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7 Different Kinds of Aircon Smells

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The last thing you want when turning your aircon on during scorching hot weather is a stale smell which will cause you to turn it off almost instantaneously.  Unfortunately, this issue is experienced by manyl residential and commercial/industrial aircon owners. 

There are several reasons why your air conditioner smells.  Whatever the cause, you should engage an aircon servicing company to conduct aircon services such as an aircon repair and aircon chemical overhaul. By doing so, you can get your aircon functioning properly like before.

Listed below are seven different types of aircon smell and what they signify:


  1. Gunpowder-like Smell


If your residential or commercial aircon starts to produce a strong smell comparable to gunpowder, it could mean that there is a power shortage in your motor or circuit board. When this happens, you should stop using your installed aircon immediately and have it checked. Failure to do so will worsen your aircon’s condition which could lead to more problems. 

You should remember that this is not an aircon issue you can resolve yourself. Instead, you should consult professional aircon service providers as they have years of experience and knowledge to accurately identify the cause of the smell that your aircon is producing and other aircon problems you may have. They will also be able to recommend potential aircon solutions for you to implement. 


  1. Exhaust-like Smell

Your aircon does not use an internal combustion engine. Hence, there is no reason for it to produce a smell similar to the ones produced by car exhaust. That said, when the various fluids in an aircon unit start to heat, a similar smell may be produced. In that case, there might be an aircon gas leak coming from the refrigerant lines. Such aircon leaks can jeopardise the effectiveness of your aircon and are also detrimental to the environment. 

It is best that you do not take this issue lightly if you experience it. Rather, you should call an aircon professional as soon as possible so they can see if your aircon requires a gas top up


  1. Musty Odour


A musty odour is often produced in places that lack proper maintenance. If you notice your house has a stale smell, therefore, it might mean that you have not been cleaning your house as regularly as you should. As a result, microbial growth is present in certain areas. When this happens, it is important that you identify the exact location of the microbial growth. You can start by inspecting your flooring, walls, and furniture. Be sure to place extra emphasis and care when checking areas with high moisture levels including the bathrooms and kitchen. Do not also forget to clean your aircon filter and see if any signs of microbial growth are present. If cleaning your aircon filter does not eliminate the smell, however, you should seek help from an aircon maintenance company.


  1. Burning Odour

Your aircon unit consists of various aircon parts such as the compressors, power wires, circuit boards, and fan motors. If it emits a burning smell, therefore, it is likely that one of the aircon parts is burning. In that case, you should engage an air conditioning service to replace them. The smell should stop once you have any burning components changed entirely. 

Additionally, not using the aircon for a long time might also account for the burning smell. This is because dust can gather in the unit and burn when it is turned on, thereby producing a foul smell. If you feel that this smell stems only from inactivity, then there is nothing you need to worry about. However, if the smell persists after some time, you should consider doing an aircon chemical overhaul to thoroughly clean your aircon


  1. Smell Akin To Body Odour Or Ammonia


When you have poor indoor air quality, your inverter or non-inverter aircon may produce a smell akin to body odour or ammonia. This is because poor air quality promotes bacterial growth in the residential or office aircon by sucking in dead skins or flakes which causes it to produce a bad smell. Fortunately, you can get rid of the smell by cleaning or replacing your aircon filters. Otherwise, consider installing an indoor air quality device such as a mechanical air cleaner or a ventilation system. Should the smell continue to persist, however, it is possible that there are other underlying aircon problems that are present.


  1. Smell Akin To Rotten Eggs


No aircon system should ever smell like spoiled eggs. If yours does, then it is likely that there are dead animals stuck inside of it. Keep in mind that animals such as insects or birds can build a home in the aircon’s ductwork and get stuck as a result. When this happens, you might notice a bad smell when you turn your aircon on. For the smell to be eliminated, you will have to remove these organisms. When doing so, however, remember to take extra caution and make sure you do not damage your aircon. Alternatively, you may want to hire aircon service providers so that they can conduct aircon chemical cleaning


  1. Chemical-like Odour 


If you start smelling a distinctly strong scent that irritates your eyes, nose, throat, or lungs, it might be due to chemicals present in the unit. Should you experience this, you need to call aircon professionals to have your unit immediately checked. Such smell can signify the presence of aircon emergencies due to various chemicals leaking from the aircon



When your aircon starts to produce a bad smell, it is a likely indicator that it requires servicing. However, a strong smell may also signify major problems with the unit. For instance, a gunpowder-like smell may be a sign of power shortage while an exhaust-like or chemical-like smell could indicate the presence of an aircon leak. On the other hand, a musty odour can mean the presence of microbial growth while a burning smell could signify the burning of certain aircon parts. Meanwhile, a smell akin to body odour or ammonia could mean bacterial growth whereas a smell akin to rotten eggs could be a sign that dead animals are stuck inside the aircon’s ductwork. 

Instead of trying to diagnose the smells coming from your aircon on your own, engage professional aircon service providers like Everyworks Singapore to help you.


Everyworks Singapore gives you the quickest solution to resolve all home maintenance issues faced by the busy modern individual. Fast response, fast arrangements and quality workmanship at reasonable and affordable prices.  As a leading trusted service provider in Singapore, we have served over 20,000 customers delivering outstanding service with hundreds of highly-rated reviews of our professional plumberelectricianaircon servicing technicians and handyman teams. Read through our articles and browse our past works to find out more about our home services in Singapore. To find a quick solution to your home repair woes, contact our dedicated and fast response customer support with a picture or a quick text either by Whatsapp at +65 82410032 or calling us at +65 6909 0990. For email enquiries, send it to


This article is reproduced from DW Aircon Servicing Singapore

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