It is not rare for an air conditioner to smell bad, although this can still be an alarming lesson. What makes it more complex is that there could be so many reasons why an aircon smells terrible that it can be quite a challenge to solve the problem right away compared to other air conditioner problems.
In fact, it is almost impossible to continue using the air conditioner once it starts to smell. Not only will it greatly affect your indoor air quality, but it could also put your health at risk. It can be a very unpleasant smell, and the air conditioner should be disconnected to avoid the smell. All smells can occur – wet, burnt, or even smoke. Here, we’ll take a look at all the possible reasons why your air conditioning unit gives us a foul smell and how to fix them.
Before you start spraying your air conditioner with countless air fresheners, make sure to get to the real cause of what’s why your air conditioner smells bad. Do It Yourself (DIY) air fresheners, like sprays and mothballs, can also harm your health.
First things first, make it a habit to open windows in rooms with bad odours. Letting air circulate will help get rid of bad odours probably caused by mould, mildew or other bacteria you can’t see but whose effects you can easily smell from your air conditioners.
Now, if you are able to confirm that the bad smell truly comes from the vents of your air conditioning system, it’s time to investigate further:
Mould and mildew thrive in warm, moist environments, like the inside of your air conditioner, and this often causes a bad, musty smell. One of the most common causes of bad smells from the air conditioning system is mildew or mould growth. This problem alone can have several causes, but dirty air filters and vents are one of their first culprits.
Solution: Spray a vinegar mixture and water into your vent or filter and let it dry for at least 15 minutes. Follow this up by brushing the affected area with clean water and a gentle soap mixture. Make sure also to air out the room while doing this. Wait for a few hours before using your AC again. If your air conditioner smells still after this, contact a professional cleaning service near you.
Does the unpleasant odour smell like a ruptured sewer vent pipe? Chances are, the actual cause is pretty close to that, too. This air conditioner smell is a telltale sign that your drain is clogged. This is normal, especially if you have been using your AC unit for quite a time. The indoor air that passes through your evaporator coil brings with it other particles that, when mixed with moisture, could drain your air conditioners.
Solution: The easiest way to clean your aircon drain is to use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner using the most narrow suction available. You can also do this manually using a stick. But, if you are not comfortable doing this, you can always contact an HVAC technician.
If your air conditioner smells like something is burning or basically smells like gas – turn it off immediately. This could be caused by a gas supply problem or a gas leak and needs immediate professional air conditioning tune-up. Your air conditioner is not made from natural gas, and fortunately, this is one of the safety features of aircon manufacturers to alert you once your ac smells easy.
Solution: Do not attempt to fix the problem yourself–this could lead to serious injury or even death.
This could be the worst smell that you will encounter from your HVAC system. If the bad smell resembles that of rotten eggs, it’s safe to assume that you are housing a dead animal inside your air-con. If you have an AC unit that’s not in use, insects and pests may have taken up residence inside. This can cause a bad smell, especially if the insects or pests die.
Solution: The easiest way to remove this smell is to take apart the aircon and clean it out.
The smell of cigarette smoke can be a common problem with air conditioning units. The odour is often due to the accumulation of dust, dirt and other particles in the unit. Over time, these materials can create an unpleasant smoky smell.
In addition, cigarette smoke can also damage air conditioning units. The particles from the smoke can clog up the unit and make it work less efficiently, the main reason the air conditioner smells. This can lead to an increase in your energy bill and shortened life span for your air conditioner.
Solution: Immediate solution is to clean or replace your filter and refrain from smoking indoors.
Take some time out of your repairs before doing something else. Electromagnetic components and water don’t mix very well, resulting in electrical shocks. Do not contaminate the air with filters of any form. Also, refrain from using air fresheners. They can mask underlying problems with your air conditioning unit, like a clogged drain, and you may not be able to identify the true source of the bad odour.
If you’ve tried all of the above tips and the bad odour is still present, there is likely something wrong with your air conditioner, and it needs to be serviced. Contact a professional to have it inspected and repaired.