why does my air purifier smell bad, sour, like plastic, wet dog

Why Does My Air Purifier Smell Bad, Sour, Like Plastic, Wet Dog?

While air purifiers are supposed to make the air in our home cleaner and fresher, sometimes we can find they have bad smells, such as sour, plastic, like fish, wet dog. Or strange smells like sweet, burnt, chlorine smell, etc. Are you worried about "Why does my air purifier smell bad, sour, like plastic, wet dog, or fish?" You're not alone. And don't worry, there are several reasons why an air purifier may emit unpleasant odors and solutions to get rid of them. In this article, we will explore why does my air purifier smell bad and offer practical tips to help you eliminate them.

Types of Your Air Purifier Smell

To truly understand why does your air purifier smell, it's important to become acquainted with the various smells that can arise, such as the commonly recognized sour, plastic, wet dog, fish, and more. By distinguishing and identifying these different aromas, you'll be better equipped to isolate the root cause of the smell and effectively resolve the underlying issue. To help you out, we've compiled a list of the different types of smells that your air purifier may emit:

  1. Plastic Smell
  2. Sour Smell
  3. Dusty Smell
  4. Wet Dog Smell
  5. Fish Smell
  6. Burning Smell
  7. Ozone or Sweet Smell
  8. Chlorine Smell
Types of Your Air Purifier Smell

Why Does My Air Purifier Smell like Plastic?

Sometimes, you may detect a plastic scent emanating from your air purifier. This could be due to a variety of reasons, such as having recently replaced the filter or the air purifier being brand new. In the following section, we will elaborate on these potential causes:

  1. Newness: If you have recently purchased a new air purifier, it may emit a plastic-like odor due to the materials used in its manufacturing. This smell should diminish over time as the device gets used.
  2. Filter Replacement: If you have recently replaced the air filter in your purifier, the new filter may emit a plastic-like odor initially. This smell should go away after a few hours of usage.
  3. Overheating: If the air purifier's motor or other internal components get overheated, they may emit a plastic-like smell. This could be caused by a malfunctioning component, clogged air filters, or the purifier being placed too close to a wall or other object.
  4. Poor-Quality Air Filters: If you have purchased low-quality or counterfeit air filters for your purifier, they may emit a plastic-like smell when they heat up or come into contact with air.
  5. Chemical Contamination: The air purifier may have been contaminated by chemicals during the manufacturing process or from cleaning products used on the device. This could cause the device to emit a plastic-like odor.

What Can I Do to Remove My Air Purifier Plastic Smell?

  1. Air it out: Turn off the air purifier and unplug it from the electrical outlet. Open the windows in the room and let the purifier sit for a few hours to allow fresh air to circulate through the unit.
  2. Clean the filters: Over time, dust and debris can accumulate on the filters, causing odors. Remove the filters from the unit and clean them according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  3. Wipe down the exterior: Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior of the unit, including the vents and fan blades. This will help remove any dust and debris that may be causing the plastic smell.
  4. Use odor absorbers: There are many odor absorbers available on the market, such as activated charcoal, baking soda, or vinegar. Place these near the air purifier, and they can help absorb any lingering plastic smells.
  5. Give it time: If the plastic smell is relatively new, it may just need some time to dissipate. Try leaving the unit unplugged and open for a few days to allow the smell to naturally dissipate.

Why Does My Air Purifier Smell Sour, Dusty, Like Wet Dog or like Fish?

If your air purifier smells sour, like wet dog or fish, it could be due to the growth and buildup of bacteria, mold and yeast on the filter. Here are some possible causes of odor and what you can do to get rid of it:




1. Dirty Filters:

Dirty air filters can become clogged with dust and debris, creating a dusty and musty smell.

Replace the air filter according to the manufacturer's instructions.

2. Humidity:

Moisture in the air can cause mold and mildew to grow in the air purifier, resulting in a sour, wet dog smell.

Make sure the air purifier is in a dry location and away from any sources of moisture. If the air in your home is very humid, consider using a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity.

