Have HVAC Questions? Ask an HVAC Expert for Answers
The ac unit really should not emit any taste or odor. Refrigerant is odorless and tasteless.There may be a source in the apartment that is being circulated by the blower in the unit.
Are there any chemicals such as cleaning agents stored near the return grille?
It is possible that cooling coil may need to be cleaned.Can you see the coil from underneath to determine id there is any mold or mildew?
If you can get to the coil, I would start by getting a can of foam coil cleaner and spraying the fins on coil.As water condenses it will wash anything on surface of coil down the drain.Unless there is something on coil unit should not be producing any odor.
I see. If unit is brand new you could be smelling the chemicals that are produced by plastics and materials made in manufacturing.Most people would probably not notice them. Perhaps after a few days the smell will go way/Meantime you might try using an air freshener return air to mask the odor.
It could be they type of filter or could be coming from the plastic liner in ducts if they are flexible ducts.
No there is nothing that gets hot enough to be toxic in the unit. Burning plastic would be, but there should be nothing burning in unit.