6 Reasons Why Your Air Purifier Smells Bad

Posted April 24, 2023 by in Home

Air purifiers are an essential component that many homeowners use to maintain a healthy and comfortable indoor environment. They work by removing pollutants such as dust, pet dander, pollen, and bacteria from the air. 

However, there are instances when air purifiers can emit unpleasant odors, which can be concerning for homeowners. These smells can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from mold and mildew buildup to clogged filters or even just the accumulation of dust and dirt. 

In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why your air purifier smells bad, what the source of the odor may be, and how to address the issue to enjoy a fresher, cleaner indoor air.

Why does my air purifier smell?

Air purifiers are designed to clean and filter the air in your home, but over time, they can become a source of foul odors. If you have concerns about your system or want to install one, contact a professional like Anderson Air to help you clean the air in your living space. 

Here are some of the common causes of air purifier odor:

Mold and Mildew

 One of the most common causes of air purifier odor is mold and mildew buildup. As air circulates through the purifier, it can sometimes create a damp environment where mold and mildew can grow. This growth can lead to a musty odor that can be unpleasant.

Clogged Filters

Over time, air filters trap allergens, dust particles, and other debris which can cause clogs. When this happens, air cannot pass through the filter, and it can lead to a buildup of pollutants that can create a bad smell.

Dirty Components

If the components of your air purifier are dirty, they can emit a bad odor. Dirt and dust can build up on the fan blades or in the vents, creating an unpleasant smell.

Chemical Use

Some air purifiers use chemicals, such as ozone, to clean the air. While these chemicals are effective, they can also create a strong, unpleasant odor.

Pet Hair

If you own pets, their hair can get trapped inside the purifier and create a bad smell. Pet dander is also a common allergen that can cause odor and impact air quality.

Water Damage 

Air purifiers that use a water filtration system can create a bad smell if the water sits too long or if the water tank is not cleaned regularly.

Identifying the source of the odor will help determine the appropriate course of action to eliminate it.

Air purifier smells bad – Steps to clean it 

Cleaning the ductwork in your home can improve the quality of your indoor air and help your HVAC system operate more efficiently. However, it’s important to have your air ducts cleaned correctly to avoid damage to your HVAC system or your home. Here’s how your home’s air ducts are supposed to be cleaned.

Step 1: Inspection

The first step in cleaning your air ducts is a thorough inspection of your system by a qualified technician. The technician will inspect the entire system, including the air ducts, vents, and furnace or air handler, to determine whether there’s any visible mold or excessive dust or debris buildup.

Step 2: Covering the furnace or air handler 

To ensure that no dust or debris enters the furnace or air handler during the cleaning process, the technician will cover the furnace or air handler with protective material.

Step 3: Agitation

The technician will use special tools, such as a long, rotating brush or air whip, to loosen the dirt and debris inside the air ducts. The agitation process will loosen dust and other contaminants and make it easier to vacuum them out.

Step 4: Vacuuming

After loosening the dust and debris, the technician will use a high-powered vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove the dirt from the air ducts. The HEPA filter will capture any dust or mold spores and prevent them from spreading throughout your home.

Step 5: Cleaning the vents

The technician will clean the air vents and registers using a similar process. They will remove the dust and debris buildup from the vents and registers, allowing air to flow more freely.

Step 6: Sanitizing

After cleaning the air ducts and vents, the technician will use an antimicrobial treatment to kill any mold, bacteria, or other microorganisms that may be present in the air ducts. The antimicrobial treatment will help keep your indoor air quality healthy and fresh.

Step 7: Inspection and before-after report

After the cleaning process is complete, the technician will perform a final inspection to ensure that all debris is removed from the air ducts. Moreover, the most reputable services will provide a before-and-after report that shows how the cleaning has improved the airflow and reduction of pollutants released through the ducts.

My air purifier smells bad: Prevention is the cure!

Mold and mildew are common sources of unpleasant odors in air purifiers. Preventing mold and mildew buildup is essential to keep your air purifier functioning effectively and to maintain healthy indoor air quality. Here are some ways to prevent mold and mildew buildup in your air purifier:

  • Clean your system and change filters regularly
  • Avoid humidity
  • Ventilation
  • Use a purifier with a HEPA filter

By following these steps, you can prevent mold and mildew from forming in your air purifier and maintain healthy indoor air quality.

Cleaning your home’s air ducts can improve indoor air quality and help reduce allergies and respiratory issues. A qualified HVAC technician can help determine if cleaning is necessary, and perform the cleaning process correctly to avoid damage to your HVAC system or your home. 

With the proper equipment and experience, HVAC technicians can improve airflow and reduce pollutants through the air duct system, leading to a healthier and more comfortable indoor environment.

Read more: