Do Air Purifiers Help With Bad Smells?

Do Air Purifiers Help With Bad Smells?

Do Air Purifiers Help With Bad Smells?

When you walk through your front door, does your home have a bad smell? It’s an uncomfortable situation, especially if you can’t identify the source. We as humans are uniquely sensitive to smells. Research indicates that humans can identify more than one trillion smells, including many that other mammals cannot. With such a sensitive instrument planted in the middle of your face, you’re bound to detect some unpleasant odors no matter where you go.

When dealing with lingering odors, it’s important to remember that humans’ ability to smell isn’t just a superfluous sensory attribute; it’s an essential survival tool. Like animals, humans make crucial decisions about a particular food or substance’s safety based on smell.

You'll also want to determine bad smells that indicate danger: an alarming burnt smell, a burning plastic smell or even a sour smell can all indicate your home needs immediate attention to prevent disaster.

But if your home has lingering smells that aren't alarming, it could mean several things. If your home smells bad constantly, your nose could be alerting you to the presence of toxins, moisture build up, pet dander or other bacteria. Luckily, there are several ways to address bad smells and their sources, such as running the best air purifiers for odors.

Keep reading to learn what causes bad smells, as well as how to address them and freshen your home’s air.  

Ready to kill unpleasant odors in your home? Air Oasis is here to help. Visit us online to find the best air filter and air purifier for odors, bacteria, viruses, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), allergens and more.

What Causes Bad Smells in My Home?

Sometimes it’s easy to identify the source of a bad smell. For example, a quick inspection may reveal that your cat’s litter box is overflowing, or your teenager left a half-eaten pizza on their bedroom floor. Other times, identifying the root cause of a particular odor isn’t so easy. Musty, chemical and rotting odors are some of the most common, not to mention that notorious wet dog smell.

Poor Ventilation

If you keep your home's windows and doors sealed tightly, bad smells could be coming from improper ventilation. Through every season of the year, ample ventilation helps your home stay fresh and free of bad odor. As soon as you start to notice a weird smell or even that "home smell," it's time to open some windows and let in some airflow.

Old or Faulty Appliances

Some home appliances can cause unfavorable odors, especially when routine care and maintenance are neglected. Getting rid of spoiled food in the refrigerator and cleaning your dishwasher when necessary are two important ways to prevent bad kitchen smells. If you notice a specific appliance smell, such as gas coming from your fireplace or a chemical smell coming from your HVAC, call your service repairman to address the issue right away.

Lack of Regular Cleaning

Cleaning your home regularly isn't just about making sure it looks welcoming. Cleanliness also helps maintain the general health and hygiene of the entire home. This includes smells. Often, these problems can be eliminated thanks to some regular cleaning in your home:

  • A dusty odor
  • Stale home smell
  • The smell of trash or rotten food
  • The smell of dirty dishes or dirty sponge
  • Unclean bathroom smells

A little bit of cleaning every day can help with odor removal and prevent bad odors from building up over time.

What's That Bad Smell? Common Odors to Identify in Your Home

Several unpleasant odors are common in even the most modern homes today. Knowing which type of odor you're smelling can help you determine the source and find a solution. Here are the top odors you might be dealing with.

Musty Odors

If your home smells like a musty attic, dank locker room or a dirty tub, you may be dealing with a mold problem. Although mold spores can hide out anywhere, they commonly colonize in places like basements, closets and bathrooms that have high levels of moisture and relatively little ventilation. They can also accumulate and grow in appliances that use water like washing machines, or in drains and water fixtures. 

As mold grows and spreads, it off-gasses microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs), which cause musty odors. Breathing or touching mold can cause allergic reactions like sneezing, a runny nose, itchy skin and throat, watery eyes and even asthma attacks in some people. If your home consistently smells musty, you should check for mold growth. 

Chemical Smells

Does your home have a distinct acrid, chemical or chlorine-like smell? You could be dealing with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from a number of sources. VOCs are chemical contaminants commonly found in building materials, paints, adhesives, cleaning agents, carpeting, personal hygiene products, air fresheners and more. 

VOCs pose a number of health risks, and prolonged exposure can cause symptoms like nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches and skin issues. Left unaddressed, high concentrations of VOCs can cause damage to the lungs, liver, kidneys and central nervous system and may even cause cancer

Rotting Odors

When food decomposes, it releases sulfur and nitrogen-containing compounds that smell bad and indicate rot. With both of these types of compounds, even a little can stink up your whole house. If the source isn’t your garbage can, you should check places where food particles could be trapped, such as the kitchen sink, dishwasher and refrigerator. In addition to stinking up the house, bacteria from rotting food can cause illness when ingested, so it’s important to find the source. 

