How to Get Rid of Strange Smells Coming From HVAC Vents

In many households, strange smells permeating the area around the HVAC systems isn’t an uncommon occurrence. These smells do tend to go away after a while, but if they persist, you should address them immediately. After all, you don’t want you or your family members to be uncomfortable every time you use your home’s heating or cooling system.


Here J & M Air Conditioning & Heating, a trusted contractor for your heat pump inspection needs, explains the different smells that can come from your HVAC system’s vents and registers and how to get rid of them.

Burning odor. You might smell something burning when you turn the furnace on for the first time after a long break. Generally, you don’t need to worry about this, especially if the odor dissipates after a short while. It’s probably just the furnace burning off the dust that’s accumulated on the heat exchanger. However, if your vents smell like something might be overheating, turn your heater off right away and check the filter to see if it’s dirty. If it’s not, there’s likely an issue with the wiring components inside the unit. Call your HVAC technician immediately for an inspection.

Musty or moldy odor. If you turn your air conditioner on and the air coming out of the unit smells like dirty socks or stinky feet, mold could be growing inside it. This is usually caused by improper moisture drainage every time the cooling system is in operation. Failure to address this issue immediately can lead to water finding its way into your ductwork and turning it into a breeding ground for mold. Before the spores can spread through your house further and trigger respiratory problems, schedule an air conditioning service appointment with your local HVAC technician.

Sewage smell. It might seem impossible, but the sewage smell coming from your HVAC vents could be caused by an issue in your sewer line. A section of the air duct might be too close to the source of the odor. Check for a backup in your sewer line or damage to the pipes in your plumbing system. Call your local plumber to repair the problem and get rid of the foul smell.

J & M Air Conditioning & Heating is your leading provider of heating and air conditioning services. Give us a call at (951) 654-3464 rain or shine if you need a new window air conditioner. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Hemet, CA, and the surrounding communities.