We all love the warm and cool breezes that come from our air ducts and offer relief in all sorts of weather conditions. Air conditioning on a blazing summer day is pure heaven; blasting heat is glorious on a blustery winter evening. However, the air ducts that deliver comfort throughout the seasons can also cause problems like unpleasant odors. If your air ducts are smelly, read on to find out when you can address the problem yourself and when you need to hop on the phone with a professional. 

6 Common Air Duct Odors & Solutions  

Bad Egg Smell

Unless you’re in the habit of storing eggs in your air vent, a rotten egg smell often means you have a natural gas leak. A natural gas leak is serious, and you shouldn’t try any DIY remedies to fix the problem. Instead, you should open the windows in your home and evacuate immediately. Once you’re in a safe place, contact a professional for assistance. 

Oily Smell

An oily smell can indicate one of two things. First, you have an oil leak somewhere in your HVAC system. Second, there is something wrong with your HVAC system’s oil burner. Once again, this is a problem you should not attempt to fix on your own. Calling a professional is the best option. 

Hot Gas Smell

If you smell burning gas, it’s not an immediate cause for concern. Sometimes dust gathers in your HVAC system, and it produces a burning gas smell when it heats up. However, if the smell is not coming from your air ducts or lasts a significant amount of time, you should contact a professional.

Electrical Smell

Sometimes an electrical smell indicates your air filter is clogged or dirty. Turn off your HVAC system and check the air filter. If the air filter doesn’t seem to be the problem, it might be a wiring issue. Unless you’re an electrician or have a great desire to become a human French fry, don’t go poking around in your wiring: Call someone who knows what they’re doing. 

A man holds his nose against the smell coming from his air ducts

Moldy Smell

If mold is growing somewhere in your HVAC system, it will produce a musty or moldy smell. Thankfully, you can sometimes fix this problem on your own. First, check your electrical coil. If your electrical coil is moldy, you can buy coil cleaner from a hardware store. Go through the access panel to get to your electrical coil, then spray it and wipe it down. 

A moldy smell can also indicate a clogged drain line. When condensation gathers on your electrical coil, it drips off into a pan, then down into a drain line. Sometimes this drain line gets clogged, causing condensation to build up and produce mold. You can unclog your drain line and clean up any mold and condensation around the area with a shop vacuum. However, if the moldy smell returns, contact a professional. Mold is hazardous to your respiratory health, and long-term exposure is not a risk you should take for yourself and your family. 

Rotting Carcass Smell 

Sometimes common household pests like mice and vents get stuck in air vents. Removing a dead rodent from your air ducts is something you can do on your own, as long as you’re careful. If the rodent is somewhere within easy reach, put gloves on and find a plastic bag with no holes in it to place the body in. Rodents carry numerous diseases, so please don’t touch a rodent carcass without gloves. Make sure to disinfect the area of your air ducts where you found the carcass as well. 

If the rodent is not within easy reach, you can try pulling it out with a wire hanger. However, if the body is in a late stage of decomposition, it may come apart. It’s possible to remove the carcass in pieces, but it’s not advisable. If removal seems complicated, call an HVAC professional. Calling a professional may be preferable in the first place because if a rodent found its way into your air ducts, it means there is a hole or opening somewhere in your HVAC system that must be fixed. More rodents may find their way into your air ducts if those holes aren’t resealed. 

We Know How to Remove Odor From Air Ducts! 

Here at Fresh Air Duct Cleaning, we know how to remove odor from air ducts. Our trained professionals will get your HVAC system cleaned up and smelling great in no time. Contact us today for assistance from experienced technicians!