How do you fix smelly or musty air conditioning?

  • Air conditioning service maintenance

If you’ve noticed a foul smell coming from your air conditioning unit or ducted system, we’re here to help you diagnose and fix it!

A bad smell might be a sign that something’s wrong with your air conditioning and if you’re not sure what to do, we suggest booking a service with Tri-Tech Air Conditioning.

We’ve helped thousands of customers in Brisbane and the surrounding suburbs. Whether you have a split aircon system or a ducted system, we offer air conditioning maintenance and servicing, and we’re pros when it comes to removing bad smells and cleaning your air conditioning system.

How do you fix a smelly air conditioning unit?

If you have a commercial air conditioning system in a school, office, retail shop, warehouse or university, and there’s a bad smell in one room or several areas of the building, normally this is a clue that the system needs service.

Commercial systems have an extensive set up so fixing a bad smell can be more complicated than a residential air conditioning unit.

Because a residential air conditioning system is generally smaller, a bad smell may be something you can resolve by simply cleaning your system.

So, while we don’t recommend that you fix issues yourself, because this could void your warranty or cause more issues later on, there are a few simple things you can do to maintain your aircon unit, get rid of bad smells, and improve the longevity and performance of your system.

Types of air conditioner smells

Musty smell from your aircon

A musty or damp smell is likely a build up of mildew, which means there’s moisture in the system.

With mildew, the unit needs a service. The best thing to do is turn off the system and contact us to help you. We need to find how moisture is building up in the system and provide the right solution to fix the issue.

Dirty socks smell

Air conditioner technicians describe the smell of bacteria or fungi as smelling like dirty socks.

Bacteria in your aircon unit or ducted system can lead to serious health issues down the road – so make sure you contact Tri-Tech for an air conditioning service if you can’t identify or fix that dirty sock smell.

Sewage smell

Sewage smells in your air conditioner could be a broken pipe in the system – if you can smell sewage, this may indicate a serious issue. Don’t let the problem escalate; call our expert team immediately!

Rotten egg smell from your aircon

Did you know that natural gas is actually odourless? The artificial smell is deliberately added so that you can identify a potential leak.

This unmistakable smell can indicate a serious risk, so turn off your aircon immediately.

If you can smell rotten eggs, vacate the premises and call an expert straight away.

Smoke smells

Smoke from your aircon unit is often the first warning sign that there’s an electrical problem.

If this regularly happens when the unit has been on for a long time, or you think the unit is getting too hot, this might be a warning sign of a wiring issue with the set up, or faulty circuit board in your home.

Smoke means a potential fire – we suggest you immediately stop using your system and contact an expert to check the wiring.

Read more about the different smells from your air con.

Aircon repair


What’s causing the bad odour coming out of the air conditioner?

Your air conditioning system traps dirt and dust in the unit from the air, so we always advise our clients to have regular air conditioning services to keep the air quality as clean as possible. Regular air conditioning service and maintenance ensure that you’re removing any build up of dust and dirt.

How do you get the odour out of an air conditioner?

If you’re struggling with a foul smelling air conditioning unit we recommend booking a service with a Tri-Tech air conditioning expert.

In some cases, there are some simple tips you can follow to try to solve the problem. However, if the issue persists or you’re not sure what to do, get in touch with us today.

Turn off the air conditioner

Before you start cleaning your air conditioner make sure the main power to the unit or system is switched off to avoid the risk of electrical shock.

Change the air filters

If someone in your home or workplace struggles with allergies, you have pets, live in a dusty city, or just want to ensure you’re breathing quality clean air, change your air filters regularly or book a service with us and we can do this for you.

Changing the air filters at least once every couple of months will also help the longevity of your unit and remove any unwanted smells from dirt trapped in the filter.

Clean the air filters

Some air filters for AC units don’t need to be changed, but they may be in desperate need of a clean!

Cleaning air filters in a split system is relatively easy. Simply open up the unit and gently pull out the filter. We recommend snapping a quick photo with your phone before you remove the filter – this will make replacing it much easier!

You can wash a filter in plain water. Just rinse until the dirt is removed, and allow the filters to dry before popping them back in.

Clean the air vents

First making sure the power for the unit is turned off, you can use soap or bleach and water to clean your air vents. We recommend you do this at least once a year.

If there’s any build up of dirt or moisture in the air vents, cleaning the vents is a great place to start to remove the bad smell.

Clean the evaporator coils

This can be a bit tricky, so if in doubt, always rely on the experts for professional help.

Often the coils can trap dirt and this can be the source of a bad smell in your air conditioner unit.

Clean the condensate line

Sometimes there’s a build-up of sludge in the drip tray, which is located inside the aircon unit.

The water that drains from the condensate line needs to be wiped away. Old stagnant condensation and water can cause a foul smell which you don’t want to be pumped around your house or workplace.

Ductwork or faulty part

If after you’ve replaced or cleaned the air filter, cleaned the unit, and checked for any leaks, and there’s still a bad smell, it might be the ductwork.

Give us a call and we will inspect the ductwork and identify any issues.

Can an air conditioning repair & maintenance specialist remove the bad smell?

If you’ve tried to clean your unit and the bad smell is persistent, it sounds like it’s time to call an air conditioning technician!

We can investigate the issue in a prompt manner and provide aircon repairs in order to get the problem fixed quickly and once again restore comfort to your home or workplace.

Whether it’s bad smells, weird noises, smoke, or the unit is under performing, Tri-Tech provides air conditioning serving and air conditioning maintenance in order to ensure your system continues to work at its best.

How often do I need to have air conditioning maintenance to keep the odour from reoccurring?

We recommend regular maintenance and servicing at least once a year, and often more frequently for larger, commercial set-ups.

Ongoing maintenance can help increase both the lifespan and performance of your system. Think of it like a health check-up for your aircon!

Need air conditioning service or repairs?

Whether it’s a bad smell, weird noises or your air con is under performing – we can help. Call Tri Tech today on (07) 3394 0222.

Tri-Tech is your expert air conditioning team in Brisbane, offering a range solutions, including:

  • Air conditioning installation
  • Air conditioning maintenance
  • Daikin air conditioning services
  • Mitsubishi Electric services
  • Ducted aircon repairs
  • Parts replacements
  • Aircon upgrades or replacement

Call now or get in touch online to tell us about the problems you’re experiencing with your air conditioning.

2022-05-24T01:26:03+00:00 24 May 2022|Repair, Replacement, Service, Systems|