Troubleshooting HVAC Odors

It’s not unusual for central heating or cooling system to smell a bit musty when it cycles on for the first time in a season, but some odors can indicate a serious problem. Causes can range from an easy-to-fix clogged air filter to a dangerous gas leak that requires emergency attention. When you notice a smell that you can’t easily identify, these tips can help you locate the source of the odor.

Natural Gas Odors

Natural gas is a combustible substance that can cause fire and explosions. If your home or business has gas service and you smell its characteristic sulfur-like odor, check the pilot lights on your gas-powered appliances and heaters to ensure that they are lit. If the pilot is out, shut off the equipment’s gas valve and wait five minutes for the gas to disperse before attempting to relight the pilot. If the smell of gas persists, open your doors and windows, evacuate the building and call 9-1-1 immediately.

Electrical Burning Odors

Although loose or faulty electrical connections in your heating and cooling systems can cause wires to overheat and emit an electrical burning odor, these types of smells are more often the result of failures in the HVAC system’s working parts. If a bearing in the motor seizes up, for example, the equipment may overheat and begin to melt the motor windings. Even a clogged air filter can force cause the motor to overheat. If changing the filter doesn’t resolve the problem, schedule professional service before the entire system is compromised.

Oil Odors

Oil odors emanating from oil-burning furnaces and boilers are typically accompanied by a telltale oil leak in a burner, pipe or tank. Some leaks can be easily resolved by tightening a fitting. If you smell oil but see no signs of a leak, enlist help from a technician at The Cooling Company to identify the source. The cause may be anything from a plugged oil nozzle to a blocked flue or chimney.

Damp or Moldy Smells

Air conditioners remove water vapor as well as heat from the air, but when humidity levels are too high or if the unit itself is too small, you may notice a musty smell or muggy feeling in the air. A persistent musty and damp odor can also be a sign of an undetected leak in the equipment or in your plumbing system. Leaky ductwork allows moisture penetration as well, and damp air ducts are the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.

The Cooling Company offers a broad array of services and products that can improve your indoor air quality and enhance your comfort. Whether you need a tune-up to ensure your heater is operating safely in time for the winter season, or a new AC system to manage indoor humidity levels, you can count on the experts at The Cooling Company for fast and effective solutions. Call us at (702) 567-0707..