A/C Fishy Smell Coming From Vents (Why And How To Fix It)

It is not due to cooking fish. This may be a surprise to some people. That fishy smell you get from the vents is not from your wife making you a nice fish dinner. There is another source for it and it may not be what you expect. Fishy smells can come from other products.

That fishy smell may not be coming from a fish dinner freshly cooked. Instead, it may be coming from your overheated wires or other electrical parts. It turns out that there is a chemical in those electrical components that give off that fishy smell. It may also come from melted wires.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about including the fact that smell can come from your heat-damaged circuit breakers. Keep reading to find out more.

Can The Air Conditioner Smell Like Fish?


The AC unit may smell like fish or it just may be transporting the odor to your living area. The reason may be because you are having fish for dinner or someone forgot to put the fish away and it spoiled.

However, that is the least likely source for this problem. That source may happen once in a while but not the most common source around. Instead, you need to look for another source and this source is a bit more costly and harder to repair.

Generally, when you start searching for the source, you may not see the actual source, just the process that produced it. It seems that a specific chemical used in electrical wiring, insulation, and other electrical components gives off this fishy odor when burnt.

Or when overheated. That means you will need to start searching for the problem electronics that may be having an overload problem. This search may take a little time as the problem can be just about anywhere in your RV.

Why Does My AC Smell Like Fish?


Do not check your kitchen unless you are looking at the electronic components in that part of your RV. The fishy odor is coming from your electrical wiring or other components.

The reason you are smelling this odor is that those wires or components are overheating, being burned, or being melted. The reason it comes from your AC vents is that the AC unit picks up the odor and sends it through the vents.

Whether it is heat damage or melting plastic or insulation, there is a chemical used in these electrical components that send off that fishy smell. When you smell this odor, you know you have or are about to have a serious electrical issue to repair.

Just so you know, this is not an RV-related issue only. This is a problem with traditional home HVAC systems as well. There are many possible sources for this problem to exist.

The overheating can come from just about anywhere. An overloaded circuit, a fan, lights, bad connections, sockets, and so on. You may also find that loose or corroded connections can cause this problem as well.

The Fishy Smell Coming From Vents

As you just read, when you smell this odor, you have an electrical problem somewhere inside your RV. For some owners, this problem was melted wires, heat-damaged components or melted components, and so on.

When you smell this odor, you need to start a search where there are electrical connections, components, or wiring. That is a big area so pick a good spot and start hunting.

Keep your search orderly and organized so you do not cover the same ground two or three times. You may be able to tell where the problem is by touching the switch plates, or other covers. They should heat up and get fairly warm.

Also, you will want to do an immediate search when you smell this odor. There will be situations where this electrical heat gets so hot it could start a fire. The pictures of some overheated wires and components are not pretty and show how easy it is to damage those parts.

The New Air Conditioner Smells Like Fish


The overheated electrical parts may not be the only cause for your AC vents to smell fishy. There are other possible sources, especially when your AC unit is brand new.

Mold & Mildew can sometimes produce a fishy odor. The only repair would clean up that bacteria with a powerful cleaner. Then sometimes cigarette smoke can contribute to a fishy odor. But most time sit just may be the nicotine smell.

But the general consensus is that this odor comes from that chemical used in electrical wiring, etc. You can check for other sources but should shut down your AC unit until you find the real source. You do not want to start a fire by accident.

Other RV Odors To Be Concerned Over


The fish odor is not the only odor you need to watch out for. Here is a list of other odors that are telling you that you have a problem:

1. Rotten egg smell- an overcharged battery or a problem with the water heater.

2. Sewage- a backed-up pipe or an overfull black or gray water tank will produce this problem. So will a leaky or broken pipe.

3. Musty smell- could be too much moisture got into your RV’s walls, etc. And mold started to grow.

4. Rotten smell- could be the decaying body of a dead small animal somewhere in your vents, etc.

Some Final Words

After you rule out a fish dinner, you need to start looking for the source of this problem. Our research showed that this odor comes from a problem with your electrical system, whether it be melted wires or other heat-damaged parts.

Once you detect this odor, do not hesitate and start a search for the source right away. You need to find and fix the problem before those overheated parts start a fire.

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