The Gross Reason Your Air Conditioned Might Smell Funky!

Playing The Gross Reason Your AC Stinks

The temperatures are rising and you might be turning on the air conditioner very soon, or might already be using it to cool down. But is there a musty and funky smell coming from your AC? The reason might shock you!

Watch: Cleaning Mistakes That Can Make You Sick

According to a new study, dead skin cells -- which we all shed daily -- can be sucked up into your air conditioner unit. The bacteria in the AC unit then breaks down and digests those skin cells, which can create a foul smell. Luckily, we have called on home improvement specialist Eric Stromer to share some tips on how to avoid this summertime scent.

The Doctors and Eric's complete list of spring cleaning tips include:

TIP 1: HOW TO GET RID OF FOUL-SMELLING A.C. ODOR

A good filter on your air conditioning unit could help reduce foul-odors and bacteria buildup

Get a filter with a high MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value)

The higher the MERV value, the more efficient the filter will be in trapping particles

Make sure to install your filter the correct way: look for airflow arrows and point them towards the A.C. blower

Filters should be replaced every 1 – 3 months

In addition to using a quality filter, you can also reduce the number of small particles in your home (and AC unit) by using a sealed vacuum with a HEPA filter

Watch: Why You Shouldn't Mix Cleaning Solutions

TIP 2 – CHECK ATTIC FOR MOLD AFTER WINTER

Attics are more susceptible to moisture problems in the winter when heat generated inside the home drives moisture from the living area to the attic

Check for mold and rodent droppings in the spring and be sure to wear proper breathing protection

TIP 3 – WEAR GOGGLES

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that every household have at least one pair of ANSI (American National Standards Institute) - approved protective eyewear to be worn when doing projects or activities that could create a risk for eye injuries at home

ANSI-approved protective eyewear can be easily purchased from most hardware stores nationwide

TIP 4 – DON’T MIX BLEACH WITH OTHER PRODUCTS

When using bleach, the CDC warns the public to:

Never mix bleach with ammonia or any other cleaner

Wear eye protection, gloves, and rubber or non-porous boots

Try not to breath in fumes

If using products indoors, open windows and doors to allow fresh air to enter

TIP 5 – DON’T MIX DIFFERENT TYPES OF DRAIN CLEANERS

Never mix two different types of drain cleaners

Mixing two different types of drain cleaner (or even using one right after another) can lead to dangerous chemical reactions

If you mix together an acid-based drain cleaner with a sodium hydroxide-based cleaner, scalding hot water will shoot out of your drain

If you mix a bleach-based cleaner with a cleaner containing hydrochloric acid, dangerous chlorine gas is produced

TIP 6 – CLEAN YOUR HUMIDIFIER ONCE A WEEK!

In order to ensure that the air you’re breathing is not compromised by bacteria or mold spores, you should deep clean your humidifier once a week

Other steps to maintaining a clean humidifier are:

Rinse out water basin before every use

Use distilled water (tap water has minerals added to it that can be dispersed into the air along with the water vapor, leading to a small amount of white dust covering surfaces of the room)

Clean and drain before storage