How Can I Troubleshoot My HVAC Odors?

AC Odor InspectionIt is normal for air conditioners and other HVAC equipment to smell a bit musty especially during their first time in a season. However, not every odor is normal. Some of them indicate a deep seated problem that needs to be addressed promptly. There are so many causes of HVAC odors and understanding them will give you an upper hand in troubleshooting and resolving them. Below are some of the tips that will help you in locating the source of the smell.

Natural Gas Odors

Gas is a combustible substance that can potentially cause fire and explosions. If some of your equipments operate on gas, you need to be careful and inspect them regularly for leakages. For instance, when you smell the characteristic sulfur-like odor, you need to quickly check the pilot lights on every appliance that is powered by gas including the heaters to ensure they are all lit.

When the pilot lights are out, immediately shut off the gas valve and wait for about 5 minutes for the gas to disperse and then re-light the pilot. Any persistence in the smell of gas should be addressed by opening of windows and doors, evacuation of the building and where necessary, calling emergency HVAC experts.

Electrical Burning Odors

Faulty and loose electrical connections in your heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems can cause wires to heat up and emit a burning odor. The common source of these smells is the failure of the working parts of the HVAC system. For instance, if a bearing in the motor seizes up, the equipment may start to overheat and then melt the motor windings. Overheating of the motor can also be caused by a clogged air filter. In this case depending on the type of filter, you will either have to clean it or replace it altogether so as to resolve the problem. Scheduled maintenance service can also help you in discovering such problems before they occur.

Oil Odors

Oil-burning furnaces and boilers are the prime sources of oil odors. This is specifically due to leakages in pipes, burners or tanks within the furnace and boiler systems. To resolve the leakages, you can tighten any loose fittings identified. At times, the smell may persist even after doing all the tightening required. This may be as a result of an inner problem such as a blocked flue or chimney or even a plugged oil nozzle which needs the attention of HVAC experts.

Damp or Moldy Smells

AC systems are effective both as cooling and dehumidifying systems. However, when the humidity levels exceed the capacity of the ac units, you may notice a muggy feeling or musty smell in the air. The damp and musty odor can also signify a leakage in the equipment or the plumbing system. A ductwork which is not inspected and repaired may allow moisture to penetrate into the indoor space hence causing dampness in the ducts that breeds mold and mildew.

Professional HVAC companies have a wide range of services that can help you and your family to live in odor-free environments. The best way to benefit from these services is to have a scheduled maintenance service that runs throughout the year.