Old Air Purifier Smells

Air purifiers that are old or that contain dirty filters can sometimes emit a bad smell. These old air purifier smells can be resolved by either cleaning the filter directly or switching the activated carbon filters, depending on the type. Different air purifiers use different methods of filtration.

It may be worth getting a new air purifier altogether -- especially an air purifier that has a HEPA filter. HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorbing) filters are more effective when addressing odors in the home. Some air purifiers use both HEPA filters and carbon filters for dual action to eliminate particles that may cause a bad smell.

Learn more about air purifiers that utilize HEPA filters and carbon filters to help your home smell like new: Browse the options from Air Oasis.

How to Get Rid of Bad Odors Indoors

The method for removing a bad odor in your home will depend on its origin. After you’ve identified and tried to eliminate the source, you can begin to remediate the odor with proper cleaning, ventilation and air purification.  

Cleaning Tips

When it’s time to clean your home to remove the causes of bad odors, you’ll want to choose your cleaning products wisely. If you purchase a chemical cleaning solution, you’ll only increase the VOCs in the air. That’s why it’s essential to use natural cleaning materials, as well as adopt cleaning practices that mitigate the risk of future odors. 

Best Cleaning Materials to Help With Odors

You can use household products like vinegar, lemon, baking soda and essential oils to make a fresh-smelling, natural cleaner that works for just about anything. To make your own all-purpose cleaning solution, mix 1⁄2 cup of white vinegar, two tablespoons of baking soda, tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils. Add this mixture to a spray bottle and fill the rest of the bottle with water. 

How Often Should You Wash Curtains and Rugs?

Curtains collect allergens like dust over time and can cause unpleasant home odors; it’s a good idea to wash them every three to six months. Carpets collect lots of grime and dirt just by being on the floor. Vacuum carpets frequently to remove allergens, especially if you have pets, and wash them at least once a year. 


When an indoor space isn’t properly ventilated, contaminants like allergens, VOCs and odors become trapped and accumulate. As a result, indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air, even in large, industrial cities. Lack of airflow increases indoor pollution levels and encourages mold and bacteria growth. 

High indoor humidity levels indicated by moist, dank air can mean your home isn’t getting proper ventilation. Many HVAC systems control indoor humidity levels and ventilate air, but if your air ducts or filters are dirty, running your HVAC system could exacerbate the problem.

The most immediate thing you can do to improve indoor air quality is open the windows and doors so that fresh air can circulate. Once you shut them, make sure to run a high-quality air purifier to clean whatever contaminants remain in the air. Even better, having air purifiers in every room will help maintain your home's natural smell and preferred ambiance.

Making a Room Smell Fresh

After you’ve removed the source of the odor, cleaned and ventilated, you may want to add something to your home to help it smell fresh. However, many store-bought products claiming to freshen your home’s air actually make indoor air quality worse.

Air freshener sprays can release ozone into your home, and plug-in air fresheners and heavily scented candles release other VOCs. Try one of these alternatives to give any room in your home a fresh smell: 

  • Reed diffuser with your favorite essential oils
  • Simmer pots with oranges and aromatics
  • Flowers and houseplants
  • High-quality air purifiers

Want to know the best air purifiers to keep your home smelling fresh? First let's look at why they work.

Air Purifiers: Bad Smells Be Gone

One of the most effective ways to keep your home smelling fresh is running a high-quality air purifier. Essential oils, diffusers and houseplants can help cover up bad smells, but air purifiers can actually remove many of the contaminants that cause them. 

Eliminate Bad Odors: Indoor Air Purifier Technology

Air purifiers can remove odor-causing contaminants by a variety of methods. At Air Oasis, we know that the most effective air purifiers employ more than one air cleaning strategy. That’s why each of our air purifiers leverages a combination of all of the following technologies: 

  • Carbon filtration, which traps odors and contaminants through absorption
  • HEPA filtration, which traps more than 99% of particles in a fine mesh filter
  • AHPCO® (silver ion), a type of ionization that creates long-lasting ions that seek out and inactivate contaminants
  • Bi-Polar®, an ionization technology that emits positively and negatively charged ions that attach to contaminants and cause them to fall from the air
  • UV light, which inactivates bacteria and viruses and can sanitize air and surfaces

Best Air Purifiers to Help With Smells

Humans’ keen sense of smell is a mysterious and powerful ability. Smells can trigger memories, cause the mouth to salivate and even repel people from toxic substances. However, you might wish you didn’t have a sense of smell if your house is filled with persistent odors.

One of the best ways to freshen your home’s air while removing contaminants is to run an air purifier for bad smells. At Air Oasis, we’re proud to provide the most effective air purifiers for odors, VOCs, bacteria, allergens and more. Need a new air purifier to combat bad odors and keep your home's air clean? Contact us online or give us a call at 806-373-7788 to see which air purifiers are best for you and your family.

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