Common HVAC Odors

23 Jan 2019

Common HVAC Odors

Some Sacramento homeowners can go into a panic when they notice abnormal odors coming from their HVAC unit.

However, not all HVAC odors signify that there is a major defect that will be costly to fix. Here are some common HVAC odors and what they signify for your unit. Use this information to make the most appropriate decision about what needs to be done.

Common HVAC Odor: Rotten Egg/Sulfur Smells Coming Through My Vents

If you are sure that you don’t have any rotting eggs lying somewhere in your home, then we need to talk! The smell of sulfur or rotten eggs generally means that you have a gas leak somewhere within the home. While natural gas is odorless, utility companies sometimes add sulfur odor in order to make it easy for homeowners to detect a leak before lives and property are put at risk. We never want to alarm our clients with information like this. If you are concerned about a funny smell coming from your home heater you should open the doors and windows of your home right away. Then call the utility company and wait for them from outside your home at a safe distance just in case the leaking is in fact something serious.

Common HVAC Odor: Electrical Smells

Electrical odors refer to the distinctive smell that is emitted when wires or other electrical components are burning. Electrical smells may mean different things depending on your unique situation.

For example, an electrical smell may be harmless in case you detect it when you have just restarted your heating system in the winter. In this case, it could be dust burning off of the unit, and the electrical smell will go on its own after about half an hour. However, you need to call an HVAC technician from Clarke and Rush Heating and Air if the smell persists beyond half an hour. Turn off the unit as you wait for help.

Common HVAC Odor: Burning Gas Smell In My Home

Another of the common HVAC odors is the smell of burning gas. This smell is similar to the smell you detect when you are using the gas burner in your kitchen. This smell is usually noticeable when the heater of the HVAC system is just starting after several months of inactivity. This smell is normally less intense than is the case for an electrical smell. Treat that as dust burning off the heater unless the smell lingers for longer than an hour.

Don’t wait before calling a furnace repair technician for help. In the case that mild burning gas smell isn’t coming from the vents of your HVAC unit. Prompt action is needed because you could have a gas leak somewhere within the HVAC unit or at a gas fitting close by.

Common HVAC Odor: Moldy or Musty Smells Coming From My Furnace

One of the common HVAC odors is the smell of mold or mildew in the home. This smell usually begins when the moisture generated as the HVAC system is working isn’t drained away properly. The lingering moisture allows microorganisms like mold to grow to a level where you can detect their smell in the air you breathe. You can try to pinpoint where moisture is collecting, or you could call Clarke and Rush Heating and Air for a thorough inspection of the entire HVAC unit. The latter option will unearth all the other defects that could be causing your unit to perform poorly.

Common HVAC Odor: The Smell of Oil

Two major reasons can normally explain where an oil smell is coming from. First, there could be an oil leak due to a loose fitting in the oil filter, oil line or oil tank. Secondly, Sacramento furnace repair experts also suggest that the smell of oil can be the result of a malfunction in the oil burner. Many things, such as a defective oil pump or clogged burner can trigger that oil smell.

Contact a Local Sacramento Heating and Air Company

See if you can identify the problem, or call an expert to service the entire HVAC system before that single defect triggers a domino effect on other parts of the unit.

Troubleshooting the different smells coming from your HVAC system is just one part of the equation in keeping your HVAC unit working at its best. Use your other senses as well so that you can get a better handle on what could be going on inside your HVAC system. Get help from your local Sacramento Heating and Air company. As soon as you notice any of the common HVAC odors discussed above give experts at Clarke and Rush a call. As you know, our technicians are not paid on commission which means we will give you an honest diagnostic and recommendation for repair. 

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