Central Air Conditioning Smells Like The Heat Is On?

The central air was on and it started to smell like the heat had been turned on for the first time. I changed the air filter in the hallway then I checked the thermostat & it was the air conditioning that was on not the heat. (I thought my husband maybe had turned the heat on before he left for work) I opened the closet where the inside unit is and I found water on the floor. A few weeks ago ice formed on the copper pipe inside so I blew out the white pipe (the one that carries the water to drain outside) and I flushed it with bleach & water. It cleared up the clog/bacteria or what ever it was and the water drained like it should. It’s been working fine ever since then until tonight. I’m scared to turn it back on. The inside and outside unit is only a little over a year old. Please help if you can. Thanks!!

  1. Comment by arthur
    February 2, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

    The (hot) smell could be a number of things. Sounds to me like the water from the evaporator coil above the furnace may have leaked water inside the unit causing one of the electrical components to short out or at least start to. It has been my experience as a a/c tech that usually the fan motor windings get hot and make a smell once they get water on them. My advice would be leave it shut off until a qualified service tech can take a look at it so it doesn’t cause any further damage or even worse start an electrical fire.

  2. Comment by myothern
    February 3, 2010 @ 1:40 am

    Its probably low on refrigerant, Causing the unit to freeze, when ice starts forming on the evaporator, It has a funky smell to it, And sometimes will almost smell like electrical.. The water you found on floor was because the a/c was froze up, Causing ice to form in the drain line itself, Water had no where to go. Is the inside fan motor coming on? It’s also possible the outside relay is sticking, Causing the outside to stay on and the inside not on, With no air flow, U get more ice. Need more info? Feel free to contact me on YIM or email

  3. Comment by Ladder Captain-29
    February 3, 2010 @ 3:37 am

    that is normal my does the same thing– its from the heat that is in the duct work because of the heat in the attic and or basement if the ducts are run that way– turning on the a/c will be hot first then cold use it — again its normal

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