How To Keep Your Window Air Conditioner From Smelling

Have you noticed a smell coming from your window air conditioner? If your AC is putting out air with a weird odor, it could be from mold or bacteria building up inside the unit, according to DryAllAround. Bacteria builds up inside the appliance when moisture is present, therefore if you clean your appliance regularly, it will not only get rid of bad smells but also prolong the unit's life and allow it to work with less energy.

With the use of a screwdriver, water, and mild dish soap, you can eliminate any nasty smells in your AC unit. A clean AC should put out air with no odor. There are several ways to make the air that fills your home smell good. One useful DIY tip from DryAllAround is to fill a mesh bag with dried herbs and essential oils and attach it to your appliance. For it to work, it should be in front of the fans that expel the cool air so that it will spread the fresh scent, however, ensuring that the air conditioner is clean should be your first priority.

Clean the air filter

Washing your AC unit's air filter should be done regularly because it keeps the air that goes into the machine clean, according to LA Construction Heating & Air Conditioning. If the air isn't filtered, it could contain dirt and dust particles that would clog the appliance, thus spreading contaminants around your home when the air is pushed back out — no one wants to breathe dirty air from their AC unit.

The first step to cleaning your AC is unplugging it, explains Cielo. The filter is usually at the front of the machine, where the air is sucked in. Depending on the level of dirt on the air filter, you may need to start by vacuuming the dust off of it. Then run the mesh under warm water and wash it with soap. If it is especially dirty, you may need to use a small brush (like a toothbrush,) to scrub it. Once it's clean, leave it to dry before placing it back in your AC. The filter must be completely dry, so as not to introduce any moisture into the appliance.

Clean the drip pan

If your AC unit still smells after cleaning the air filter, the drip pan is the next place you should look, as this is another place where dirt and mildew can accumulate and cause bad smells, according to HVAC Training Shop. This part of an AC unit is where condensation occurs when the air is cooled, then this water either drips out of the machine, as you see with older window units, or it evaporates.

To properly clean your drip pan, you will first need to unplug and remove the unit from your window. Using a screwdriver, remove the shell of the appliance, and you can locate the pan at the bottom of the unit near the coils. If you have a wet vacuum, use it to remove any sludge. Another way to do this is to scrape it off with a paper towel. Then rinse the pan out and scrub it clean with a toothbrush and mild soap, paying extra attention that the holes aren't clogged. Once all the sludge is gone, you can reassemble your AC unit and check the quality of the air.