Where does that unusual smell come from when we turn on the car’s air conditioning?

Homes that have air conditioning systems are often more likely to harbor Cladosporium and Penicillium fungi. These organisms, which cause allergies in some people, grow on the air conditioners themselves and then spread throughout the house when the units are turned on.

These fungi are the ones that, in fact, are behind the unusual smell that sometimes appears when we turn on or off the air conditioning of our car. That smell means that mold is coming out of the air conditioner.

As we use the car’s air conditioning, more fungi will be found there. To prevent its spread, it is advisable to clean the air conditioners of both homes and cars. As Robert Dunn explains in his book Home Alone?:

Also, since these machines release the most fungus during the first few minutes of operation, some scientists recommend opening the windows every time they are started. Or you can also keep the appliance turned off and open the windows, which has the added advantage of allowing a large biodiversity of bacteria from the environment to enter.

In short, that bad car smell is, in most cases, a direct consequence of dirty ventilation ducts.

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