Why Odors Get Worse as Weather Warms

Are you smelling what I’m smelling? There are any number of situations during which you are likely to notice that odors worsen as temperatures rise. Whether you are driving by your local landfill in the summer or noticing your trash can when you open the door to your hot garage, these pungent smells are hard to miss.

Many industrial processes have odor problems on a much larger scale, which need to be managed for health and safety. Understanding why odors get worse as the weather warms can shed some light on understanding how to manage odors at places like wastewater treatment facilities.

When Temperatures Increase, Gases Are Energized

Rising temperatures increase the amount of energy available for odor-causing molecules. These molecules, in the form of a liquid or solid, require additional energy to transition into the gas phase. As the rise in temperature provides that energy, liquids or solids become gases and emit stronger odors. To make matters worse, heat also makes odor-causing bacteria grow faster.

Hot and Humid Air Causes Odors to Linger

Heat is often accompanied by humidity, which can be an aggravating factor when it comes to odor. Humidity describes the condition of vaporized water being trapped in the air. This humid air is heavy, so it also has the effect of trapping odors. Because the odor-causing molecules linger and are concentrated they produce a much more intense smell.

Weather and the Role of Temperature Inversions

Beyond temperature and humidity, the weather itself can play a role in the intensity of odor. On a clear cold night with high pressure, or an evening when a warm front is moving in, temperature inversion occurs. This inversion creates a warm layer of air just above a colder layer of air. Since the cold air is heavy and dense, the warm layer confines elements such as smoke, fog, and especially odors.



An Odor Solution for All Seasons

PureAir Filtration offers gas-phase filtration systems that dependably capture and scrub odors from the air using chemisorbant adsorbent media year round. Our custom systems and media target various industries and applications to provide customers with the best solution to treat each specific need.

Our robust line of gas scrubbers, dry scrubbers, biological scrubbers, and carbon scrubbers work in conjunction with our chemisorbant media for maximum removal of unwanted odors and pollutants.

PureAir Filtration’s equipment improves air quality in and around many types of industrial and municipal facilities, like: water reclamation stations, wastewater treatment plants, food and beverage production facilities, pet food plants, and more. Contact us to discuss your odor control needs.


PureAir Filtration is the world leader in the removal of gases, toxic vapors, and odors. Visit this page for the latest company news as well as articles on our favorite topics!

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