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Handyman sprayed Clorox into AC unit… how long until I can bring birds back into that room?

Kackington

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Hi all! :) So I recently made my move out to LA… I miss central heating and air so much.
So the wall AC unit in the living room of my 1 bedroom apartment had been smelling musty and stale, so I avoided using the unit. I finally got a guy to come help me out, and I know the only way to kill potential mildew and mold is by killing it with disinfectant. The guy used Clorox tile cleaner, and I didn’t think this guy would use it so liberally until I turned around and he kept spraying the cooling coils (the part right behind the filter) over and over… then he just wiped it away with a paper towel.
My birds (my two very sweet greenies) were in the bedroom, and I figured he’d use something that smelled so I made sure to seal the room off the best I could.
I’ve got 3 air purifiers, so I made sure to keep 2 around the AC unit and 1 in the bedroom with the birds. He sprayed the AC unit yesterday, and so I kept them out of the room all day and aired the room out.
Today the smell has greatly dissipated, but today I wanted to run the AC to make sure the smell gets out. So I’m taking the birds for a ride while the AC runs (and a window is staying open).
All of that to say: Do you guys have any insight to when it would be safe to bring them back into the living room? It’s starting to get really hot, and the property manager has been very unhelpful with trying to get another window AC unit into the bedroom.
(There’s no AC unit in the bedroom, and so I’m trying really hard to get one in there for the birds.) So until I get air conditioning in the bedroom, if I need to go out, I have to wheel them into the living room to keep cool. Plus we spend a lot of time together in the living room when I’m home, so I just want to make sure that they’re okay. The two of them are with me now and they’re both the same as ever.
Thank you all in advance!
 

Kackington

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Katherine
Just wanna bump this! The smell seems to be gone today, thankfully.
 

A.K

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I’m going to bump this again for you, so you can get some answers ;)
 

Kackington

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Katherine
I’m going to bump this again for you, so you can get some answers ;)
Thank you!!! I actually have been having some more trouble since I posted this thread... despite the room being better, when I run the AC it still smells like bleach... even after running it all day and night Sunday, I ended up waking up Monday with a headache and sore throat. The birds, again, still haven't been in that room for very long so they're okay. Everyone is eating and drinking and happy. But now I'm afraid to even run the AC, I don't want to keep getting these awful headaches. Today it's so hot (it's about 86 out right now) I ended up having to go and take the birds to stay with a friend... I don't think that spraying the unit was the right thing to do. It probably sounds crazy but I'm trying to get the property manager to let me buy the apartment a new AC unit... I just don't want to run the risk of having the birds get hurt.
 

Mizzely

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You might be able to convince them to swap it with another unit at least!

I was going to say as long as you can't smell it, it should be fine, but clearly it's not fine still!

I always have sprayed mine with 50/50 water and white vinegar
 

Kackington

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You might be able to convince them to swap it with another unit at least!

I was going to say as long as you can't smell it, it should be fine, but clearly it's not fine still!

I always have sprayed mine with 50/50 water and white vinegar
I'm hoping! I keep telling them I'm more than willing to pay for a new unit. Money may be tight but I'm willing to pay whatever I have to if it means keeping the birds safe, happy, and healthy. Even after running it for so long, it smells like a pool whenever I turn it on. It's nauseating.
And yeah, I think using something like that would have fixed it, but this man legit just walked into my place, opened up the AC, and sprayed and said it would be okay haha. If I run into an issue like this again I will definitely do that next time. Thank you so much!!
 

Clueless

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That's the sort of thing that annoys me to no end. Sounds like he's masking the problem, not FIXING it! It's not normal for those things to smell musty, is it?

I'm tagging @JLcribber since . . . . well, he knows stuff.
 

Kackington

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That's the sort of thing that annoys me to no end. Sounds like he's masking the problem, not FIXING it! It's not normal for those things to smell musty, is it?

I'm tagging @JLcribber since . . . . well, he knows stuff.
Yeah he didn't seemed like he didn't know what the problem was and wasn't very interested in figuring it out... and I've never lived in a place that didn't have central heat and air, so window ACs are brand new to me unfortunately. I feel like this has made it so much worse, even though all I wanted to do was make sure that my birds were safe!
 

JLcribber

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So this thing has been running for 2 days now? Smell should be gone. Can you still smell it?
 

Kackington

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So this thing has been running for 2 days now? Smell should be gone. Can you still smell it?
Yup... and as I mentioned in the thread it was giving me a headache from running it. I actually got another guy to come by today, he told me it was stupid to put bleach in it (I tried and failed to explain to him that someone else came and did it and told me it would work just fine lol), he tried spraying it with something ELSE, that didn't work, and so he took the unit away and hopefully we'll have a replacement soon... it's going to be close to 90 again tomorrow so thankfully I have somewhere nice and cool for the birds and I to stay.
Thank you guys for chiming in and trying to help!
 

Shezbug

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If Clorox is bleach (we don’t have that brand here I don’t believe) and your coils are metal then the guy really shouldn’t have used bleach- bleach and metals shouldn’t really be mixed- bleach can be corrosive to some metals.

I hope the second aircon guy can help you sort it all out safely.
 

Clueless

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Exactly. I'm wondering if water was sitting somewhere and mold was forming to cause the original smell. . . .
 

Kackington

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Yeah I’m thinking something was clogged or was dirty because the original smell was awful. Even when he sprayed the coils and wiped them down, a ton of dirt came off. So it was definitely used and dirty, I just don’t think the smell was coming from just the coils, something else in the unit must have been really dirty and needed cleaning… it was so strange.
The second guy was helpful and is going to help me replace the unit all together since that smell won’t come out. I’m totally fine with that honestly, I just want to keep my birds healthy and cool during this awful heat!
 
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