If you ever get a hotel room that’s this bad. Your room can be an incubator to a hoard of funny and infuriating odors. Your HVAC system will amplify these smells by carrying them along with the air they circulate. Some HVAC odors are normal and you can use an air freshener and other simple approaches to get rid of them. Others are risky and need immediate intervention to avert health and safety catastrophes.
Nonetheless, you should always be concerned when finding any strange smells coming from Your A/C. Here are some of the most common smells and how to address them.
Stagnant Foot Smell
Stagnant water around your AC might lead to a stinky foot smell. The easiest way to cure this is by draining off the water and raising up the ground to prevent future stagnation. Stagnant water is always a health hazard and should never be tolerated even if it doesn’t affect your HVAC.
Old Cigarette Smoke
If there’s a smoker in the house, his or her cigarette smoke will find its way to the condenser coil. This smoke will blast your home with old smoke odors whenever the air conditioner runs. Cleaning the coil is the perfect way to get rid of such a smell.
The Rotting Garbage Smell
Sometimes, a rodent or bird might make its way into your ducts and die in there. If it dies and begins decomposing in there, it will begin spreading a decaying smell throughout your house. Since inspecting your own ducts is hard, you will have to call in an expert to get rid of the decaying critter.
This is the common smell from an air conditioner especially if you live in humid areas. The system dehumidifies air as it cools resulting in water that will encourage mildew and mold growth if it doesn’t drain properly. Sometimes, changing your filter might work. If it doesn’t, call in a professional and have your air conditioning system cleaned.
Harmful HVAC Odors
While the above smells are a nuisance, they aren’t really something you should worry about. Cleaning up your system will most definitely restore that fresh smell you love from your HVAC. However, the following smells are risky and should be investigated immediately.
A burning smell is different from the old cigarettes smell. It is as a result of active burning at the AC fan or compressor. Turn off the system immediately and inspect the equipment or areas around it for any burning. You should call in a technician if you see signs of a fire, overheating, or melted areas if you want to avert a catastrophe.
This is an indicator that you have a ruptured sewer vent pipe near your ductwork or the HVAC unit. Sewage releases methane that is both poisonous and flammable. Call in a plumber to inspect your sewer system and address the problem ASAP.
The Rotten Eggs Smell
The rotten egg smell is the signal check for leaking natural gas. Leave the house immediately and call your gas company before calling the HVAC contractor. If you know the location of the outdoor main valve to your natural gas supply, close it to prevent further gas leakage. Don’t try to access the valve if it is inside or too close to the main house as you don’t know when the natural gas might ignite.
The Gun Powder Smell
The gunpowder smell hints to a fried circuit board or fan motor on your air conditioner. Once you note the smell, you might also note a drop in system efficiency if not complete shutdown. You will need a technician to look into the problem and replace the now faulty components.
HVAC smells are just a way the system can tell you there’s a fault you should look into. Heavy use of air fresheners could mask these important scents delaying the time to discovering potentially catastrophic problems.
Knowing how your HVAC smells and paying close attention to the quality of air flowing in through your vents can be a simple routine maintenance check that can save you a lot in repair costs and perhaps save your home from cataclysmic accidents. Always use reputable companies for boiler quotes.