Smelly Air Conditioning?

Smelly Air Conditioning?

This is one of the most common causes of calls to our service department during the cooling season – and here’s why it happens and what you can do about it!


Why is my air conditioning unit smelling?

The below information assumes that the indoor unit filters are clean and free from debris/dirt. If you’re unsure about this please contact our service department for assistance.

During the cooling process the air is dehumidified (water removed) – this is why each indoor unit requires a drain to remove the water out of the unit.

As air from the room is picked up by the indoor unit and blown over the evaporator it is common that perfume/body odour/deodorant is picked up by the unit and dehumidified.

One of the base chemicals of perfume and deodorant is animal fat (which in its natural state, without additional chemicals to make it smell nice, is smelly and can often smell like fish, sweaty socks or animal urine).

The animal fats then get deposited on the coil. In most cases they wash away with the condensate water (water removed from the air) but sometimes they get lodged on the coil.

Once they become dry and air is blown over them they omit a bad odour as they go back to their base chemical after the water based scent is washed away by the dehumidification.

For obvious reasons this smell occurs more commonly in call centres, with lots of people, or in smaller areas where occupants are within close proximity to the unit (such as bedrooms/kitchens/etc). You will also notice this happening on your car air conditioning as you’re in a confined environment.


Is this dangerous?

Not at all – it’s just a smell that is unpleasant for the most part.


What can be done to get rid of the smell?

Most of the time the smell can be washed away by simply using the unit more frequently in cooling mode (thus creating more water to wash the base chemical away).

If the smell won’t go away then we can chemically clean the coil to remove the base chemical.

Specialist products, like Smelly Jelly, can be used in conjunction with the coil cleaning to help delay or mask any future reoccurrence

For more severe cases where the above doesn’t work – we can fully strip the unit down to do a thorough deep clean using our specialised pressure washer and chemical cleaning agents.


Can you guarantee the smell will be gone forever?

Unfortunately no – unless there is no external source of odour in the room (such as perfume being worn, people in the room with deodorant/etc) as ours will nearly always be present within the area being conditioned.

We can get rid of the smell by chemically cleaning the coil but, for obvious reasons, we can’t guarantee how long it will take for the build up to come back and start smelling again.


How can I arrange for the coil to be cleaned then?

We have a dedicated service department full of highly qualified, technical, engineers who are able to attend to your smelly unit at your earliest convenience.

You can contact us in any of the following ways:

  • Simply call us on 0161-877-4030 and speak to our Service Department
  • Email service@koolit.co.uk
  • Live Chat (during normal office hours) on the bottom right hand side of your screen.


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