Common HVAC Odors
Ah, the sweet smell of home. At least it can be…sweet, that is.
Homes are filled with all kinds of odors: sweet, sour, fresh, musty, avoidable, welcoming, and more.
However rare they might be, your heating and cooling systems also emit odors. If it’s a rare occasion, you might not be able to trace the source right away, let alone understand if it’s an odor you should be concerned about.
To help you in that regard, here’s a list of common HVAC odors, what they likely mean, and what action, if any, you should take in response:
Dirty Sock Syndrome. If the odor isn’t coming from a pile of laundry or only your son’s bedroom, it could indicate a dirty coil inside a heat pump or central AC system. The proper action is to schedule a thorough system cleaning and inspection.
Musty. If your whole house suddenly smells like dirt or a damp basement at the start of the heating system, dirt and dust may have formed in abundance on your furnace heat exchanger during the cooling season. If that’s the case, the odor will soon vanish on its own. Even so, scheduling preventive maintenance is in your best interests.
Plastic. The smell of burning plastic is one common odor associated with baseboard heating. Perhaps a small hair brush, child’s toy, or plastic utensil has slipped inside. In that instance, the odor will be confined to that space making it pretty simple to locate the source.
Electrical. An electrical burning smell – like that in the outdoor air after a lightning strike – may stem from an overheated furnace motor, cracked heat exchanger, or a faulty electrical connection. Any of those are serious enough to require professional attention.
Rotten egg. Unless you really have eggs rotting in your house, consider this odor a sign of a gas leak. Although on its own, natural gas is odorless, most utility providers add the aroma of rotten eggs or sulfur for your own protection. Don’t take this lightly. Open the windows to your home, get out of the house immediately, then call the gas company.
The best heating and cooling systems are odorless, and the best way to keep them that way is with annual preventive maintenance by Correct Temp. Our cleaning and inspections are designed to help prevent problems of any kind and keep your systems in top working condition. Call today for more information or to schedule service.