Smell Alert: Why Does My Air Purifier Smell Like Fish?

Is it normal to emit smells from an air purifier? If so, why does my air purifier smell like fish? Of all the objects in the world, did it have to be a fishy smell?

It has been unbearable for me to live in my own house since I am sensitive about odors. After researching and asking around fellows who also own an air purifier, turns out that many shared similar concerns.

Thankfully, I was able to resolve this issue before it was too late. All I ask you is to turn off that device immediately and read this piece.

Is It Indeed Fishy?

Once you confirm the smell is like the fish from the market, it is time to get to the source of the cause.

Before we get there, remember that companies do not manufacture air purifiers to have such foul odor intentionally. That would be bad for business!

Why Does It Smell Like Fish?

The smell may be due to something faulty, like a component burning. This is why you must turn off the unit as fast as possible. Many people think the inexplicable smell is because of the mold buildup in the vent.

It may be true in some cases, but often the smell indicates a severe issue. Here is a brief list of reasons why the unit spreads fishy odor throughout the room:

  • Potential mold, yeast, or bacteria growth in filters
  • Overheated plastic inside
  • Rubber component burns
  • Faulty breaker, outlet, switch, or wiring
  • Overloaded extension/electrical cord

One more probable source is the heater or air conditioner in the same room. The cause is also due to the faulty electric line.

How to Fix the Fish Smell in Air Purifier?

While the best possible solution is to call the technician from the company, you may be able to detect the culprit in advance.

  • Transport the unit to a different room and run it there. Does it still smell? Then the air purifier is the suspect. Also, if the previous room no longer has a fishy smell, the device is at fault.
  • On the contrary, if the room still smells fishy, there is probably some electrical malfunction in the house/room that needs immediate attention to avoid a fire breaking out.
  • Make sure the air purifier is in a place where airflow is not restricted to avoid overheating.
  • If the device still has external plastic packaging, take it off and see whether the smell recedes.
  • In case the plastic burn occurs internally, which emits a fish smell, I suggest reporting it to the company right away.
  • Try not to take matters into your hands, as it can void the warranty issue with the unit.
  • If the company engineer is unreachable, the last resort is to contact a third-party technician/electrician. However, do this only when there is no other way.
  • Does the machine still give off a nasty odor? Then consider returning it since there is nothing else you can do. Your next step will be to obtain a refund.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do air purifiers make the air smell weird?

It can be due to low ventilation, microorganisms buildup in filters, or burning internal components.

  • Why does my air purifier smell like wet dog?

When the air filters grow mold, yeast, or bacteria, the air purifier begins to emit odors like wet dogs. You must clean the filters immediately.

  • Why does my air purifier smell sour?

As the activated carbon filter absorbs chemicals greatly the first few times, the air usually smells sour. It is harmless and should retreat within a week or two.

  • Why would air purifier have a chemical smell?

It can be due to ozone production that you may not be aware of. The smell is also considered chlorine-like.

Final Words

Why does my air purifier smell like fish? As you can see, the worst of the stench is the fishy smell, which can mean any of the above possibilities.

The bottom line is that the horrendous odor can indicate hazardous matter in an air purifier. Hopefully, you can find a solution after reading this article.

Last Updated on November 5, 2022

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Billy J. Weber

Hi. It’s Weber, founder and author of this site Currently you are reading. I am dedicated to provide valuable insights and practical tips to air enthusiasts and anyone interested in improving their indoor air quality.

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