4 smells and what they tell you about your HVAC (Don’t Ignore #3)

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4 smells and what they tell you about your HVAC (Don’t Ignore #3)

Our senses give us a way to detect danger and other problems. The sight of heavy smoke coming from a forest alerts you to a fire, so that you know you need to evacuate the area and call 911. The sound of a loud crash, signifies that something broke and needs your attention immediately. If you take a sip of milk and it tastes sour, you know that it has spoiled. Smells can tell you a lot about your HVAC. They can warn you of any repair needs from minor fixes to dangerous problems. Here are the four most common smells and what they mean:

  1. Smell of Mold

If your home is starting to get a moldy or musky smell during the cooling season, it’s likely because moisture from your air conditioner is building up on your evaporator coil and is growing mold. If left untreated, the mold from your evaporator could spread to the rest of your home through spores in the air. Though mold is not typically toxic, it can lead to a number of respiratory problems and infections. It is better to have a professional repair the issue than to allow it to worsen.

  1. Smell of Burning/Gas

When you first turn your heater on for the season, it is common to smell a slight burning odor. This is because dust has settled on the heating coils while you weren’t using them. Now that the coils are hot again, the dust is burning off. However, if the burning smell is consistent it is a sign of a bigger problem. Something is burning likely due to overheating or faulty wiring. You will need to schedule repairs right away.

  1. Smell of Rotten Eggs

The smell of rotten eggs is probably one of the worst yet most recognizable smells known to humanity. If you smell rotten eggs in your home, and there are no rotten eggs present you must evacuate all people and pets immediately. The smell of rotten eggs is a sign of a natural gas leak. The gas could poison you or lead to an explosion. It is important that you call your gas company to come as soon as you detect the smell.

  1. Smell of Oil

The smell of oil can mean a number of things. It could mean the boiler is burning too rich and needs a simple adjustment. It could also mean oil is leaking somewhere. If it is an oil leak, you should be able to see other signs beyond the smell. You will have to call a professional to inspect your boiler or furnace in order to determine the issue and make any necessary repairs or adjustments.