Look For Same Day Service

(417) 309-6107

Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Like It’s Burning?

A female homeowner holds her nose as she notices a strange burning smell emanating from her air conditioner in her Springfield, MO, home.

When temperatures in Springfield, MO, 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. Go through this checklist to see if you can identify the source of the problem. If you want professional help, please reach out to our qualified experts at Air Services.

Dust Burning Off the AC Unit

If this is the first time you’ve turned on your air conditioning system this year, the burning smell could be caused by dust burning off the parts of the system. As the system cools your home, the parts themselves might become warm to the touch and could be burning off the accumulated dust. 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. Luckily, changing the air filters is a quick and easy process. Simply buy a new air filter and change out the old one. This process is one of the best things you can do for your system.


A female homeowner changes her AC’s air filter and compares the dirty filter with the clean one in her home in Springfield, MO.

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 our local Springfield AC professionals to handle this issue for you. Air Services is always available to assist our valued customers, so contact our team today for a quality repair service.

A Faulty Motor

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. When a replacement is needed, you can rely on Air Services. We always have the most advanced tools and quality parts to perform any repair or replacement service. Our expertise is just a phone call away.


A young family sits happily on a couch, enjoying the cool air from their air conditioner in their Springfield, MO, home.

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—it can smell similar to burning tires. This kind of smell is a clear sign that the belt needs replacing, so if you notice this odor, it is a good idea to call in the professionals so they can assist you in replacing the belt and restoring your system.

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 immediately. Call Air Services right away if you notice this kind of smell so we can make your AC unit safe again. The safety of your family and your home is your top priority, and it is ours as well, so please don’t hesitate to call us as soon as possible if you are experiencing an electrical fault with your air conditioner.

Request Air Services for Your AC Repair in Springfield, MO

You always want to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to the safety of your home and everyone who lives in it. You depend on your air conditioner during the warm months of the year—just make sure you’re also returning the favor and taking care of your unit so it can continue to serve you reliably. If you suspect there is any issue or potential problem and you want the experienced hands of an expert, call Air Services right away at (417) 309-2971 and we would be proud to offer you the benefit of our years of expertise. Let us restore your AC unit today and ensure your home is cool and comfortable all year round!

Skip to content