What might cause a room air conditioner to put off a fishy odor? My
room air conditioner (large room) has always been filtered properly,
seems to have adequate draining to the outside and otherwise works fine
cooling-wise. All of a sudden one night, it started putting off this
rotten fishy type odor and we can't figure out what's causing it.
We've had this unit (from Sears) for probably 5 years and it's worked
fine up until now. Sometimes in the past, it would put off a musty
odor and we'd clean the filter and all would be well but now, it's more
than we can handle once it starts smelling like that. It's running for
probably 20-30 minutes just fine before it starts putting out that
smell (even though it operates fine where temperature is concerned).
Also, it runs fine in 'fan' mode with no odors for extended periods of
time. thanks for any ideas...
Dead something in the condensate tray. Take it outside, remove the
covers, gently spray both coils and the tray with a hose. Use a
chopstick to poke loose any caked up crud. You might need coil
cleaner after that, and another rinse, but you might get away with
using dish washing liquid mixed with warm water sprayed from a garden
Usual warnings - stay clear of the electric components, let it dry
before plugging back in, don't stick your finger in a socket, etc.
Newer window air conditioners have a pool of water in the bottom which is
always there. The fan in the back splashes the water onto the coils and this
helps it cool more efficiently. This standing water can get things growing
in it. I just pour a little bleach in the side of the air conditioner
outside and this kills whatever is growing in the water.
Then the fishy smell goes away. I only need to do this once or twice a year.
Every window A/C I've seen has done this; it's not just newer ones. In
fact, the newer (3-4 year old) units I have don't accmulate much water
on their own. I can add a quart, but it doesn't last more than a few
hours (then again, we're seeing 100F - 102F highs at the moment).
I can vouch for that, having found thick layers of mold growing in the
old A/Cs I replaced...
Bleach is corrosive to aluminum. I've been advised to use hudrogen peroxide,
which seems to work without risking damage to the coils.
I've never noticed a fishy smell, just bits of black mold getting thrown
out of the vents. (The insides of both coils of one window unit got clogged
Gary Heston email@example.com What do you call two SUVs colliding?
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