I have a 4YO house. After about 2 years a strong electrical/metallic smell started coming from our Samsung AM060JNZDCH/AA. We've had 3x different AC companies come to look at it, but no one has been able to find the source. I was hoping that someone here had some advice/experience you could share.

The smell is strong, and can be smelled in the house immediately when the device is turned on. If I stick my head in I can also smell it in the return ducts when the AHU is not running. Otherwise, there is no such smell in the house. (i.e. there is another air handler upstairs that helps cool the same area. No smell coming from that unit).

  • The system is not loosing any refrigerant. If it wasn't for the smell, the unit would be excellent.
  • We've tried switching off the propane cooktop off overnight, then trying the air handler in the morning, and still experiencing the same smell as soon as the air handler is turned on. As such, a propane leak has been ruled out.
  • The air handler is in the garage, with ducts obviously leading into the house. There is no burning smell in the garage. And, (I'm told) no burning smell around the air handler unit in the attic above the garage.
  • I've had 3x different AC companies come to look at the unit over the years. No one is able to find the issue. That said, I live on a Caribbean island. AC companies here are notorious for replacing entire air handlers instead of the small $5 part needed to fix the issue.

I've had such bad luck with these Samsung units over the past 4YRs (i.e. 5x air handler replacements) I am considering replacing the whole GD system with another HVAC vendor. But, before doing something on emotion alone, I wanted to post up here to see if anyone has run into something similar with a burnt smell coming from the air handler. Or, if you have any advise that can help me get to the source of the smell.

  • I'm kinda guessing here, which is why this is a comment rather than an answer. I THINK about the only place you could get a electrical smell inside the house is from the blower motor. Nearly all residential air handlers/furnaces have the blower motor inside the air-handler. You might have a motor with a short in it's windings causing it to over-heat. IF (the big IF) this is the case, it will lead to failure. If you can access the motor after it's run for a while to carefully touch it, if it feels really hot, there's your clue and replacing the blower motor would be your fix. Nov 27, 2021 at 15:10
  • 1
    does the unit have an electrostatic dust filter? ... the metallic smell may be ozone from an electrical arc in the high voltage circuit
    – jsotola
    Dec 28, 2021 at 18:23

2 Answers 2


I think I may have found the issue. Looks like the clearance on the AHU is so low that it sits inside of the emergency drain pan. Rather than the installer create return and supply ducts that clears the rim of the emergency pan, they cut a slit in the duct. As a result, the rim of the pan goes up into the duct.

My guess is that there is an air leak and the smell I'm smelling is a combination of the pan and air from the attic.

enter image description here

  • 1
    If that were the case, I think you would have smelled the smell immediately after moving into the house. Seems unlikely that this bad sheet metal work would only begin to leak after time. And I don't see how the pan or the attic could smell of electrical. While there's nothing wrong with fixing the sheet metal, I suggest you investigate the motor as George Anderson suggested above. Nov 28, 2021 at 23:26

I've had a new Samsung heat pump and air handler system for 2 months now and it smells like a foundry. It's coming from the motor in the air handler and I'm on my third one including a complete new unit. My tech brought me the first motor he took out and it reeked. The next two the same. Now I'm told this same motor is in all new makes of air handler from Carrier and on down. I'm being gaslighted.

answered Jan 26 at 22:58 Daryl Williams

This does explain why a new unit would smell from day one, but it doesn't seem to explain why a four year old unit would start to smell after two years,

It's less than a year old if the OP has put 5 of them in 4 years.

I've had such bad luck with these Samsung units over the past 4YRs (i.e. 5x air handler replacements)

Stop buying airhandlers from Samsung. I didn't even know they made them. They usually make good stuff, and it has to be, because their customer service is the worst on the planet.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.