Why Does My Air Purifier Smell?

Last Update On: February 28, 2022 // Article Written By:

More or less we all have heard about air purifiers. Air purifiers tend to purify or sanitize the air. We use them to keep the air free from pollutants, toxins and contaminants. When you look forward to turning your home space into a healthy environment, that’s when you need an air purifier.

If you own an air purifier, you must notice that your air purifier might smell. Have you ever thought about why does my air purifier smell? If your air purifier smells unpleasant, it can be bacteria or mould. An air purifier can smell differently at times. And there can be plenty of reasons for that.          

Why Does My Air Purifier Smell?

Why Does My Air Purifier Smell.

Air purifiers can smell due to various reasons. There can be multiple reasons behind your purifier smells. The unwanted smaller can be caused due to bacterias or mould.

Here are a few reasons why your air purifier may smell:

Dirty Filter:

Air Dirty Filter

This can be one of the basic reasons behind your air purifier smelling. Even the dust in the filter can cause a smell. You can try cleaning the filter or you can also choose to change the filter.

Dirty pre-filter:

Another reason behind the purifier smell can be a dirty pre-filter. Unpleasant smells can be caused when your pre-filter is dusty or dirty. Some pre-filters can be removed and washed. You can clean or try to vacuum them. Please check the manual before you do any of these.

Filter absorbed the maximum amount of gas:

After a certain amount of time, you may notice that your air purifier is leaving a dusty smell. When your filter absorbs a maximum amount of gas, it emits a dusty smell. You must be sure to change the filters as per the instructions.

How to Get Rid of the Bad Smell from an Air Purifier

Bad Smell from an Air Purifier

It is quite normal for air purifiers to smell. They can smell before the usage or during the usage. And the type of smell it emits can vary. And the reasons are different so we have come up with a handful of things that you can do.

Here are a few things you can do avoid your air purifiers from smelling:

  • Choose a purifier that is scented or release a pleasant smell.
  • If the purifier smells dusty, try cleaning or replacing the filters.
  • Check the pre-filters and filters to ensure that they are clean.
  • If your air purifier allows cleaning or vacuuming, do it as instructed in the manual.
  • Replace the pre-filter if required.
  • Check the carbon fibers and change them if required.

If you are thinking about replacing your air filters you can do so. Otherwise, if you consider cleaning them then you can follow the below steps.

Here are a few tips that you can follow to clean your air purifier so they don’t smell:

  • First things first, unplug the purifier and make sure it is turned off.
  • Open the air filter and check what type of filter you have.
  • Check if the filter is worn or not.
  • If it is worn then you have to replace it.
  • If not worn then slowly and carefully take the filters out.
  • Shake or shrug off the air filter, this will remove the excess dirt on them.
  • Take lukewarm water and mild soap.
  • Slowly dip the filter into the water and rub gently with your hands.
  • After a while, you will notice a change in the color of the filter.
  • When it turns back to its original color that’s when you know it is completely clean.
  • Lastly, lay it outside your house and let it dry.
  • Be completely sure that the filters are dry before you put them back.

Wash them once in a while and you will notice, there is no bad smell coming out of your air purifier. 

Here you will find why air purifiers smell, and you should get rid of it.? For ensuring that the smells come from the air purifier here we make a list. You will find out how it smells. No one likes it when things don’t work the way they should. Air purifiers can smell after unpacking the purifier or during the use.

Here is a list of things your air purifier can smell like:

Unpleasant Smell:

Unpleasant Smell

If your air purifier smells like dust or bad, then it’s high time you check the filters. The dust in the filters can also be a reason behind the unpleasant smell.

Wet Smell:

Sometimes your air purifier can emit a smell like chlorine or damp air. The fundamental reason behind this is air purifiers tend to use ionizers to clean the air.

Sweet Smell:

You may notice a mild sweet smell that’s coming from your air purifier. If you didn’t get a scented purifier, then it’s the carbon fibres. Change the fibres.

Plastic-like Smell:

The air purifiers built with plastic may often emit a smell like plastic when they get moulded. But this will not be a significant issue after a few uses.

Burning smell:

If the air purifier is new and smells like something is burning, it is quite normal. The purifier is just reheating the plastic. This should go away after a couple of uses.


You must know the answer to why my air purifier smell? The fact that your air purifier produces smell is quite normal. But if you ever feel like it is not normal or find any defect, then contact the manufacturers. The manufacturers may help you out with the particular issue. You can also try replacing the air purifiers if replacing the filters don’t work.

Air purifiers are the type of items that requires maintenance. Sometimes the fumes may prove that you are taking good care of them. Nothing to worry about unless your house is filled with foul odours. I hope you have found all the necessary information.

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Author - Joseph Lee

Hi, I am Joseph Lee, I have a home gadget tools selling shop, where I sell air purifiers and its related accessories. Because of my business, I have to face so many clients of the air purifiers machine users. Though my shop specializes in air purifiers, I saw many clients face difficulties with installation, maintenance, not getting the exact amount of service, buying the wrong one. All those problems they face because of their lack of knowledge about air purifiers. 

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