Foul smells coming from HVAC vents – What are the causes?

Your HVAC system is responsible for providing you with cool/warm/fresh/humidified air and also to keep your indoor temperature comfortable. But it won’t ensure an odourless supply of air until and unless you’ve an odour air cleaner installed in the way. One reason for HVAC odour that you might already be familiar with is; dust and debris in the ductwork or the appliances. But there are many other stingy, stale odours that you may never have recognized correctly but have always worried about. If you’re feeling a strange odour in your home and nothing has worked out to evacuate it, this blog could be having some useful insights for you. Also, note that not all odours are harmful but there are some that really are. So, never remain headless towards whatever kind of unusual odour your HVAC system produces.

Smell#1: Burning or smoking odour

This type of odour coming from the HVAC system needs to be taken very seriously as this is often the sign of electrical or mechanical problems. Your motor could be over-heated, the mobile parts could be getting overburdened and may be ready to produce some kind of fire etc. So before it happens, do this; 

* Quickly shut off your system and the Thermostat
* Inspect and smell the indoor and outdoor units
* If the smell is coming from them, don’t turn the system ON again unless you have it inspected by an HVAC professional

Smell#2: A smoke like Odor

This kind of smell may not really smell like smoke but yet smells kind of smoky. The reason behind this type is the practice of smoking in the indoor. As someone smokes, the HVAC system circulates the very same smoky air. And this smoke gets penetrated into the walls of the duct work, in the coils and HVAC units. People living in such a home don’t really feel this odour as they are used to it. But someone who buys a smoke infiltrated home certainly notices it and may find it very irritating.

You’d again need to call a professional to get rid of this odour. They have special chemicals to remove HVAC system odours professionally and properly.

Smell#3: Musty & Damp Odor

The damp odour comes from the production of mould and mildew. And the bad news is; they will not only stay in the ductwork, instead, will spread all over into your home. This happens as a result of undrained tubes, leaking ductwork or improper insulation. So before you call on a professional or perform a DIY cleaning, make sure to fix these causes first.

Perform the clean up as early as possible when such an odour is suspected since it may turn out to be a health hazard. And the mould and mildew affected air, when circulates in the entire home can put your beautiful home at the deadly risk of becoming ugly.

Smell#4: First blow of season odour

This is the odour that almost every homeowner experiences. In the beginning of the season, as you turn your Air Conditioner or Furnace ON, the dust that these units have accumulated over time, gets a push towards your home. As a result, a dusty and stale air fills the home. Don’t worry! This is normal. Open your windows and doors to let this first season blow exit the home.

But hey wait! This does not happen more than a few times after restarting of the units. So if you constantly smell such an odour, it could be a possible symptom of a dirty or a leaking ductwork. A professional again!

Did you find this blog useful? Are there any other kinds of HVAC odors that you are tired of? And, do you have any DIY solutions to treat them? Share with us!