Is a bad smell coming out of your Fort Myers HVAC system instead of delivering clean, refreshing air into your home? If so, you need to take action to find out what is causing the problem and get it fixed.
The Environmental Protection Agency lists heating and ventilating systems as some of the possible sources for indoor air pollution. You can be exposed to immediate and/or long-term effects depending on what is causing the problem.
Here are some descriptions to help identify what may be the cause of that less-than-pleasant smell in your home.
Rotten Egg Smell
If you smell rotten eggs in your home or riding in with your conditioned-air, you need to act immediately. It can mean you have a natural gas leak. You need to turn off the gas at the meter and take appropriate action.
The Florida Public Utilities recommends evacuating immediately and calling 9-1-1. They also encourage you to not engage in any activity that can cause a spark, such as smoking, using your landline phone, or lighting a match.
If the gas company determines that the problem lies in your HVAC system, you will need to get that fixed. Do not attempt to turn the gas back on yourself before the gas company comes out to check that it is safe for it to be turned back on.
If you smell oil while running an HVAC system that wasn’t very recently installed, you either have an oil leak or a problem with your oil burner. Either can lead to more serious problems. Your HVAC technician will be able to determine where the oil leak is coming from or what is causing your oil burner to not function properly.
Mold and Mildew
If your conditioned-air smells musty, it is a sign that you likely have mold or mildew in your HVAC system. The Center for Disease Control suggests having any mold you find in your house removed to prevent damage to your health.
The presence of mold can cause relatively mild health symptoms similar to having a cold. For people with asthma or underlying health issues that have a compromised immune system, the effects due to mold exposure can be much more serious.
A residual buildup of cigarette smoke can occur when people have smoked cigarettes inside your home. If you’re smelling cigarette smoke when you run your HVAC, you will need to change your air filter and have your system professionally cleaned. To keep the problem from recurring after remedial measures have been taken, ask smokers to smoke outside.
Stinky Feet (Dirty Sock Syndrome)
If water has accumulated in your HVAC system and become stagnant, the conditioned air will smell like dirty or stinky feet. This smell indicates there is likely a drainage problem somewhere in your system. Some causes may be blocked drainage lines, standing water in your drainage pan, or a wet air filter.
Burning Electrical Smell
A burning smell coming from your HVAC system may be something as simple as a dirty air filter. You need to turn off the electricity to your HVAC system at the breaker box prior to checking the condition of your filter.
If it isn’t a filter issue, then call a professional to help you diagnose the problem. You may have a problem with your HVAC motor or faulty wiring, either of which needs to be professionally repaired before turning the electrical back on to your HVAC.
If the burning smell includes a rotten egg or fishy odor, call the fire department because plastic parts in your HVAC may be melting down. Turn off your electricity at the breaker box while you wait outside for them to arrive.
Stinky Trash Smell
If your home begins to smell like something is dead or decomposing, it is possible a rodent or small animal has died inside your HVAC system. If this happens, call a Florida HVAC professional to get it removed ASAP. While waiting for them to arrive, do not run your HVAC and open up windows and doors to help release some of the smell.
If your HVAC system is emitting a gunpowder smell, it is likely that something in your system has shorted out. For example, the circuit board or the fan’s motor. Your HVAC professional will need to either fix or replace whichever part has failed.
When your main sewer line or one of the pipes leading to it backs up or ruptures, the smell can get pulled into your home through your ductwork. Sewage creates a mixture of substances; some of which are not safe to breathe or can create a fire hazard. Call your plumber immediately and open doors and windows to ventilate your home.
Importance of Preventive Maintenance
The best way to ensure your HVAC system lasts and keeps providing you with healthier air is to have your system on a regular maintenance schedule. During these preventive maintenance checks, we can clean and inspect the various parts and operating pressures that keep your system performing optimally.
Call Your Fort Myers HVAC Tech Today
Bad smells coming from your HVAC can be both harmful and unpleasant. The air quality in your home is important to your health, so do not prolong your exposure or simply try to cover up the smell with air deodorizers.
Most of the symptoms above mean there is a problem directly related to your HVAC unit that needs to be corrected. Contact us now to schedule an inspection of your Fort Myers HVAC system.