Have you ever encountered an unpleasant aroma in your house that seemed to linger for days on end? Even the most well-kept home can sometimes develop a smell that seems impossible to eradicate. The problem is that the odor may not be a result of an untidy home or a garbage can that needs to be emptied.
The real culprit behind your home odors could be your HVAC system.
The quality of your indoor air is extremely important to your overall health, and these odors could be an indicator of a larger issue. It’s estimated that the air inside the home is two to five times more polluted than the outdoor air we try so hard to filter out. When your HVAC system is running effectively, you can actively work to improve your indoor air quality and eliminate the smell simultaneously.
If you need a little bit of help getting rid of those pesky lingering odors, you can take a look at some of these tips for getting it under control.
Rotten Egg Smell
Unless you actually have rotten eggs in your refrigerator, this smell can be extremely pungent and unpleasant. Determining where it comes from may drive some homeowners to the brink of insanity. It can be especially embarrassing when you have guests over, so it’s important to get it under control as soon as possible.
This smell is a definite indicator that something is wrong inside your home. The most likely culprit is a natural gas leak that could be stemming from your furnace or other appliances. Throw open the windows and take a walk outside while you call the local gas company. They can help to remedy the situation and get you in touch with the proper professionals.
You should be extremely aware of how well your gas furnace is maintained in order to avoid this smell. Even a small crack in the heat exchanger could release toxic carbon monoxide into the air of your home. A gas leak can be very dangerous to your family’s health, but you can lessen the risk with annual maintenance on gas appliances like your furnace.
Maybe your home smells like a load of laundry that’s been left in the washing machine too long. It could very closely resemble the smell of an old gym sock that never found its way to the laundry hamper. No matter how you would describe it, a musty odor is difficult to pinpoint and effectively eliminate.
You can regain control over your home quickly by inspecting your HVAC unit. This smell is most commonly an indicator that you have mold or mildew somewhere within the system. It develops naturally when there’s too much moisture in the system that isn’t properly draining. The water tends to accumulate on the interior of your ductwork.
The unfortunate part of this growth is that all new air pumped into your main living spaces must pass through this mold-filled area. You are continuously pumping the odor into your home and creating an unsafe living environment for your family. Long-term exposure to mold can cause serious health problems, including symptoms that closely resemble allergies, colds, or the flu virus.
You can check to see if this is your problem by popping off your air registers and shining a flashlight into the ductwork. You may be able to quickly spot the mold growth on the interior, but it could be further into the system if you don’t. Calling a San Antonio HVAC professional to inspect your ductwork can help you to not only spot the mold but to identify its source.
You will need to fix the cause of the mold before cleaning it up in order to prevent rapid regrowth.
Difficult Smell to Identify
Sometimes there’s a smell in your home that you just can’t quite put your finger on. You know that it’s unpleasant, but you aren’t sure where it came from or what it smells like. The truth is that it’s probably a combination of odors that have been left to linger in your home for far too long.
Particularly with newer high-efficiency homes, the smells and particles in the air can become trapped inside for long periods of time. It allows the home to collect the odor of all the chemicals you’ve encountered: the cabbage you cooked for dinner, the smell of your hairspray, the oil paints you love to use in the afternoons. Even the cleaners you use to keep the home tidy can contribute to the smell of your home – and not necessarily in a good way.
On the surface, energy efficiency is a great attribute to have in your house. It means that all of your appliances are using less electricity and you’re getting a lower monthly bill. However, it can also mean that your home is trapping everything inside. The key to fixing this issue is to use more ventilation.
While you can fix ventilation problems by installing a new ventilation system as part of your HVAC unit, you may be able to take some smaller steps first. You can see if these less extreme solutions will work before you go through the expense of installing a whole-house system. Here are a few things you can try to eradicate the odor:
Open up the windows early in the morning or the afternoon, if the temperatures and weather will permit.
Install a new air filter and turn on your air conditioning unit.
Run the exhaust fans that are typically located in your bathrooms or over the stovetop.
Place fans around the home to force air to circulate from room to room until it can escape through an open window or screen door.
Quick Shortcuts May Not Last
When the smell first crops up, your immediate instinct is to try the quickest solution first. Many homeowners will reach for a bottle of aerosol room refreshing spray or for a fragrant candle. These convenient tools may mask the odor for a brief period of time, but they aren’t actually eliminating it at the source. Their scents will eventually fade away and you’ll still be left with the original odor.
Burning a candle and spraying air freshener could even contribute to the problem and intensify the smell by adding a new layer.
If you have sensitive allergies, this isn’t going to be a comfortable solution for very long. The pleasant smell of the candles and air spray can still trigger an allergic reaction. You may experience symptoms that look like the common cold, even when you feel perfectly fine outside the home. This is a sign that your home is going to need some work in order to be healthy for you to live in.
Be sure to correct odor problems right at their source. In many cases, your HVAC system is the likely offender for an unwanted aroma that you can’t seem to shake. Get right to the bottom of the problem so your home can smell fresh and clean once again.