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Why Does Air Conditioning Smell? How to Avoid Aircon Smells

July 14 2023by Maximum Climate Control


Why Does My Air Conditioning Unit Smell?

Air conditioning systems are vital for maintaining comfort in homes and businesses during hot summer days. However, there are instances when the refreshing breeze is accompanied by an unpleasant odour, leaving you unsure about the cause. 

Bad odours from an air conditioning system can have negative effects, creating discomfort, affecting indoor air quality, and potentially causing respiratory issues and allergies, especially for those with sensitivities. These odours can also leave a negative impression on guests or customers, impacting first impressions of your business.

They may indicate underlying issues like mould or bacterial growth, which can affect system performance and efficiency. Addressing these odours is crucial for maintaining a clean, healthy, and pleasant indoor environment.




Air Conditioning Installation & Maintenance



Why Does My AC Unit Smell Bad? 

Accumulated Moisture

One of the main reasons for a smelly ac unit is the build-up of moisture within your air conditioning system. When moisture is not drained correctly, it creates a breeding ground for mould, mildew and bacteria. These microorganisms emit a distinct musty smell which can permeate the air in your home or office.


Clogged Condensate Drain Line

The condensate drain line in your air conditioning system carries away excess moisture. Over time, this drain line can become clogged with dirt, debris or algae, blocking the flow of water which can lead to foul odours.


Dirty Air Filters

Cleaning your air conditioning unit’s air filters is crucial for maintaining a fresh indoor environment. Over time, filters collect dust, dirt, and allergens, causing them to clog and hinder proper airflow making them a breeding ground for odour-causing bacteria. When the air passes through dirty filters, it releases these bacteria, resulting in unpleasant smells. 

Ensuring your air conditioning unit is maintained and cleaned efficiently will eliminate potential odours, ensuring clean and fresh air in your home or business.


Decomposing Organic Matter

If you notice a rotten or decaying smell coming from your AC unit, it could be due to the presence of a dead animal. Insects, rodents, or even leaves that have found their way into the system can decompose over time, emitting foul odours that are circulated throughout your space.


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Types of Smells and Their Solutions

Musty or Mildew Odour

Regular air conditioning maintenance is crucial for your unit to ensure thorough cleaning and disinfection to prevent the growth of mould or mildew. While it is possible to clean your unit yourself, we strongly advise using HVAC professionals like Maximum Climate Control. 

Our team have the expertise and specialised equipment required to combat musty or mildew smells. By relying on our professional services, you can have peace of mind knowing that your system will receive the thorough cleaning it needs to eliminate bad odours and maintain optimal performance.


Dirty Sock Odour

If your central air conditioner smells like a dirty sock odour, then it could be caused by a buildup of bacteria on the evaporator coil or a water leak. To tackle this issue, consider using specialised coil cleaners or contact our HVAC professionals at Maximum Climate Control to perform a thorough maintenance and cleaning service.


Burning or Electrical Odour

If your air conditioner smells like it has an electrical fault or is emitting a burning smell, it could indicate a potential electrical issue. If this is the case, it is crucial to shut off your system instantly and seek assistance from our qualified engineers to prevent any electrical hazards.


How to Get Rid of AC Odours

Regular Maintenance

Regular air conditioning maintenance is crucial for preventing odour-related issues in your air-con unit. By scheduling maintenance with our professional team at Maximum Climate Control, you can ensure optimal performance and eliminate potential odours.

During maintenance visits, our skilled HVAC technicians will clean components, such as condenser coils and air filters, removing dirt and debris that can cause odours. They will also inspect and lubricate parts, check electrical connections, and address emerging issues. 


Change Air Filters

Regularly changing your air conditioning system’s air filters is vital for eliminating bad smells and maintaining a fresh indoor environment. Over time, filters collect dust and debris that can harbour odour-causing bacteria. By replacing the filters every 1 to 3 months, you ensure proper airflow and prevent the circulation of unpleasant odours. 

At Maximum Climate Control, we offer professional maintenance services to handle all aspects of your system, including addressing bad ac smells. Our experienced team is equipped to inspect, clean, and disinfect your AC system, providing you with a fresh and odour-free environment.


Keep Surrounding Areas Clean

Maintaining cleanliness in the surrounding areas of your air conditioning system, both indoors and outdoors, is crucial to prevent foul smells. By keeping the area free of debris, leaves, and pests, you can avoid bad aircon smells.

We advise trimming vegetation around the outdoor unit and ensuring proper drainage to prevent moisture accumulation. These measures contribute to a fresh and odour-free environment, allowing your air conditioning system to operate efficiently and effectively.


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The Final Say

Smelly AC odours can impact the comfort and air quality of your home or business. These odours can pose health risks, particularly for people with respiratory issues, allergies, or sensitive conditions.

Addressing and treating these bad odours is crucial not only for creating a pleasant environment for your friends, family, or employees but also for protecting their well-being. By understanding the causes of these odours and taking preventive measures such as regular maintenance, prompt problem resolution, and maintaining cleanliness, you can effectively resolve the issue and ensure that your AC unit provides fresh, odour-free air.

At Maximum Climate Control, we specialise in supplying, installing and maintaining air conditioning units for offices, restaurants and hotels. To enquire about installing or servicing your air conditioning unit, get in touch today. 

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