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(618) 345-7498 | Serving Metro East Illinois

If Your Air Conditioner Smells Funny, Here’s What it May Mean

You may notice a bit of a strange smell the first time you turn on your air conditioner. Don’t worry - this is a completely normal occurrence. If that “lingering” smell doesn’t seem to go away after a few times using your A/C, it may be an indicator of a more serious problem and time to give Viviano Heating and Air Conditioning a call.

The dirty sock syndrome. Might be a funny name, but this is a real term in our industry. If you continue to notice that musty smell after repeatedly using your air conditioning, it should not be ignored. That smell of “staleness,” similar to a stuffy locker room or gym, may mean there is mold and bacteria present in your evaporator coil or another part of your HVAC system.

Do you suspect you have “dirty sock syndrome” wreaking havoc in your equipment? We recommend having your evaporator coil cleaned by Viviano. This is especially important if you have asthma and/or allergy sufferers living in your home. You can also check your filters, your ductwork, and clean your drain pan. Have questions about any of the tips listed here? Give us a call and we can help. Generally speaking, the smell isn’t a safety concern and there’s a chance it’s not related to mold. At Viviano, a member of our team can help assess what’s going on and diagnose the issue.

What’s the best way to keep your home smelling fresh? This probably won’t surprise you because we often sing the praises of keeping your air filters clean, but a clean filter is your first line of defense against funky smells and mold. If cleaning or changing out your filter doesn’t help, it may be time to clean and inspect your ductwork. We also recommend CleanEffects™, an air cleaner which provides even more protection for your household by removing 99.98% of airborne particles.

Do you notice an electrical, burning smell? If you notice a burning smell when you turn your air conditioner on, it may mean you have a problem with the A/C fan or the compressor motor. This is not a smell you want to ignore, because it could be a sign of a serious issue. Turn off your unit and call Viviano Heating and Air Conditioning so we can figure out what may be happening. Our affordable maintenance program is just one more safeguard in keeping your system working effortlessly and avoiding any unforeseen maintenance issues.

Summer has just begun, and we want to make sure your air conditioning is operating at its highest efficiency. Viviano Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. has been helping customers for 30 years, offering the expertise of our trained technicians and installers to homes and businesses throughout the Metro-East. Learn more at