Why Does My A/C Unit Smell like It's Burning in Collinsville, IL?

When temperatures in Collinsville, IL soar in summer, your reaction is probably to turn on your air conditioner in an attempt to cool down. If this causes a burning smell to fill your home, don’t panic. Instead, consider whether one of these common causes of a smelly air conditioning unit could be to blame.

DUST BURNING OFF THE A/C UNIT

If this is the first time you have turned on your air conditioning system this year, the burning smell could be caused by dust burning off the parts of the system that heats up. This is harmless and should stop very quickly. If the burning smell persists, another cause might be to blame.

A CLOGGED AIR FILTER

If your air conditioner is emitting an unexplained burning smell, the first thing you should try is changing the air filter. When filters become clogged with dust and dirt, airflow through the system is restricted. This can force the motor to work harder, causing it to overheat.

A BROKEN CAPACITOR

Air conditioning units use capacitors to power the motor. If the capacitor fails, the wrong voltage can be delivered to the motor, causing it to overheat. Capacitors often fail during a power surge, although sometimes they also break down due to general wear and tear. Replacing the capacitor resolves this problem, but it’s not an easy job. Therefore, you should call a local Collinsville AC professional to handle this issue for you.

A FAULTY MOTORclogged air filters

Sometimes, the reason for the burning smell lies within the motor itself. If the bearings on the motor are worn out, the motor can overheat and smell like it is burning. Sometimes, lubricating the bearings is enough to solve this problem, but other times you will need to hire a professional to replace the part.

A WORN BELT

Some air conditioners use a rubber belt to drive the air blower. Over time, the rubber wears out, causing a burning smell that is also rubbery — a bit like burning tires. This kind of smell is a clear sign that the belt needs replacing.

ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS BURNING

The most dangerous kind of burning smell is one that also smells a little like sulfur, rotten eggs, or burning plastic. This is a sign that your air conditioning unit has developed an electrical fault, which could lead to a fire if you do not get it fixed. Call Morrison Plumbing right away if you notice this kind of smell so we can make your a/c unit safe.

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