How To Get Rid Of That Unpleasant Air Conditioner Smell

The smell of your air conditioner can be just as important as the temperature it maintains. If your air conditioner smells terrible, it can make your living space almost unbearable to be in during hot days when you need it most.

Here are some steps you can take to get rid of that nasty damp air conditioner smell. But first things first, what is the cause of the foul smell in your air conditioner?

What Causes Bad Odour in Your Air Conditioner? 

A few things can cause your air conditioner to give off an unpleasant odour. These include:

Dirty or clogged filter: If you don’t clean your filter, this will introduce unwanted smells into your air conditioner. It’s important to regularly clean or have your filter replaced.

Mould or mildew: If you start smelling a mouldy odour, your air conditioner has most likely started growing fungus. This occurs naturally as air conditioners remove excess moisture while cooling it. When moisture is not drained properly it starts to grow fungus, resulting in odour being noticeable when turned on.

Animals, insects, or rodents: If you have animals living in your roof cavity, they could leave waste and dead bodies in places where air conditioners are located. This odour can get trapped on your AC’s coils and cause a nasty smell when it’s turned on. Rats and mice can do similar damage as well.

Health Dangers of a Foul-Smelling Air Conditioner

First and foremost, a smell from your air conditioner can indicate that your AC is in desperate need of a service. If you don’t get it checked out as soon as possible, you could be risking your health.

You may find yourself getting sick more often than usual. Not only will indoor air quality likely suffer if your unit isn’t up to par, but bacteria and mould could also become a severe problem in your home if they have unfettered access to moisture.

A bad smell being produced from your air conditioner is a leading indicator that there may be a problem with your air condoning unit. This can lead to more significant issues down the road (like potentially costly repair bills).

Safety First

Is your air conditioner clean? You may not think it matters, but when you’re venting a dirty AC unit, you’re sending gross dust particles and mould spores into your home.

So, follow these tips to breathe easier (and stop hating that stale-smelling air conditioner):

Prevent Mould from Growing

Mould thrives in warm, damp environments. To keep mould from growing, make sure that there is plenty of ventilation for your air conditioner by making sure that no furniture or window treatments are blocking vents and using fans to circulate air throughout your home.

If you find evidence of mould, remove it immediately, so it doesn’t continue to grow. If water has seeped into your unit, book a service ASAP.

You could be looking at severe damage if moisture stays inside too long.

By following these simple tips and regular maintenance, your air conditioner will be less likely to develop bad smells- and more likely to blow nice cool air!

Clean the Filter

Another thing you should do when your air conditioner smells bad is to check your filter and change it if necessary. If your unit has a washable filter, you can simply remove it and hose it down with soap and water. If you’re in need of a new filter or required the filter material to be replaced, contact your installer or service company. When you put in your clean new filter, ensure its installed correctly so that cool air flows through it without hindrance.

Clean Ductwork and Vents

Dust and debris can build up over time on a ducted system’s air intake and outets, and on a wall split system’s front fascia panel and louvres. Ensuring these are regularly cleaned will minimise the risk of odour causing particles developing on your air conditioning system.

Regular System Cleaning

The primary cause of a bad air conditioner smell is infrequent system cleaning. Dirty internal parts can be home to mould and mildew, which will inevitably breed bacteria and other things you don’t want in your home.

It’s essential to have your air conditioning system routinely serviced and cleaned.  

Call a Professional

It’s understandable that if you notice a gross smell emanating from your air conditioner, you may want to fix it yourself.

The problem is that an air conditioning unit may be incredibly complex, and it’s not something you can just wipe out like mould in your bathroom. There are parts inside that require professional maintenance.

If you notice a strange smell or another defect in your system, call ActronAir right away. They can help you get your AC up and running in no time.

The Bottom Line

Most people will tell you that a bad-smelling air conditioner means it’s time for a new one. That’s not necessarily true. If your air conditioner still functions, you might just need a thorough service.

If it’s time for an upgrade, invest in a new split system or ducted air conditioner from ActronAir. Your investment in a new ActronAir air conditioner ensures that you enjoy energy-efficient comfort for years to come. After all, nothing beats having your own cool space on a hot summer day.

Scroll to Top

Register Your Warranty

Book A Service