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Why does my air conditioner stink?

6 reasons why your aircon smells bad

Have you ever turned on your air conditioner only to turn it off again because it was stinking? Some internal issues can cause the air conditioner to smell foul, like dirty socks or car exhaust fumes. These funky smells are a sign that your aircon needs professional air conditioner service. So why is your aircon smelly and what can you do about it? Keep reading to learn more.

Smelly Air Conditioner

#1 - Does your aircon smell like dirty socks or smelly feet?

If it smells like dirty socks or stinking feet, it's likely that the condensation water hasn’t drained away properly. The water can remain stagnant in the drain pan or ducts which can cause mould or fungus to grow. Water may also start leaking inside your home if this is not repaired or cleared.

#2 - Does it smell mouldy or musty?

A mouldy or musty smell is usually due to water accumulated inside the unit. Water can cause fungus or mould to grow inside the unit leading to a musty smell.

Dirty air filters can trap moisture and if you turn on your aircon after a long time, your room will often smell musty.

Mould is not good for your health, it can cause breathing problems and respiratory infections, as well as trigger asthma or allergies. To fix this problem, call an air conditioning technician who will use specialised techniques to clean and sanitise the unit ensuring bacteria and mould is completely removed.

#3 - Does your aircon smell like rotten eggs?

If the aircon smells like dead animals or rotten eggs, there are chances that a rat/ bird crawled into the aircon outdoor unit or ducts and got trapped. Unfortunately, they might not be able to escape and die inside the equipment. As soon as you turn on the aircon, the unit will discharge this foul odour in your home.

The obvious way to get rid of the problem is by getting your aircon cleaned by a professional. They can remove the dead remains and also check the equipment for any damage or leaks.


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#4 - Does it smell like gun powder?

If it smells like gun powder (or like something’s on fire), there are high chances that the unit’s electrical component has shorted out. There are many electrical components in the air conditioner like fans, compressors, and evaporator coils. If any component gets damaged, it requires immediate action. Turn off your unit and call an HVAC repair technician immediately.

#5 - Does it smell like a gas leak?

If you smell a gas, it may be that your refrigerant gas is leaking. However it's more likely from a natural gas or LPG leak.

However, a refrigerant leak is very dangerous to your health as well as for the environment. In this case, contact a licensed air conditioning technician immediately as refrigerant leaks should be fixed as soon as possible. In the meantime, keep your home well-ventilated.

#6 - Does it smell like cigarettes?

The coil and air filters can absorb cigarette smoke and release it later. If you don't smoke indoors, there can be a chance that the previous tenants/owners were smokers and the unit is releasing old smoke. Contact an aircon technician for a thorough cleaning of the unit and air filter replacement to get rid of the smoke odour. Avoid smoking indoors to prevent this from happening again.

Your Trusted Air Conditioning Specialists Brisbane

Have a smelly air conditioner? Contact the team at All Purpose Air Conditioning today on 1300 405 295 or complete our online aircon service request form, our qualified and licensed professionals can solve your problem right away.

We can discuss all the available options when it comes to keeping your air conditioning running effectively. Trust the people that are passionate about breathing life into buildings and discover how much cooler life can be with us on your side.

Request a quote online or call: 07 3133 1681

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All Purpose Air Conditioning

All Purpose Air Conditioning

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