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Does Your HVAC System Smell Bad?


If the inside of your home has an odd smell, it could be the result of several things. This sort of thing is pretty common in older homes. A faulty appliance or a gas leak can also produce unpleasant sharp odors. If what you are smelling is undoubtedly gas, leave the house immediately and notify your utility company and an HVAC service company.

Some unpleasant odors are harmless. Others are dangerous and potentially deadly. It is advisable that you learn how to tell the difference between an innocent odor and a life-threatening one. If you become familiar with these smells, you know when it’s time to call in for HVAC service.

I Smell Something Burning

“burntsmell”The smell of something burning may be coming from your heating system. The blower might be locked, causing your furnace to pull more electricity.

The extra voltage can result in heat buildup inside the system motor. The heat that emanates from the appliance can burn wires, that could produce electrical sparks resulting in a burning odor.

If your air filter is clogged, it will inhibit air flow and electric resistance heaters will overheat resulting in a burning odor. Sometimes the burning smell comes from the motor or the wiring. Call an expert for HVAC service as soon as possible.

When You Think You Smell Gas

“gassmell”As a security measure, most utility companies will add a sulfur-like odor to natural gas so that it can be easily identified. This sulfur or rotten egg smell is almost always caused by a gas leak. The seriousness of a gas leak cannot be overstated and should never be ignored.

A small gas leak can build up over time which can cause a fire or explosion in your home, potentially resulting in injury and even death. Inhaling gas can cause serious injury or death. If you smell rotten egg or sulfur, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Immediately leave your house and call your utility company.

Be smart. Know the signs of a gas leak:

  • A hissing or whistling sound coming from the gas appliance.
  • Gas lines that lead to gas appliances are old and corroded.
  • A gas pipeline is exposed after a natural disaster such as a hurricane, earthquake or flood.

There is a Musty Smell Inside The Home

“oldsmell”The first time you turn on your furnace in winter it will usually produce a sharp, musty odor. This is very common in older houses. This smell is because there is dirt and debris in your heating system that has built up through the summer months.

Most of the time, this is not serious and goes away by itself. The reason for this musty smell is that the filter is clogged and dirt has entered the appliance. You can quickly fix this by changing out the air filter of your unit and cleaning out your air ducts.

Additionally, a damaged roof or broken pipes can also create this unpleasant smell. If your house has a crawl space with the ground exposed, moisture will accumulate. This will result in mold growth behind the walls where and it will produce an unpleasant, musty odor. To eliminate this problem, consider covering the exposed dirt floor with concrete.

Is there a strange smell in your house? Don’t panic! Call RupCoe Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning in South Plainfield, NJ for HVAC service you can trust. A friendly and knowledgeable technician will be glad to answer any questions you may have.