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You come back home after being exposed to the humidity and hotness of the summer all day, and the first thing you reach for is the air conditioner remote. However, you are greeted by an unpleasant musty smell releasing from your air con. The bad odor is not only unpleasant but unhealthy as well. It can cause several health problems such as asthma attacks, allergies, or respiratory infections, especially if the cause of the smell is mold and mildew accumulated in the air conditioner. You can even determine the cause of the problem by the type of the smell coming out from the device. If it stinks like feet, the most probable cause is clogged aircon, and if it smells like exhaust fumes, the cause is leakage of the fluid.

If your air con smells, there could be a few factors affecting the device. If the source of the bad odor is not external such as pollution, here are the top reasons your air conditioner may smell bad:

Mold and Mildew

The most common problem faced when dealing with air con maintenance is the smell of mildew/mold. If you start smelling a moldy odor, 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. Another reason for this smell could also be dirty filters.

Calling a trained HVAC technician would be your best bet for removing mold and improving your air quality. A professional will properly clean the device and treat it with chemicals that destroy fungi which can cause serious health problems.


Ever get a skunk-like smell when you turn on your air conditioner? When your air con releases a smell of a similar nature to this, the chances are that the fluids in the engine or other parts of the air conditioner have leaked out. This may be dangerous because if the gas leak is methyl mercaptan, at high concentrations it is very toxic. It can cause a cough, dizziness, nausea, skin irritation, painful and red eyes, vomiting, headache, sore throat, and unconsciousness. Also, this gas is flammable, and can it can even explode if exposed to high temperatures.

With 17 qualified and trained professionals, Air Rite can help solve your problem right away with our 24/7 services. Our team will locate the leakage and fix the issue, so you and your family stay safe.

Dirty/ Clogged Air Conditioner

More often than not, we notice the air conditioner releasing a smell that resembles feet or a wet carpet smell. This odor comes from aircon water sitting in the system and not getting drained properly. The best way to resolve this is to contact a cooling and heating professional service to resolve the issue and ask them the best ways to maintain your air conditioning system.

If the filters are clogged, your air conditioner will not be able to work properly, the device might freeze, or the heat pump and compressor might break. Therefore, if your device is clogged, it will not only cause the air in the room to stink, but it can severely damage the essential parts of the aircon.

Animal Waste in Ducts

The winter season is when air conditioners are used to least. However, it is also when birds and rodents take shelter in your air ducts. This can lead to the smell of dead animals and rotten eggs when you finally decide to turn your air con on to relieve yourself from the heat of the sun. Animals can also damage wiring, components, and ducts. Dead animals not only cause a bad odor. Feces and urine can also be the cause of bad smell spreading through your home.

If you have prior knowledge of air ducts, then removing it and cleaning it every now and again will ensure this does not happen again, or you could call 07 3274 2199 to get your ac fixed right away.

The Bottom Line

Bad odor coming from your air conditioner is not just unpleasant, but it can also be a serious threat to your health and the health of your family members. Depending on the source, it can cause an asthma attack, allergies, respiratory problems such as a cough and infections, skin irritation, dizziness, sore throat, red and painful eyes, etc. bad smell can also be a sign of malfunction, and may require a professional check-up. Also, some things such as regular filter maintenance according to the manufacturer’s recommendation can be done on your own.

To manage your air con needs contact us directly at 07 3274 2199 or visit our home page for more information.

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