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Reasons Why Your Air Conditioner Smells

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Once you’ve set up your residential or office aircon, you should be able to experience a cool, comfortable, and fresh atmosphere. Otherwise, if your air conditioner starts releasing a foul odor, then you need to quickly determine the cause to avoid any further discomfort.

There can be various reasons why an aircon starts to smell. These include common aircon issues, environmental problems, or even decomposing materials in your household. In line with that, here’s how you can quickly determine the reason for your aircon’s odor:


External Causes of a Bad Aircon Smell

Whether it be a residential aircon or commercial/industrial aircon, air conditioning units work by absorbing external warm air, cooling it on the evaporator coils, then releasing it outward as cold air. As such, any sign of odor might be an indication of decaying material outside your home which is causing an odor within the premises. When this occurs, the aircon unit absorbs the foul-smelling air and distributes it thereby causing extreme discomfort.

By quickly examining your aircon, you can avoid the need to engage an aircon servicing company. Thus, here are some external causes of a foul-smelling unit.


Air Pollution From Outside Home

If your aircon produces a smell similar to burning oil, then it might be due to air pollution emitted by cars passing around your house. In this case, having an aircon repair done isn’t necessary. Instead, it’s better to simply close all of your doors and windows.


Leaking Car Fuel Tank

If you notice a petrol-like smell despite regularly maintaining and cleaning your air conditioner, then it may be a sign of a leakage from a nearby car’s fuel tank. In this case, immediately stay away from the car with the leakage and wait until it has been resolved.


Decaying Garbage

If you’ve just purchased a brand new aircon or only recently had regular aircon servicing done, then odor coming from your unit may be due to decaying garbage outside. If so, immediately dispose of them to restore freshness to your environment.


Dead Animals

A foul smell coming from your aircon can also be due to a dead animal’s decomposing body. If this is the case, then there’s no need to worry about having to handle an aircon emergency. Instead, you should simply shut all of your doors and windows like you would with a burning oil smell.


Internal Causes of a Bad Aircon Smell

If external causes don’t seem to be the reason for your aircon’s odor, then you may need to examine it for malfunctioning parts. This is because any damage to your unit’s internal components can cause certain issues which can result in a foul smell. As such, have an aircon repair done should you detect the following:


Refrigerant Leakages


Aircons make use of electricity. Because of this, they should never emit an exhaust-like smell. unless a refrigerant leak is present. In that case, have professional aircon services replace the pipes or insulation. But if either of these fails to resolve the problem, then an aircon gas top up might be needed.


Blocked/Clogged AC Drains


Clogged aircon drains are another cause of a foul-smelling unit. These usually emit an odor similar to old socks or smelly feet and are often resolved by engaging in an air conditioning service. If you think your aircon drains are clogged, then have them cleaned immediately to avoid an aircon water leak.



If you happen to have an aircon that is currently emitting an odor, then feel free to contact Everyworks Singapore. We conduct professional aircon installation and aircon servicing so that our customers can have a cool and fresh experience. For more information, make sure to view our price list.

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 on both Google and Facebook for 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 Singapore.

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