Do Window Air Conditioner Reduce Odors?

Do Window Air Conditioner Reduce Odors? The Smelly Facts

Yes, window air conditioners can help reduce odors. They do filter the air and circulate it throughout the room, which can help remove some odors.

You can also find window air conditioners that have charcoal filters as a extra feature, which are good at absorbing and removing odors.

However, window ACs are limited in the amount and type of odors that they can reduce. In other words, Good luck getting the smell of fish out of your kitchen by just turning on the window AC.

How do window ACs reduce odors?

Window ACs pull air from inside of the room through the vented section in front of the air conditioner.

And then as part of the process the air is dragged across refrigerated coils that cool the air and condenses the humidity out of the air.

 Then blows the same air back into the room.

So when there are odors in the air, which are basically smelly bacteria floating in the air,

The window AC will pull the odors into the air conditioner. And the filter will capture some of those odors. And if the filter is a carbon filter, it will capture even more of those odors.

This may make you wonder why window air conditioners are not developed as air purifiers is they could be? Good question.

The main reason is air conditioners don’t make great air purifiers is that they need good air flow to work properly. And heavy filters dont allow for optimal air flow.

And using heavy dense filters in the air conditioner is not good on the air conditioner. So you could expect the lifespan of the air conditioner to diminish in that case.

Better odor removers

There are better options for removing odors that may be more effective than a window air conditioner, depending of course on the source of the odor.

Some include:

1. Cleaning

Cleaning or removing the source of the odor  is often the most effective way to remove odors, as it addresses the root cause of the problem.

The simplest example oh this is filtering the cat litter when it needs it instead trying to get an air purifier to remove it or masking it with a deodorizer.

2. Air purifiers:

Air purifiers use HEPA filters, activated carbon filters, or UV-C lights to remove odors, dust, and other pollutants from the air.

But even air purifiers are not usually very effective on strong odors.

3.Charcoal filters and Bags

This is one we talked about before in this article, Charcoal or activated carbon filters. 

 These filters can be placed in the room or attached to the HVAC system to remove odors from the air.

Charcoal filters are kind of like a sponge with millions and millions of pores. These sponges basically capture the odors.

Charcoal also comes as a separate odor removing item. You can find it in small decorative bags that can be placed around your home to help reduce odors.

4. Ozone generators

 Ozone generators release ozone, a powerful oxidizer, which can neutralize odors caused by bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms.

Ozone generators are commercial machines and they shouldn’t be thought of as a alternative for household use.

They are however very effective in situations like clearing out old cigarette odors.

Hotels and apartments as well as car detailing shops are known to use ozone machines to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke after the room has been vacated.

Vacated is the main thing to remember here. You should never use a ozone machine around people or pets. Or even plant life.

Another thing to remember about using ozone is even though it is a strong odor remover, it leaves its own odor behind.

So it’s important that you let the area completely air out for at least 24 hours before going back.

And the smell of ozone can be worse than the older you’re trying to get rid of if you use too much.

In summary,

Do window air conditioners remove odors?

Yes, window air conditioners do remove a small amount of odor from your room.

Window ACs draw the air from the room through a filter and drag it over refrigerated coils which dehumidifies and cools the air before releasing it back into the room.

So there is filtration going on that can help remove odors. And some Window AC’s come with carbon filters that are able to reduce odors even further.

But there are much better ways to get rid of odors then window air conditioners.

Cleaning up the source of the odor will get you much further than using a window AC.

And there are devices like air purifiers and ozone machines that can reduce odors.

But be aware that ozone machines are commercial devices and shouldn’t be used around humans, pets, or even plants.

Published by

Dennis Reed

Dennis Reed Owner and Author @