Indoor Odors

Most people know the smell of abandoned leftovers in the fridge. Many have experienced the smell of their kids’ dirty laundry hidden under the bed. But did you know HVAC units can cause or transmit indoor odors as well?

HVAC units are supposed to filter the air, adjust its temperature, and create an enjoyable in-house living environment.  However, external influences or older units might cause the following indoor odors:

  • Moldy or Musty: Most air conditioners dehumidify air, meaning the resulting water might not drain properly. This excess condensation can cause mold which can spread to the filter and dispense moldy odor even faster. Mold is especially harmful for children.  Cleaning the unit or changing the filter often does the trick, but severe drainage issues or affected duct work usually requires a professional to assess the situation.
  • Sewage or Rotten Eggs: These odors are usually caused by external defects with public infrastructure. If your ducts are located anywhere near a gas pipe or sewer line, these smells indicate ruptures. Contact authorities and stay away from rotten egg odors and potentially corresponding gas.
  • Burning or Gun Powder: These odors often indicate an overheated AC unit. Causes can range from (really) dirty filters blocking the air flow to defective wiring and motors. If the filter appears to be in good shape, leave the unit turned off and consult with a professional to limit any fire hazard. Additionally, furnaces using gas might cause these odors due to oil leaks. Again, please consult a professional in a severe case to prevent any further damages or hazardous situations.

Don’t ignore unusual smells, because they are great warning signals telling us we need to take action to avoid negative consequences. Please contact Doug’s Heating and Air Conditioning at 309-764-2500 if you have any questions about this topic.