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You are watching: Why does my window ac smell like urine


Air conditioners room designed to do indoor spaces feeling fresh and comfortable, so experiencing the unpleasant odor that pee as soon as you switch them on is the last thing you need! starting up a dormant AC have the right to sometimes invite this undesirable stench right into the home, however why is this?

An waiting conditioner gives off a pee-like smell as soon as there is a accumulation of mold in the unit. This odor is not from the mold fungus itself but the an outcome of the byproducts or mycotoxins it creates. These mycotoxins create ammonium (which is discovered in urine), thus the familiar unpleasant smell.

The rest of this short article will explore some subject relating to this question in-depth. Such as how mold and bacteria end up being trapped in waiting conditioners, additional reasons behind a pee-like odor in your AC unit, and also the actions you have the right to take to combat odors and improve as whole indoor air quality.


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What reasons Mold to kind in one AC unit?

Understanding how mold and also bacteria can construct up inside her air conditioner help to have a quick overview of just how air conditioners work first.

As much as it might seem favor lovely new air is blowing into your home, there is no brand-new air being produced. One AC merely sucks the existing air from the room inside the unit compressor, cools down this waiting via a refrigerant and condensing process, and sends the cool recycle air earlier out into the room.

Here’s a streamlined look at just how your house air conditioner works:


So naturally contained within the air that is at first sucked into your waiting conditioner is every one of the pollutants that already exist within her home, the stinkiest culprits that which are the people you create organically – the skin flakes you shed throughout the day.

Human contamination won’t always be the cause of mold development in an AC unit, however. Mold and also mildew can also be down to a poorly kept air conditioner. Let’s look at both the these reasons in more detail.


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Dead Skin Cells

So here’s where things gain a tiny gross. The skin cell you burned all day and every work – also known together “skin squames” to provide them their clinical name – are essentially breakfast, lunch, and also dinner for the tiny bacteria that already live in her air conditioner.

And as soon as these microbes have digested the protein in your skin cells, the failure of the protein Keratin (found in hair and fingernails) is what goes on to create the foul ammonia-like smell. This was found in a study released in the global Journal of indoor Environment and Health, led by Lai Ka-man, Ph.D., former associate professor that Biology in ~ Hong Kong Baptist college (HKBU).

So together with the dust and other debris that finds its means into your AC unit, human skin cells create the appropriate haven for mold to not only survive in your conditioner yet to thrive.

Poor Maintenance

Additionally, mold deserve to start to kind in her air conditioner if you take your eye turn off the ball in state of maintaining it appropriately maintained and also cleaned on a continuous basis.


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Neglecting come Clean the Filter Regularly

A long-neglected and also jammed waiting filter will noticeably reduce the air flow in your home, so friend may even spot this readjust before you notice mold and the resulting unpleasant smells. One of two people way, it’s imperative the your air filter is changed regularly.

Air Con experts suggest that replacing filters in ~ a 45 to 90-day window is a good rule of thumb, despite replacing every 45 job is recommended for maximum efficiency.

How regularly you should adjust your air filter deserve to depend a lot on your residence environment. This is why the Product Manager for Indoor Air top quality at Trane technologies, Patrick valve Deventer, suggests transforming the filter seasonally come combat extra pollutants such as pollen and pet shedding. And also, ~ doing any kind of house renovation that can kick increase dust.

Mold top top the Evaporator Coils

The evaporator coils or ‘evaporator core’ in her AC is near to whereby the main activity is – nestled within the blower fan and also a component of the unit wherein the refrigerant absorbs heat, so as soon as this accumulation mold, you absolutely know around it.

Dust and dirt can, unfortunately, cling to the evaporator coils choose there’s no tomorrow. If mold takes host for a far-reaching period, the coils will come to be rusted and need replacing altogether.

To stop this costly mold build-up, I’d recommend exploring this easy step-by-step guide to cleaning your coils through HVAC technician Ron Walker.

Could Something as well as Mold cause Pee Smell?

It’s not a satisfied thought, but the odor of urine comes from your air conditioner may allude to something much more disturbing 보다 the byproduct of mold spores.

Rodent Problem

It’s not uncommon for mice and also other pests to scurry right into pipes and find their way into your air-con system since it makes a cozy, warm atmosphere for them. And also a pee-like smell might be specifically that – a authorize that they have relieved themselves in the waiting ducts.

Alarmingly, a urine smell could additionally be one indication the a dead rodent. As a mouse decomposes, that is carcass releases a series of foul-smelling gases, one of which contains ammonia. If you’re came to that this is the case, it’s vital to get your AC unit checked over and also arrange because that a professional duct cleaning.

How deserve to You keep an AC Unit Odor-Free?

As well as ensuring her air conditioner functions properly with consistent filter changes and maintenance checks, over there are measures you might be soaking up your daily life to keep odors in ~ bay and also therefore rise your AC’s efficiency.


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Take energetic Steps to minimize Indoor Smells

It’s essential to be mindful of the at home air pollutants you may be developing on a regular basis. Try making the complying with changes:

Avoid cleaning sprays wherein possible, and use wipes and also liquid options insteadTowel off pets’ coats and paws to prevent spreading pollen and also dander indoors

Invest in a High-Quality Filter

Your ‘skin squames’, as formerly mentioned, easily end up being stuck in older or low-quality AC filters because they are usually too large for the unit to cope with. Many skin particles measure up over 10 micrometers, which may not sound big to you and me, however this is huge enough to become wedged in many air-cons, hence emitting those not-so-inviting fragrances.

Former HKBU professor and also ‘skin squames’ examine co-author Dr. Lai recommends installing a filter that deserve to effectively record these skin flakes in the air before they have a possibility to clog the system. This are currently the top-rated AC filters because that efficiency and allergies, according to waiting Conditioner Lab.

See more: How Much Is 4 Quarters 2 Dimes 6 Nickels, And 10 Pennies, Counting Money

Final Thoughts

A pee-like smell from an air conditioner is normally the result of the ammonium in the mycotoxins exit by mold spores within the unit. These mold growths room often uncovered on the steel evaporator coils and also are frequently exacerbated by:

An accumulation of person skin cells,And, an unclean, poorly-maintained unit

In rare cases, a dead rodent might be the reason of a urine-like odor, as their bodies relax ammonia throughout decomposition. Minimizing the resource of at home air pollutants in her home and carrying out constant maintenance can contribute to a an ext efficient, much less smelly wait conditioner.