Skip to content

6 Reasons Your Air Ducts Smell

cold air return vent inside residential house

Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is supposed to keep the air inside your home fresh and clean. So, when a funky smell comes from your air ducts, you know there’s a problem. However, determining the exact problem depends on the type of smell. Here’s how to identify HVAC problems with your nose.

1.    Mould and mildew smell.

A stale, musty odour from your vents means mould and mildew are building up inside your ducts. Mould can form if condensation doesn’t drain while your air conditioning unit is running. Consider adding a  to your HVAC system.

2.    Burning smells.

If you haven’t used your furnace in a few months, you’ll probably smell something burning when you fire it up for the first time. This smell is caused by your furnace burning off dust and debris that’s accumulated in your furnace. If the smell doesn’t go away, or if the smell isn’t coming from your vents, call an HVAC repair specialist to make a diagnosis.

3.    Rotten egg smells.

Natural gas smells like rotten eggs before it’s burned, so act fast if you detect that odour. Turn off your HVAC system, open some windows and leave your home immediately. Call your gas company to shut off the gas supply to your home and repair the leak. Gas leaks are dangerous, so don’t take any chances.

4.    Rotting garbage smells.

If your vents smell like a garbage dump, a small animal like a bird or rodent may have crawled into your ductwork and died. In this case, it’s best to call an HVAC company or an animal control organization to remove the carcass.

5.    Oily or exhaust smells.

A burning oil smell indicates an oil leak in one of your HVAC units. If you don’t notice any obvious signs of an oil leak, you may have a problem with your system’s oil burner. In any case, you should bring in a technician for the repair.

6.    Electrical or gunpowder burning smells.

If you notice the smell of an overheating electrical appliance or gunpowder, shut off your HVAC system immediately. Check and replace your furnace filter, as a clogged filter will make your system work harder and possibly overheat. It may also be time to have your ducts cleaned. If your filter is clean, call a professional HVAC technician to check it out.

Duct cleaning and HVAC contractor service in Kitchener and Woodstock

At AireOne Heating & Cooling, we carry various indoor air quality products such as purifiers, humidifiers and ventilators. Furthermore, a technician can visit your home and give you an air quality assessment. Contact us today and book an appointment in Cambridge, Guelph, Kitchener and Waterloo.

Share the joy

Contact us today