Question about Goodman CLQ36AR49 Air Conditioner

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3 ton goodman heat pump package unit, odor coming from vents

We installed a new unit last year, this is our second winter season and although it works fine, about every 45 minutes to an hour we smell a chemical-like smell blowing through the vents while the unit is running. It just started a couple of weeks ago and we can't figure out what is causing it. There are no signs of any leaks, but how do you know for sure? I'm worried we might get sick from it, I have never smelled this before, it smells almost like baking soda or the inside of a cooler. Thank you for any suggestions.

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  • gino50 Dec 04, 2008

    I'm having the same problem. Goodman dual fuel unit installed last year . . . worked fine. This season, I'm getting a pungent odor inside the house through the vents. I turned off the humidifier thinking that might be the cause, but the odor continues. Odor seems to prevail during the cycle when cooler air is coming through, rather than warm air.

  • Anonymous Dec 09, 2008

    Ihave a odor coming from it

  • Theresa Thompson Dec 11, 2008

    I have the same problem but with my Goodman GPG13 13 Seer 3Ton Gas/Electric unit. The smell starts when the heater come on and blows throughout the house but concentrates in the rooms in the highest level of our home. The smell is not carbon monoxide or gas. It disappears when we turn the unit to 76 degrees or higher but is alway there when it is on the normal 70-72 degree settings. Causes itchy, watery eyes, sore throat and conjestion. Our next step is to bring in an air quality inspector to determine what the smells is since the installer/service company can't figure this out. If things don't get better we are going to need to remove the unite.

  • j6237 Dec 22, 2008

    We have a Trane 4 ton unit installed last year and have the same problem. It doesn't have any pattern so when the repair guy shows up to make it do it. The smell makes the whole house stink. Smells like dirty socks or something. It was a new unit with new duct work. This is the second winter that this has happened. Any thoughts what it could be ?


  • jbestel Jan 15, 2009

    We have the same problem. Weird "cooler" smell every 1/ 2 hour or so that gives me a sore throat. This happens whether the air conditioning is running or the heat is running. When we turn the heat pump off and just the emergency heat (just the furnace) is running -- there is no smell.

  • Anonymous Jan 25, 2009

    I have the same issue. I have a small townhome with a Goodman heater. On some days,I can smell the odor from every part of the house. I've had ducts cleaned, gotten rid of carpet in part of basement, and have air purifiers running constantly in the house. It still doesn't seem to help the issue and I'm getting a scratchy, sore throat after being in the house a while.

  • Anonymous Apr 28, 2009

    We had a 4 ton American Standard installed in 2007. When a/c is running, strong chemical smell emits thru the vents, like paint or glue or something along those lines. We are getting metallic taste in our mouths also when it's running. No odor when heat is on, just a/c. Installer came out once and found a white powdery substance inside the unit, refused to tell us what it was. Unit was cleaned out and seemed ok. Next season, odor returned. Installer refused to come out again, saying unit is just fine and the smell is due to our cats.

  • Brenda Venable Jan 30, 2013

    I AM ALSO HAVING this problem. Just had my old system replaced inside the attic (Houston Texas) and now I suddenly have this horrible chemical smell). Paid the A/c company another $65.00 to say they don't smell it..ugh. I make me feel sick. Does anyone know anything else about this new aluminum?


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I ran upon this a few years agoafter 20+ years in the industry it is actually called "DIRTY SOCK". In the winter the drain pan and trap dry out and all the junk left behind when the summer rolls around mix with the condensateand cause the odor. "Home owner fix" pour a cup of bleach down the drain and in the pan let sit for about an hour then pour a gallon of hot water, that usually takes care of it.

Posted on May 31, 2009

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Sounds like there may be mold growing in the evaporator drain pan and when the furnace comes on the its being burned off. I would get a UV light and have it installed in the return air and also have the coils cleaned up and the drain pan cleaned.

Posted on Dec 21, 2008

  • Anonymous Oct 30, 2014

    I agree, that sounds like it could definitely be a mold problem. I would have a mechanic take a look at your air conditioner asap to make sure that whatever odor that is coming out isn't poisonous. You probably shouldn't use the machine until you are sure that it is working properly.


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The name "Dirty Sock Syndrome" has been used to cover up a major problem with the HVAC industry. The mold/mildew/bacteria smell was what originally came up with the name, but this latest smell isn't the same. It's the result of the new kind of aluminum that's being used in the units. As far as the ordinary installer would know, it's the same material. It looks the same, it bends easily just like the old stuff. But, it's a new formula of aluminum that has been used and sheds the oxidization much more often than the old formula. The white powder that will generally be found all over the floor and sides of the indoor air fan compartment is evidence of the new troubles. Eventually, somebody will do a study of this stuff and find out if it's dangerous or not. If lawyers get involved first, you can bet it's going to be called dangerous...

Posted on Feb 19, 2012

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