Skunked Air Conditioning Unit – What Do You Do Now?

The common skunk: small package, huge threat! It only takes seconds to know that a skunk has sprayed anywhere near your home, but when it sprays the central air conditioning unit behind your house, you'll not only know immediately, but you're going to be reminded every single time you turn on the air to cool your home. If your air conditioning unit has been sprayed by a skunk, you're desperately going to be looking for help. Here are a few tips that can help make things a little more bearable for your family as you work to eliminate the smell entirely.

Shut off the System

Don't wait. Shut the air conditioning system down immediately. The longer you allow the system to continue running, the worse the smell is going to get inside your home. Flip the breaker if you need to to be sure that the system won't be turned on by an unknowing family member.

Cover the Vents

Get some plastic bags and begin taping them over all of the vents in your home. Use a couple of layers if the smell is coming through the ventilation system strongly. Don't forget the cool air return vents, as they will allow the smell to enter your home as well.

Remove the Furnace Filter

Get that stinky furnace filter out of the house quickly. That filter has trapped a lot of odors inside of it, so the faster you can get it out, the better.

Open the Windows

Open as many windows throughout your home as you can without opening the ones directly around the central air conditioning unit. Position some fans in the windows to pull fresh air in and remove the stinky air. The better you can get the air moving in your home, the more quickly it will air out.

Light a Fire

If you have a fireplace, light a fire inside it. Lighting the fireplace may heat things up inside on a hot summer day, but it will also help to pull the stinky air out of the house through the chimney.

Clean the Air Conditioning Unit

According to the old wives' tale, tomato juice will eliminate skunk spray, but it can't really be a good idea to douse your unit with buckets of tomato juice. Instead of tomato juice, the next best alternative is white vinegar. Get a pump sprayer and spray the unit with as much white vinegar as you can. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat. It will take a while, but the smell may go away eventually.

If you can't eliminate the stink from the skunk, talk with your local AC maintenance technician for assistance.