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7 Different Types of Aircon Smells and What They Mean

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Turning on the aircon during a hot, humid day is a must. What if there is a foul odor from your air conditioning unit as soon as you turn it on? The terrible smell fills up the room, forcing you to turn your aircon off. This is one of the common aircon problems experienced by almost every residential and commercial space owner, and there can be relatively few reasons behind this smelly aircon issue. You should always hire a professional to help you check if there is a need for aircon repair, chemical overhaul, and other aircon services you might need.

Here are the seven different aircon odor types and what they mean for your aircon unit:


1. Gunpowder


If your aircon has a foul smell similar to that of gunpowder, this can be a fairly big problem. This might indicate that your motor or circuit board has a power shortage. If you still keep on using your aircon and ignore this gunpowder smell and fail to give the attention it deserves, your unit’s condition might worsen.

Note that this is not a problem that you can tackle on your own but should instead take the help of professional aircon experts with years of experience and knowledge to solve the foul aircon smell and other issues that your aircon unit has.


2. Car exhaust


You know for a fact that an air conditioning unit does not run on any internal combustion engine. Thus, your aircon should not even emit the smell of running car exhaust. Your aircon uses certain fluids, which may smell similar to exhaust fumes when getting heated. However, if your smelly aircon odor is similar to car exhaust, then chances are there is an aircon gas leak in the refrigerant line. This leak can not only affect the performance of your aircon, but the chemicals that it releases into the air can also be harmful to your environment.

Upon noticing this aircon smell, you should call a professional to get it checked. An aircon leaking issue is more dangerous than you can imagine, a certified professional will help you repair it fast and get you rid of the smelly aircon problem.


3. Musty smell

If you ever entered a poorly maintained and old building you might have experienced a damp, musty smell. Just in case your house suddenly started smelling like one, the chances of microbial growth are high. To locate the source of microbial growth, check your home’s flooring, walls, and upholstery properly-, especially areas where there is much moisture, like bathrooms and the kitchen. You may also check your aircon filter and look for dampness or any signs that suggest microbial growth. If installing a clean aircon filter does not solve your smelly aircon issue, you should seek a professional aircon service to solve the smelly aircon problem.


4. Burning smell


Your air conditioning unit has many electrical components such as fan motors, aircon compressors, power wires, and circuit boards. If your aircon smells like something is burning inside or outside, then chances are one of these components might be burning. Never try to solve such smelly aircon problems on your own and turn your air conditioning system off and call an expert for help.


Yet another reason for such a smell can be an aircon that is turned on after a long time. Dust may have settled within the unit, so when you turn it on after a long time, this dust may burn off and generate a foul odor. This might be one of the reasons behind your smelly aircon problem.  There is nothing you need to worry about. If the odor remains, it is a sign that your aircon unit might need to undergo aircon servicing.


5. Body odor or ammonia

An inverter or non-inverter aircon can emit body odor or ammonia in your home if you have poor indoor quality. Your aircon may suck in human dead skin or flakes, causing bacteria to grow in your aircon. The smelly aircon issue that you experience is a by-product of the digestion process of the bacteria. Though you can solve this problem by replacing the aircon filter, there may be other underlying aircon issues and you may need to install an indoor air quality device like a mechanical air cleaner or a ventilation system.


6. Rotten eggs

If your aircon unit smells like rotten eggs, then chances are some dead insects or rodents are stuck in your aircon. Insects or birds may build a nest in your aircon’s ductwork and then get trapped in your aircon. You are likely to find your aircon smelly soon after you turn it on. To get rid of this foul smell on your aircon unit, you can either remove the dead animal or your own or hire professional aircon experts for your help. If you plan to do it on your own, you need to be very careful and make sure you do not harm any part. And, if you are not too sure, a professional will be your best choice.


7. Chemical-like smell


If you experience an unpleasant, sharp smell in your home, you can say this to be a chemical odor. And, if your aircon smells like any chemical, then you must call a professional because it might be an emergency. Various chemicals are used in your aircon system; they can smell like paint thinner, formaldehyde, or other types of chemicals while aircon is leaking out. Only an expert will identify the cause behind such chemical smell, and thus you must hire one right away.



Often, a bad smell from your aircon indicates that the aircon system just needs a service. However, more serious odors might indicate a larger problem. If you are experiencing such, call professionals like DW Aircon Servicing to help you fix the problem. They will address the problem on time, repair it, and help prevent the issue from getting bigger for a reasonable price.


DW Aircon Servicing Singapore provides an extensive range of Aircon Services including Aircon Servicing, Aircon Repairs, Aircon Installation of the best aircon brandsChemical Overhaul, Gas Top-up, Aircon Leaking Water, and Aircon Not Cold Fix, and more. We have a team of professional technicians who are equipped with vast knowledge and experience in the Aircon industry. We have over 10 years of experience in dealing with aircon works and have completed thousands of aircon works for both residential (Landed, Condo, and HDB) and commercial. We are a highly recommended Aircon Company in Singapore, with many delighted customers and reviews over the years on Google and Facebook. WhatsApp us at +65 8241 0032 for transparent quotation and honest pricing for all your aircon needs. We offer a fast and efficient service to serve any of your aircon needs!


Highly recommended aircon services in SG! More than 1,000 5-stars reviews on Google and Facebook. WhatsApp us now for a fast and transparent quote!


DW Aircon Servicing Singapore offers complete aircon services including reliable aircon servicingaircon repairaircon installationaircon chemical washaircon cleaning and aircon gas top up. We focus on aircon servicing and offer aircon promotion with competitive and cheap aircon servicing prices. We also offer aircon maintenance and servicing contracts. We have a team of experienced aircon servicing technicians with over 10 years experience. We are the highly recommended aircon servicing team specializing in air conditioning services in Singapore. WhatsApp us now for a best quality aircon services at +65 8241 0032.