3. Dirty interior:

If the interior of the air purifier is dirty or has accumulated dust and debris, it can develop a dusty, sour, wet dog or fish smell.

Clean the inside of the device according to the manufacturer's instructions.

4. Animal carcasses:

If small animals, such as mice or birds, crawl into the air purifier and die, a bad smell can result.

Open the unit and check for signs of animal carcasses and remove if present.

5. Improper placement:

If your air purifier is placed too close to a wall or a small, enclosed space, it may not be able to circulate the air properly, causing the air to stagnate and give off a sour smell.

Make sure your air purifier is placed where it can circulate air efficiently.

6. Bad smells in the room:

If there is a strong smell in the room, like cooking fish, the air purifier can trap and recirculate those smells, making it look like the air purifier is emitting the smell.

In this case, ventilating the room or using a separate air purifier designed to eliminate cooking odors may help.


Why Does My Air Purifier Smell Sour, Dusty, Like Wet Dog or like Fish?

Why Does My Air Purifier Smell like Burning?

If your air purifier smells like burning, it could indicate a potential fire hazard or a malfunctioning component. The burning smell could be caused by various factors such as a clogged filter, overheating motor, or a burnt-out electrical component.

Here are some steps you can take to identify the source of the burning smell and address the issue:

  1. Turn off the air purifier immediately and unplug it from the power source.
  2. Inspect the air purifier for any visible damage or signs of overheating, such as melted plastic or discolored components.
  3. Check the air filter and ensure it is clean and not clogged. A dirty or clogged filter can cause the motor to work harder, leading to overheating and a burning smell.
  4. If the filter is clean, but the burning smell persists, you may need to replace the filter.
  5. If the burning smell continues after replacing the filter, it may be an issue with the motor or electrical components. In this case, it is recommended to contact the manufacturer or a professional technician for repair or replacement.

To prevent future burning smells, it is important to maintain and clean your air purifier regularly. This includes replacing the filter when necessary and keeping the unit free of dust and debris.

Why Does My Air Purifier Smell Sweet or Ozone?

If your air purifier smells sweet, most of it is due to the following three possibilities:

1. Your air purifier is new or you just replaced the filter element: This sweet smell is normal, the sweet smell is mainly caused by the carbon filter, it is a sign that the purifier is working properly.

2. The filter inside the air purifier has collected some sweet-smelling particles: This may come from the surrounding environment, such as perfume, candles, or sweet-smelling cleaning products.

3. Your air purifier has negative ion purification function: Air purifiers with active purification such as negative ions will produce a little ozone when they work, which is similar to the fresh smell after rain. It is recommended not to turn on the negative ion function for a long time. On the one hand, the ozone exceeds the standard, which is not good for human health.

Why Does My Air Purifier Smell Chlorine?

If your air purifier smells like chlorine, it could be because of the presence of ozone. Ozone can have a distinct chlorine-like odor, especially if it is present in high concentrations. Some air purifiers use ozone as a way to remove odors and pollutants from the air. While ozone can be effective at removing certain pollutants, it can also be harmful to human health in high concentrations.

In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has warned against using ozone generators as air purifiers, as they can produce harmful levels of ozone. If your air purifier is emitting a chlorine smell, it is recommended that you stop using it immediately and consider switching to a different type of air purifier that does not produce ozone. We recommend that you use a HEPA air purifier with a HEPA filter.

Choosing MS600 Air Purifier - The Power of HEPA and Activated Carbon Filters Combined for Odor-Free Air

The MSA3 air purifier by Membrane Solutions is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a powerful, efficient, and safe air purifier for large spaces. With its advanced HEPA 13 filtration technology and activated carbon filter, it can remove harmful pollutants, allergens, and odors from the air in your home, making it a healthy and safe place to live. Furthermore, the MS600 is ozone-free, making it safe for use around humans and pets. Overall, the MSA3 HEPA air purifier is a must-have for anyone looking to create a healthy and safe living space for themselves and their loved ones.

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