Here's How to Get the Smell Out of Your AC Unit

An unpleasant odor emanating from your air conditioning (AC) unit can quickly turn your home into an uncomfortable environment. The source of the smell may vary, ranging from mold and mildew growth to stagnant water or even burnt wiring. Whatever the cause, addressing the issue promptly is essential to restore fresh, clean air to your living space. Here are some effective methods to get rid of the smell from your AC unit.

Change the Air Filter

A dirty or clogged air filter is one of the most common culprits behind unpleasant odors in AC units. Over time, dust, debris, and even mold can accumulate in the filter, causing it to emit a musty smell when the air conditioner is running.

Video Source

Start by turning off the AC system and locating the air filter. Depending on your unit, the filter may be located in the air handler or a return air grille. Remove the old filter and replace it with a new one of the same size and type. This simple step can often eliminate odor issues caused by a dirty filter.

Clean the Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is another component of the AC system that can harbor mold and mildew growth, especially in humid climates. To clean the evaporator coil, turn off power to the AC unit and remove the access panel to access the coil. Using a soft brush and a mild detergent, scrub the coil to remove any dirt, debris, or mold buildup. Rinse the coil thoroughly with water and allow it to dry completely before reassembling the unit. Regular cleaning of the evaporator coil can help prevent odor issues and ensure efficient operation of the AC system.

Inspect and Clean the Drain Pan and Drain Line

The drain pan and drain line are responsible for removing condensate water generated by the AC system. Over time, algae, mold, and bacteria can accumulate in these components, leading to foul odors. To clean the drain pan, remove it from the AC unit and scrub it with water and mild detergent. Use a pipe cleaner or wire brush to remove clogs or buildup from the drain line. Once cleaned, reinstall the drain pan and ensure that the drain line is clear and properly draining water away from the unit.

Check for Mold and Mildew in Ductwork

Mold and mildew in the ductwork can result in unpleasant odors emanating from the AC system. To check for mold and mildew in the ductwork, start by removing the vent covers and utilizing a flashlight to examine the interior of the ducts. Search for any mold or mildew growth, including discoloration or musty smells. If mold is detected, it may be advisable to enlist the services of a professional duct cleaning company to comprehensively clean and disinfect the ductwork.

Schedule Professional AC Services

If you've tried the above methods and are still experiencing odor issues with your AC unit, it may be time to schedule professional AC services. An experienced HVAC technician can thoroughly inspect your AC system, identify the source of the odor, and recommend appropriate solutions. This may include more extensive cleaning, repairs to damaged components, or upgrades to improve airflow and ventilation. Professional AC services can help restore your AC unit to optimal condition and eliminate unpleasant odors for good.

A foul smell coming from your AC unit can quickly make your home uncomfortable and unwelcoming. By following these effective methods to get rid of the smell, you can restore fresh, clean air to your living space and ensure the efficient operation of your AC system. From changing the air filter and cleaning the evaporator coil to inspecting the drain pan and scheduling professional AC services, taking proactive steps to address odor issues will help maintain a comfortable indoor environment year-round.