Is It Normal That My Air Purifier Smells Like Fish?

Some air purifiers are designed with sweet-scented molecules to give their owners a fresh air filtration experience. Although others produce different weird smells, what happens when yours smells like fish? Besides, is it normal for an air purifier to produce a fish-like odor?

Some air purifier models can produce different funny smells, but fish smells are unlikely to be one of them. Instead, the main culprit of the fish smell coming from most air purifiers is an overheating plastic component within it. This signals that the plastic is burning and requires immediate attention to avoid sudden fire explosions.

If you’re looking for answers to the fish smell coming from your purifier, then you’ve reached the right spot. I’ll also provide you with tips on how to get rid of this unpleasantness and other possible alternatives. 

Do All Air Purifiers Give Off a Smell?

It’s common for some air purifiers to naturally emit different smells ranging from mild to very unpleasant ones.

Due to an oversensitive body system and other personal reasons, some people can’t tolerate even the mildest ill smell. Thankfully, air purifier models have provided the needed “zero-smell” remedy with their products. 

Here are three well-researched air purification technologies that guarantee an odorless air filtration experience:

  1. Enviroklenz Mobile Air System

This air purifier by Enviroklenz can treat rooms up to 100 square feet. This technology can effectively handle only particles as small as 0.3 microns and above. Still, this air purifier works better than some high-quality units claiming to remove smaller airborne microbes.

Due to its metallic nature, the Enviroklenz Mobile Air System is very unlikely to produce foul or plastic smells. On the contrary, it’s been ascertained to work well, especially for people detected with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). This assures you all the more that with air purifiers from this brand, you won’t be expecting any foul odors.

  1. Medify Air MA-40-WV2.0

Are you working with a decent budget but searching for a smell-free air purification system? Then you may want to check out air filtration technologies like Medify Air MA-40-WV2.0. One of its greatest appeals is the H13 True HEPA filter which guarantees up to 99% elimination of airborne microorganisms.

In terms of efficiency, this air purifier clears dirts and airborne particles down to 0.1microns. This technology is configured for purifying the atmosphere in large room proportions of about 844 square feet. Despite a room’s large size, it’ll take less than 35 minutes for this system to clean the air effectively.

Considering the need for mobility, this device is designed in compact sizes so owners can move it around easily. In addition, Medify Air MA-40-WV2.0 technology also has a CADR rating of 330. 

  1. Jade Surgically Clean Air (SCA) 500

This is a high-end luxurious air purifier option that costs an average of about $2500. Although on the high side, the Jade SCA-500 is a premium system that guarantees an odorless air filtration experience. It’s suitable for both residential and personal office space Installations.

This unique system guarantees clean and fresh air circulation, which is configured for medical-grade micro-particle air purification. It can also effectively filter air at a rate of 400 cubic feet per minute.

Is It Normal That My Air Purifier Smells Like Fish?

If you’re confident that there’s an unexplainable fish-like smell coming from your air purifier, that could be an issue. 

While some air purifiers are designed to produce sweet scents, others generate funny smells. Sometimes, the funny smell could be due to the newness of the purifier, which would fade away with time. On the other hand, it could be a result of the ozone emitted by the air purifier.

However, the fish odor coming from an air purifier is most likely an indication of a burning plastic component. Companies don’t intentionally design a device that should be producing fresh air to give off fish smells instead. 

Once you perceive a fish-like smell from your unit, quickly turn it off. If something is burning inside, it could lead to a fire hazard if ignored. Contact the company and seek their engineers’ expert advice for a more effective and lasting solution.

That said, other factors could cause your air purifier to emit bad smells generally, and they include:

  • Insufficient room ventilation 
  • Off-gassing for air purifiers made with mostly plastic body parts
  • The “new” smell that most home appliances usually have, especially plastic products
  • When your activated carbon filter is saturated with bad smell molecules
  • An ozone emitting air purifier
  • Mold, yeast, and bacteria breeding inside your air purifier or on the filters
  • Off-gassing plastics close to the air purifier
  • A faulty UV light bulb could generate bad smells for air purifiers that use UV light filters
  • An electrical problem with your home appliances faulty wiring

Why Does My Air Purifier Smell Like Fish?

If your air purifier is producing a fish smell, the problem’s source might not be from the vent itself. Unlike what many people think, what produces the unaccounted fish smell isn’t dead animals or mold build-ups. Often, it’s from a more potentially severe and harmful source that requires urgent attention.

The most likely reason for unexplained fish smells is an overheating plastic within the unit’s electrical parts. The plastics are made with certain chemicals that produce a urine or fish smell if burnt or get overheated. 

There are many plastic or rubber components in your air purifier where the offensive fish smell could be coming from. It could be the electrical breaker, switch, outlet, overloaded extension cord, or even wiring.

You may wonder why the fish smell has to flow out through your air vent, filling the entire room? It’s because, in the process of drawing out filtered air, your intake vent pulls out this bad smell alongside. Unfortunately, in doing so, your air purifier also spreads the fish smell throughout your room.

Another possible source of the fish smell is an electrical fault within your home’s air conditioner or heater. 

To detect the exact source of the smell, first, switch off your unit and wait for some minutes. Then move through your house, one room after the other. If you no longer perceive the weird fish smell, your air purifier should be your primary suspect.

It’s a different case if a particular room still has the fish smell even with your air purifier turned off. There could be an occuring electrical malfunctioning in that room in such situations. To detect the culprit, you’ll need to turn off switches and unplug all appliances in the room one by one.

Whether it’s your air purifier or another home appliance emitting the fish smell, you should address it immediately. If not, your home could be at risk of a sudden fire outbreak. Overheated electrical parts are clear signals of potential mild to severe fire hazards.

The next step is to contact a professional electrician if the problem is from a part of your home. If it’s your air purifier, then contact their customer care representatives or visit their website and request for the company’s technician. The company should be able to provide a solution or suggest another alternative.

How to Get Rid of Fish Smell From My Air Purifier?

First, ensure that you place your unit in the part of your room that would permit free airflow from all angles. Keeping your air purifier in places with restricted airflow like wall corners isn’t advisable. Restricted airflow will only cause your unit to heat up easily. 

Second, ensure that the overheating plastic material giving off the perceived fish smell is inside the unit. If it’s exterior packaging that won’t affect your unit’s effectiveness, then take it off.

My next suggestion would be to contact the company and report the situation. Then, the manufacturers are better positioned to provide you with a useful and professional solution.

In a situation where you’re unable to reach the company directly, consult a professional electrical engineer. However, make sure you’ve tried reaching the company before using another electrician. Custom made appliances like air purifiers are delicate, and as such, they require expert attention.

Also, should a third-party electrician tamper with essential parts of your air purifier, you’ll risk forfeiting the warranty on the product. No one knows better about any given product than its manufacturer.

After you’ve tried all these alternatives and nothing changes, then you should consider returning the purifier to the company. Unfortunately, if the problem results from faulty constructions, there’s almost nothing else you can do about it. So the next possible move is to return the purifier and demand a refund if the given warranty period hasn’t expired. 

The company would likely confirm that the issue didn’t come from tampering with the device or poor maintenance. Warranties don’t cover damages resulting from carelessness or any other third-party action. If you meet all the necessary criteria, you should either get a brand-new system or a refund.

Bottom line, an air purifier should help keep the air in your room clean and healthy for breathing, not otherwise. By reading this piece, I trust that you’ve been provided with the needed solutions for any malodorous air purifier situation.