It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and you turn your air conditioning back on to cool off your house. But what’s that strange smell?
There are various reasons for those odd HVAC smells drifting through your home. While it’s always best to call a technician, here are a few possible causes of those odors.
If you smell a sulfur-like odor in your home, it may signify a natural gas leak. Natural gas is colorless and odorless but has a distinctive smell when burned. So, a sulfur-like odor could mean there’s leaking gas somewhere in your home.
If you have a gas leak near your HVAC system, the smell will drift through all the ducts and into your home.
If you can pinpoint the source of the odor, turn off all appliances and lights in that area. If possible, open up windows and doors to ventilate your home as much as possible. And it’s advisable to leave your home until professional gas technicians arrive.
If you smell sewage in your home and have no idea where it’s coming from, there’s a chance it’s coming from your plumbing system or sewer lines. For example, your HVAC system may be located near a sewer line, and the smells filter through your system.
A HVAC technician and plumber will be able to determine whether you have a sewer leak affecting your HVAC. Dirty air filters can also cause a sewer-like smell as they become clogged with pollutants.
Another reason for the smell could be dead animals. Furry friends are known to enter air ducts during hot summer days in search of cool air inside the house. If they die inside your air ducts and decompose, they will create foul odors that will transfer into the house through ventilation or HVAC systems. If this happens, you should immediately call an animal removal service so they can remove the dead animal from your home.
Smelly sock syndrome is a common problem. Most of the time, it’s caused by accumulation of dust and debris on the evaporator coil. The coil is located inside your furnace and is responsible for cooling the air circulating throughout your home
As the coil heats and cools, moisture collects on it. This moisture can cause mold to grow if it’s not cleaned off regularly. It’s the mold and mildew that give off the dirty sock smell.
The first thing to do is to clean the evaporator coil. Mold and mildew can get into the ductwork. The mold spores can be very harmful, especially to people who have respiratory problems.
Contact your local HVAC technician if you’re unsure how to clean an evaporator coil. Better still, book regular HVAC tune-ups to prevent the problem before it starts.
There are several reasons for musty odors in your home, but the most common cause is the ductwork.
Ductwork is made up of many different materials, and over time these materials can collect moisture and mold.
What can you do to prevent this problem?
You can start by having your heating and cooling system inspected and cleaned by a professional technician. They will be able to identify any problems and fix them before they cause further damage to your home’s air quality.
Also, make sure to regularly check your ductwork for any signs of mold growth or leaks that could allow moisture into the system.
Electrical odors can indicate there is a short circuit in your HVAC system. A short circuit occurs when you have the wrong size wire connected to a component or two wires connected together that shouldn’t be touching.
Short circuits are dangerous because they cause more current to flow through the system than it’s designed to handle. This can heat up components and melt wires, causing fires and electrical shocks.
If your HVAC unit has too many circuits running through its electrical panel, this can cause arcing between wires and cause voltage spikes that produce an electrical odor.
Always contact an electrician and HVAC technician when dealing with electrical faults.
When you smell oil from your HVAC system, it can be an alarming experience. It’s not a good sign, and it means that there is likely a problem with your system.
There are many reasons why you would smell oil in your home, including:
- The furnace filter needs to be changed
- You have a leaky sleeve on the blower door of your furnace
- The air conditioner compressor is leaking oil or refrigerant
- The blower motor or capacitor in your AC unit is malfunctioning
Contact a HVAC technician to find and fix the problem.
Struggling to find the source of your HVAC smells? Contact the HVAC pros at Swan and get rid of those annoying odors.