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March 21, 2023

If you have to plug your noise when your air conditioning is on, or find yourself trying to sniff out where that new odor is coming from, there may be something wrong with your home’s AC. Different smells may mean different things. If you are wondering, “Why does my AC stink?”, we review some of the most common reasons below.

Why Does my AC Stink?

If your AC is making your home smell funky, chances are, there is a reason, because your AC should generally not produce any noticeable smells. We review some of the odors you may be sniffing out, and reasons why you may be asking yourself, “Why does my AC stink”?

  • Musty or Moldy: If your AC smells musty or like mildew, moisture within your unit is probably the cause of the stench. If you smell a moldy odor, chances are that mildew or fungus has begun to grow in or near your air conditioner. This can come from various sources, so calling an AC professional is your best bet to resolve the issue. Exposure to damp and moldy environments can cause a variety of health effects, or none at all, depending on the person, and the amount of mold in the environment. You won’t want to leave the smell unattended for too long, as it is not only less than enjoyable, it could be impacting your home’s indoor air quality.
  • Exhaust Fumes: If your AC smells like an exhaust pipe, then you could have a refrigerant leak. These leaks can not only be dangerous to your health, but they can also shorten your HVAC system's lifespan. Air conditioners run on electricity, not fossil fuels, so an exhaust smell is a telltale sign that the fluids inside the motor or other components are leaking.
  • Rotten Eggs: If you are asking “Why does my AC stink?” and it’s because it smells like rotten eggs, you are likely looking for a solution to resolve the bad stench as soon as possible. This odor can be caused by a number of things, including a decaying animal within your ducts or a gas leak. If you smell this unpleasant odor, it’s best to leave the investigating and troubleshooting to the professionals. Open your windows and call a Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County HVAC expert right away.
  • Burning or Smoky: When your AC is on, does it smell like something is burning? If so, chances are that something is. A smoky or burning aroma coming from your air conditioner can be caused by dust burning off (this should go away after a while and is nothing to worry about), having a clogged air filter, a broken capacitor, your motor overheating, electrical components burning, or more. If the burning odor doesn’t go away after a while, turn off your HVAC system and call a professional.


Any time that you have to ask yourself, “Why does my AC stink?”, you should be alert and pay attention to what you are smelling. Sometimes what you are sniffing out can be easily explained and resolved, other times, the odors are an indication to much larger problems within your HVAC system.

Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing is here for all of your Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County HVAC needs. When it comes to your comfort, you deserve the best solutions at the best value. All of our technicians and installers are Bragg employees dedicated to providing you with personalized solutions that meet your goals and budget.

HVAC problems can happen at any time and often require immediate attention. We’re available to provide fast same-day service throughout Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties at no extra charge. Contact us today.


July 12, 2022

No one wants to deal with a comfort system that is showing signs of inefficiency or having recurring issues. If you have noticed that your AC is not performing as it should and blowing warm air, making new noises, doesn’t work at all, or has another issue, you don’t want you and your family to be without cool air for too long. You should know the signs that an issue may be looming and be aware of the most common AC problems many North Bay Area homeowners face. Let’s review.

What are the Most Common AC Problems?

You don’t need to be an air conditioner or HVAC expert to know when something is wrong with your cooling system. There are common AC problems you could face that are usually easy to identify on your own; however, the fix, may require calling in a North Bay Area cooling expert. Below we take a look at some of the most frequent issues we see.

  • AC Will Not Kick On: One of the most obvious issues you could have with your air conditioning is that it will not turn on at all. Maybe it kicked on when you initially started it and now will not come on, or if it wouldn’t start at all, either way, if it’s not working, there is a problem of some sort. The hindrance could be as simple as your thermostat not being set to a low enough temperature, needing new batteries, not being set to AC, or maybe needing to be replaced all together. If you can’t find an issue with your thermostat, contact a local AC repair professional to help you diagnose and resolve the problem.
  • New Noises: Your air conditioning should never be making noises that are louder than a hum. If you notice a hissing, clicking, thumping or rattling, screeching, or buzzing, that is not normal, and there is an issue. If your AC is making sounds, it is trying to tell you something, so don’t ignore it. The new noises could indicate that there is a refrigerant leak, blower or motor issue, the condenser fan motor has a problem, there are loose parts, there’s an electrical issue, or more.
  • Unpleasant Odors: Much like you should listen for signs of an issue with your AC, you should also keep your other senses alert. If you smell something burning when your AC is on, there could be an electrical issue, the air filters could be dirty and blocked, or there could be another issue. If you notice a musty smell, there could be mold or mildew built up in your unit caused by improper drainage or another source. You won’t want to leave the smell unattended for too long, as it is not only less than enjoyable, it could be impacting your home’s indoor air quality.
  • Leaking Liquid: Again with your senses, keep your eyes peeled for signs of an AC problem. It’s usually rather easy to spot when you have liquid somewhere in your home, where it shouldn’t be; however, an AC refrigerant leak may appear within the unit, so it’s not super easy to detect. If you notice colored stains or liquid near your air conditioner, you likely have an issue. While it is okay to see some condensation on the outside of the unit, there should never be excessive moisture or colored stains.
  • No Cold Air: Another common AC problem people face is when they hear their AC running, but don’t feel any air coming out, or the air is warmer than usual. If your air conditioning is blowing warm air, there is a reason, and some are easier than others to identify and fix. As mentioned above, check your thermostat for any issues and make sure you have clean unobstructed air filters. If both your thermostat and air filters are in good condition, there could be an issue with your condenser, refrigerant, air ducts, or something else.


