What Does Freon Smell Like?

AC units are great and total lifesavers in the summer, but that doesn’t mean AC units are problem-free. One of the most common issues is an odor emanating from the air conditioning vents that you’re not able to identify. The following should tell you why your air conditioner smells like chemicals and what you should do about it.

Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Like Chemicals?

The truth is that the chemical smell could be coming from a number of sources. The following may help you decipher what is happening inside your AC and home:

Open Chemical Containers

An AC unit can pick up odors that may be near the central unit and push them throughout the house. A unit’s central location is most likely the attic.

Often times, homeowners store chemicals in garages or attics to keep them away from children. These chemical odors can eventually make it into the home, however, due to leaks or their containers being sealed improperly. For safety measures, find any chemical containers stored in your home and ensure they aren’t near your AC unit.

Toxic Freon Leaks

Freon is a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) that helps the AC remove heat from the atmosphere to keep you cool, but can be harmful to people if it is not contained properly. Freon usually travels through closed copper coils in an AC unit, but these coils can crack and result in an AC coolant leak. A freon leak will produce a smell between sweet and chloroform.

Freon leaks can be toxic. If you suspect a freon leak, talk to a specialist who can use a freon leak detector to help address the issue.

Ozone Smells

Electrostatic air filters produce ozone and exude an odor similar to chlorine, which can be unhealthy for people if inhaled excessively. Some people may experience chest pains while others may have trouble breathing.

Read your owner's manual and adjust your AC system to try to fix this problem, but make sure you call a specialist if the odor persists.

Glue Problems

If you’ve recently had duct work done on your home, this may be an answer to the chemical smell you detect. For this type of work, professionals use glue that gives off a strong smell.

In this case, the smell cannot be immediately addressed and you must wait to allow the glue’s smell to fade. Use air fresheners temporarily, and the issue should resolve itself shortly.

Speak to an AC Specialist

It can be worrying when your air conditioner smells like chemicals. If you believe your AC unit has a freon leak, contact Stan’s AC today. Finding and repairing the leak is key not only to bring the system back to its full operating potential but also to protect your health. Contact Stan's Heating, Air & Plumbing for HVAC repair in Austin, TX as well as HVAC replacement.

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