you should call an AC repair company right away. It would be best if you also had everyone in your home evacuated until the problem is fixed.

A Putrid, Sulfur and Methane-like Smell

Occasionally a rodent or other small animal will die either within your walls or within your AC ductwork. If that happens, a putrid, sulfur, and methane-like smell will be the result.

A Burning Smell

If you smell something burning and you can’t detect what it is, it’s possible that your AC’s fan, compressor, wiring, or an electrical component have failed and burned.

A Gun Powder Smell

Similar to a burning smell, if you smell gun powder, it could be that the circuit board or fan motor on your AC has gone bad.

Consult an HVAC technician at Texas Air Repair

Any or all of these smells should be checked out by a professional from Texas Air Repair as soon as possible. If you smell gas, you should also call your local gas company to come and turn off the gas ASAP until we arrive.

If your air conditioner smells like paint thinner, don’t delay, call Texas Air Repair right away, or leave your name and contact info below. A friendly representative will get back to you ASAP!

Henry Rodriguez

Henry Rodriguez

Henry Rodriguez is the owner of Texas Air Repair with physical locations in San Antonio and Houston.

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Texas Air Repair offers air conditioning, heating, and indoor air quality services to residential and commercial customers in San Antonio, TX & the surrounding areas with their 25+ years of experience. 

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