HVAC solutions for asthmatics

What May Be Causing A Burning Odor After You Turn Your AC On?

When your air conditioner is turned on, you expect it to release conditioned air that will keep the residence comfortable. However, there are some instances when the unit might instead emit burning smells. You are likely to suspect that the AC is about to burn if this happens. Moreover, the odor may spread throughout the house, making occupants uncomfortable and anxious because they may not know its origin. In many cases, however, this burning smell doesn't indicate a fire. Here are some possible reasons why the AC may emit such an odor:

Damaged Capacitor

Your air conditioner features a capacitor whose purpose is to power the AC motor. It receives information from the thermostat magnetically and ensures that the motor runs efficiently to cool your living space as desired. Thus, if it fails, the motor is likely to overheat, producing a burning odor. Capacitors can malfunction this way for various reasons, including wear, power supply issues, and overheating wiring. If, after an inspection, the technician confirms that this component is broken, you'll need to replace it. Significantly, ensure that you switch the system off while you wait for the technician to arrive.

Overheated Motor

A malfunctioning motor can also produce a burning smell. This happens when bearings get worn out and make the component overheat. Remember, this part's function is to run the indoor and outdoor unit fans, so its optimal functioning is necessary. Regular bearing lubrication can help prevent damage to the bearings, but if they are already faulty, they'll require replacement. Thus, you may have to get new bearings and, in escalated cases, a motor.

Worn Out Belt

If you have been using your AC for years, you might notice that it has developed an odor like burning rubber. Unfortunately, this means that the fan belt is damaged and needs replacing. The belt's role is to spin fans, which ensures that your home gets much-needed cool air. Nonetheless, since the strap is made of rubber, it is bound to get worn out, emitting a rubber odor after overheating. As soon as you notice this, shut the unit off and get an air conditioning repair technician to install a new belt.

Blocked Filter

Air filters trap all contaminants and dust to ensure you receive clean, conditioned air. Due to the nature of this task, these elements can clog it, and when this happens, the airflow rate reduces. Fans and other AC components are then likely to strain, which leads to a burning odor. Replacing the filter can fix the problem unless other parts have also sustained damage. In such a case, you'll need extensive AC repair.

In the event that your AC emits an unusual smell and starts to malfunction, call an air conditioning repair professional for help. Trying a DIY option can cause more damage, ultimately increasing repair costs.

Contact an air conditioning repair contractor to learn more.