5 Reasons Why Your Air Conditioner Smells Bad

Air-conditioners help keep you cool and comfortable during hot summer days. However, they can also develop weird smells over time which can be unhygienic and uncomfortable. In this article, we look at some of the most common reasons why your air conditioner smells bad or produces weird smells:

1. The buildup of mold, mildew and bacteria
The humid environment inside an air-conditioner is perfect for the growth of mold, mildew and bacteria. Over time, this buildup can produce weird smells that get distributed into the room. It’s a good idea to have your air-conditioner professionally cleaned and serviced once a year or more frequently if needed. The coils and filters should be thoroughly cleaned to remove any mold and grime.

Wall with mold stain

2. Using low-quality filters
Another common reason that makes air-conditioners smell bad is the use of low-quality filters. air-conditioner filters are designed to trap dust, pollen, pet dander and other particles from the air. If the filters are not effective, these particles can build up on sensitive parts of the air-conditioner and lead to a weird smell. It’s best to use a rating of at least MERV 8 air filters for effective filtration. Installing a HEPA filter can also help remove more contaminants from the air.

Very dirty air conditioner filter

3. The drain pan is full
The drain pan in an air-conditioner is there to collect water that collects via condensation during the cooling process. If the pan fills or becomes blocked, it’s possible for mold to grow. The smell of the mold may then be spread around your home when the air conditioner is turned on.

4. Environmental pollutants
Sometimes air-conditioners smell bad come from the outside itself. Environmental pollutants like tree pollen, industrial emissions or sewage can get inside the AC coils and spread into the room. There is no single solution for external pollutants, but consulting an HVAC professional to evaluate the ‘s performance and look for any air intake restrictions can help minimize such smells.

5. Rust or corrosion of air-conditioner parts
Rust or corrosion of air-conditioner parts may develop over several years and lead to weird smells. The galvanized metal parts inside an air-conditioner can corrode and release unpleasant fumes. It’s always a good idea to look for any signs of rust or water damage and have them addressed promptly to prevent a weird smell.

With regular maintenance and filter changes, you can prevent your air-conditioner from developing bad odors and keep it running efficiently. Addressing any weird smell at an early stage can also help avoid the need for expensive repairs or even air-conditioner replacement. You should contact a professional if your air-conditioners smell bad.