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How to Remove Bad Odors From an Air Conditioner

If it's hot and humid outside, you like to come home to a nice cool house. But it's hardly relieving to open the door and be assaulted with a horrible odor. Getting rid of smells from an air conditioner isn't hard. With these simple steps, you can track down the cause of the odors, remove it, and enjoy your air conditioner again.


  1. Locate your air conditioner's condensation drain line.
  2. Remove this line and flush it with bleach water to kill mold and mildew. Allow this to dry thoroughly before you replace it.
  3. Find the drip pan located near the heat exchange on your furnace. Remove this tray and clean it thoroughly with hot, soapy water. Allow it to dry and then put it back.
  4. Lift the top of your air conditioning unit to expose the inside.
  5. Use a flashlight and visually inspect every area of the inside of your unit. Look for anything that would cause odor or smells such as rotting vegetation or dead animals. Remove all debris.
  6. Spray foaming coil cleaner and allow it to sit for five to ten minutes. This will soften and loosen dirt, grime and oil.
  7. Hose out the unit. Continue to run the water through the unit until the water runs clear.

Things You Will Need

  • Bleach
  • Soap
  • Foaming coil cleaner
  • Garden hose

Tip

  • The air conditioning unit itself is sealed. If this routine maintenance does not solve your issues, please consult a professional. The odors may be in the duct work of your home.

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