What to Do About Foul Odors Coming From Your Vents

The last thing any homeowner wants to deal with while relaxing at home is a foul odor coming from their vents. Smells in the ductwork can be caused by a variety of things, such as mold, mildew or pests. In order to eliminate these strange odors, you need to identify what’s causing them in the first place. A Carrier heater repair specialist discusses more below. 

  • Rotten eggs. If you notice the smell of rotten eggs coming from your vents, this may be a sign of a gas leak. While natural gas is odorless, an additive gives it a rotten egg smell to alert people to the presence of gas and prevent explosions. Once you get a whiff of this foul odor, you should open your windows right away, get out of the house and call your HVAC technician so they can identify the exact location of the leak and repair it.

  • Burning. If you smell a burning odor, the first thing you should do is make sure nothing is on fire. Then, check the heater. If you notice that the burning smell is strongest around the equipment, then there may be a problem with your system’s fan. Mechanical issues can cause increased friction within the system, which will overheat the fan, leading to a burning smell in your home. Bring in a heating repair technician to address this problem.

  • Sewage. If the odor of raw sewage is being emitted from your vents, the most obvious culprit is sewage. A backed-up sewer line or a crack in the plumbing system usually causes this odor, and if it’s close enough to your ducts, they can disperse the smell throughout your entire living space.

  • Stale air. If you smell stale air or dirt, it’s likely that mold and mildew growth inside your heater or ductwork is to blame. To remove small patches of mold, try wiping it off with a cloth soaked in a disinfectant solution. For areas with severe mold, it’s best to consult a professional to make sure the system is thoroughly cleaned and won’t cause respiratory issues for the occupants.

Schedule Your HVAC Consultation

Kemnitz Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. provides a variety of services, including HVAC cleaning, tune-ups, safety checks, repairs and maintenance. Give us a call at (949) 453-8500 or fill out this contact form to schedule a service appointment. We serve residents of Irvine and the surrounding areas.

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