The majority of common AC problems are caused by a lack of maintenance. Dirty air filters, in particular, are to blame for a number of issues, including frozen evaporator coils and the blower motor overheating.

AC routine maintenance is the most important investment you can make for your air conditioning system. This not only includes replacing the air filter every 1 to 3 months, but it should also include professional inspections and tune ups as well.

At Bragg Plumbing Heating & Cooling we can help. If you are having trouble with your air conditioner, don’t hesitate to contact our Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County AC repair technicians for professional troubleshooting. We will take the time to explain what’s causing your cooling problem and discuss your options for repair.

June 28, 2022

Did you know that the air in our homes is often worse than the air found outdoors? Your California home’s air filters are extremely important to not only the air you and your family breathe, but to the longevity and effectiveness of your home’s HVAC system. While homeowners in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties have been advised to change their air filters in their homes; many fail to do so consistently. The filter is one of the simplest elements of your home heating and cooling system, but it is also one of the most important. Regularly changing your home’s air filter is significant for your home and your family’s health. So, how often should you change your home’s air filter?

What is Your Home’s Air Filter?

Before we dive into how often you should change your home’s air filter, we wanted to briefly review what this HVAC component is and why it is a significant part of your home and the air you breathe.

Air filters do simply what the name implies, they filter your air. Air filters keep dust and pollen out and are also tasked with keeping larger particles and materials out of your HVAC system, in turn, saving your system from mutilation. Dirty, unchanged filters are a leading cause of issues with Marin, Sonoma, and Napa County HVAC systems.

When you change your air filter frequently, it helps remove harmful particles from the air such as pollen, dust, dust mites, mold, bacteria, micro allergens and more. Removing these harmful pollutants has massive health benefits for you and your family. Plus, changing your air filter regularly helps keep your HVAC system running at its highest efficiency, which will help to lower your energy bills and extend the life of your system.

Why is it Important to Change Your Home’s Air Filters?

As referenced above, replacing your air filters regularly can have a large impact on the health and well-being of everyone in your home. An unchanged and dirty or soiled air filter means unclean, airborne particles are being spread throughout your home. As mentioned above, these particles include lint, dust, dirt, pollen, and micro allergens that you can’t even see. This means that you and your family will continuously be inhaling unsafe and polluted air, and who wants that?

According to the EPA, the most effective ways to improve your indoor air quality are to reduce or remove the sources of pollutants and to ventilate with clean outdoor air. In addition, research shows that filtration can be an effective supplement to source control and ventilation. Maintaining the air filters in your furnace and air-conditioning (HVAC) system can help to improve indoor air quality. HVAC filters are designed to filter air throughout a home. HVAC filters can reduce indoor air pollution.

How Often Should You Change Your Home’s Air Filter?

Having clean air filters is key to breathing clean air. Nothing is more important than the air we breathe, that’s why regularly changing your home’s air filter is so important.

How often you should change your home’s air filter really varies by home. We recommend changing your air filters at least once a month, but there is no exact number of days in which you should change your filters, as each home is different and it depends on the strain you put on your filter, what particles are in the air, and also what type of filter you have.

It’s a good habit to check your air filters weekly and if you notice they are dirty, change them.

Improve Your California Home’s Air Quality

Changing your home’s air filters is the first step to breathing better air; however, there are also other things you can do to ensure you are breathing easy inside your home.

If you are concerned about the air quality in your home, our experts at Bragg Plumbing Heating & Cooling can help you come up with the right solution. We offer professional air filtration services for homeowners in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa Counties.

There are several options when it comes to air filtration and purification. The right product for your home will depend on your specific air quality concerns.

Our experts will help you navigate the different options and narrow down the best choices for your home. Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.

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