An air conditioner is crucial in making your home comfortable. However, you might be wondering what you should do in case of a problem. For example, many homeowners around this time of year complain of the air conditioner blowing smoke. If you find yourself in this situation, check if it is accompanied by a smell. This article will help you recognize potential issues, but it is still best to consult your local, trusted HVAC technician to rule out any severe or possibly dangerous problems. They can utilize their trained eye to discover the root cause behind any smoke coming from the vents when the cooling unit is on.
Air Conditioner Blowing Smoke: Causes & Solutions
- 1 Air Conditioner Blowing Smoke: Causes & Solutions
- 1.1 Air Conditioner Condensation
- 1.2 Cold Dry Air Hits Warm Air
- 1.3 A Clog In The Air Conditioner Drain Hole
- 1.4 Air Conditioner Component Failure
- 1.5 Overheating Air Conditioning Unit
- 1.6 Air Conditioner Electrical Problems
- 1.7 Is Your Air Conditioner Setting Off The Smoke Alarm?
- 1.8 Is The White Smoke Coming From Your Air Conditioner Odorless?
- 1.9 How To Avoid Smoke Issues With Your Air Conditioner
- 1.10 Conclusion
- 2 Call PFO Heating & Air Conditioning For All Of Your HVAC Requirements
Here are several common reasons homeowners see smoke coming out of their vents when the air conditioning system is on:
Air Conditioner Condensation
There is a high possibility that the smoke you see coming out of the air conditioner vents isn’t smoke. It might just be condensation. This is especially the case if the white smoke doesn’t have a smell.
The air conditioner draws warm air, which is then cooled. This naturally results in condensation. If the heater box has condensation buildup, the condensation can turn into vapor and go out of the vents with the cooled air. As a result, you’ll see white fog or “smoke” coming out of the AC vents. A blocked drain line could cause excess moisture in the heater box.
Cold Dry Air Hits Warm Air
It is common for the white fog to form when cold air collides with warm air (that’s highly humid). This can be likened to when you go out on a cold day, and your breath is visible. Warm, moist air hits the cool, dry air, causing condensation or water droplets to form. This can be seen as a white smoke or fog.
A common cause of this problem is the air conditioner isn’t receiving adequate airflow. Help reduce this problem by putting your air conditioner’s setting on high, so your home cools faster. You should also make sure that the air filters are cleaned or changed regularly. A licensed HVAC professional should also conduct yearly air conditioner inspections to be sure that the system runs properly.
A Clog In The Air Conditioner Drain Hole
Older air conditioners usually have a drain hole, unlike newer models. The evaporator coil in your air conditioner generates condensation when cooling warm air. This water needs to be drained. As a result, the air conditioner is equipped with a condensate drain line, so water is drained correctly outside. However, the drain line can get clogged over time, so the water might back up to your air conditioner. There will be white smoke from your air conditioning vents if this situation occurs. Drain line problems can be prevented with regular air conditioner tune-ups.
Air Conditioner Component Failure
Most homes have air conditioners because of the convenience they bring. Unfortunately, they are also typically placed under heavy strain to keep up with the homes’ cooling demands during the summer. This can inevitably put a toll on your air conditioning unit.
It is natural for the air conditioner’s components to fail as the unit ages. If the cooling system has a belt-driven fan, the smoke could be because this component is failing.
Another reason is when the motor of the fan burns out. If the vents emit a foul odor and smoke, turn the air conditioner off immediately. This can be toxic smoke, so you must call a trained HVAC professional to diagnose and repair the problem. Sometimes, the best way to go is to replace your aging air conditioner.
Overheating Air Conditioning Unit
The problem is likely more severe when the white smoke has an unusual smell. Air conditioners are made up of various electrical parts that can overheat, especially if there is insufficient airflow to the system.
Air conditioner overheating can be due to a clogged air filter or blocked vents. Turn off the air conditioner at once and call an HVAC professional to prevent the problem from worsening. An HVAC technician will find out which component(s) is overheating. These parts may need to be replaced before you can safely use your cooling system once again.
Air Conditioner Electrical Problems
A wiring issue is another reason behind the smoke coming out of your air conditioning vents. Cooling systems have many wires and electrical connections. If one malfunctions, there will be smoke accompanied by a foul odor.
Keep in mind that you must turn off the air conditioner immediately when you smell something strange coming from it. Electrical issues can be hazardous and can cause a fire if ignored. A trained HVAC technician is needed to resolve this issue.
Is Your Air Conditioner Setting Off The Smoke Alarm?
It can be a bit troubling when the smoke alarm goes off. However, the culprit behind it might not be a smoke issue. In general, an air conditioner that’s setting off the smoke alarm is because of a power surge.
If this occurs, unplug the cooling system. You can also pull the circuit for it. There is likely an issue with the air conditioner installation or the home’s electrical system. Call a professional to help you resolve the issue.
Is The White Smoke Coming From Your Air Conditioner Odorless?
Take action the moment you notice smoke coming from your air conditioning vents. First, determine if a foul smell accompanies the smoke or if it is odorless. If it is the latter, you likely have a condensation problem in your hands. You still shouldn’t ignore this issue as air conditioners that are improperly draining can result in other problems.
When the white smoke smells foul, there’s a good chance that an air conditioner’s component is faulty or it is an electrical issue. It is crucial that you switch the air conditioner off and call a qualified HVAC technician in both cases.
How To Avoid Smoke Issues With Your Air Conditioner
There are several ways a homeowner can make sure that they have a properly functioning air conditioner. To begin with, make sure your cooling equipment receives HVAC maintenance at least once a year. An HVAC professional will conduct thorough checkups to find any signs of trouble. This way, they are resolved before they turn into bigger headaches. Simple tasks, like regular air filter replacement, also make a difference in keeping air conditioning problems at bay.
One issue many people disregard is the size of the air conditioner. Problems can crop up when you have an air conditioner that is too large or too small for your home. If this is an issue, consult your local, trusted HVAC technician.
It’s crucial that you take note of any cooling system problems you might have. Contact a professional HVAC technician when you notice a problem, like the air conditioning vents emitting white smoke. A few issues may not pose any danger but could still lead to higher repair costs down the road. Whereas, some air conditioner problems are risky, so they should be handled immediately.
Hire a trained HVAC professional to help you in this area.
Call PFO Heating & Air Conditioning For All Of Your HVAC Requirements
When you need superior heating and cooling services in the Greater Princeton, NJ area, look no further than PFO Heating & Air Conditioning. We hire the best professionally certified and highly trained technicians for your HVAC service needs, such as air conditioner maintenance, furnace installation, boiler replacements, and mini-split repairs. Each of our friendly techs has the knowledge and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.
Our company guarantees the most affordable HVAC service costs in the area. Our tune-up services can enhance your energy efficiency and comfort while reducing your energy bills. We can recommend the best HVAC repair or replacement system solutions within your budget. Your satisfaction is our priority, so all of our work comes with a guarantee. Call PFO Heating & Air Conditioning and schedule a service appointment today. We offer free, in-home estimates.