How To Remove The Bad Odor From Your Central Air Conditioner

If you have been noticing a bad smell coming from your vents when you turn on the air conditioner, it is likely from mildew, mold, or the accumulation of debris. While it can be a frustrating thing to deal with, there are options to get rid of it. Here are some tips for removing the bad odor from your central air conditioner.

Replace the Filter

Whether you have a reusable or disposable air filter in your air conditioning unit, you need to replace that filter when you start smelling bad odors coming from the unit. These odors are often from buildup of debris, dander, dust, and mold spores. The air filters help to capture these allergens and keep them from entering the air supply through your vents when the HVAC unit is running, but the buildup inside the filters can be a major issue. Even if you have reusable filters that are typically cleaned and put back into the unit, now is a good time to get new ones.

Remove Debris From the Exterior Unit

Central air conditioners have an exterior unit that controls the heat and cool air in your home when you turn on the HVAC system. This unit can also experience buildup from outdoors that may get wet and lead to sludge, which ultimately results in a bad odor. With regular cleaning and maintenance, you can keep the buildup and mildew odors to a minimum. Check the exterior unit of the HVAC system for signs of dirt, debris, twigs, branches, or leaves. Remove all of this debris, then open up the unit and clean the inside of it. A scrub brush works great at getting rid of the dirt and debris buildup, but be careful not to bend or damage any parts, such as the fan.

Clean the Evaporator Coil

Another part of the air conditioner that can cause bad smells during operations is the evaporator coil. This is the part of the HVAC unit that provides cool air, so you may only notice the bad odor when the air is on, and not the heating portion of the system. It is very easy for the coil to get dirty, which can lead to mold and a very bad odor. This coil is located inside the interior unit of the air conditioner. Since it is probably located in a damp and dark space, any buildup that occurs turns to mold and mildew as a result of that moisture. By removing the debris and cleaning the evaporator coil, you can remove the bad odors as well. This is also something you should do during regular maintenance, either on your own or with the help of an air conditioning repair technician.