Why Might your HVAC System Create a Stink?

Posted 10th November 2017

HVAC systems are designed to regulate the flow and temperature of your air. This means that there’s every chance an odour could begin to emanate from it if your air conditioning system has not been maintained or taken care of properly. Although all good HVAC systems are built to be safe and reliable, over the course of many months or years of neglect, odours could soon begin to form.

As well as correctly identifying the source of any malfunction that is causing such a stink, it’s important to implement the correct steps to ensure the problem is rectified. However, first identifying just why your HVAC is giving off an odour will be crucial in determining what actually needs to be done to stop this.

What kind of smell is it?

What kind of smell your HVAC system is giving off is usually a reliable sign of what exactly is wrong with it. Sometimes the odour could simply be due to the atmosphere in your home, such as the home of a smoker, or it can be due to actual electrical and mechanical faults that have occurred to the HVAC system.

Switching it on after a while

There will be times when your HVAC system isn’t used for months at a time, whether it’s because the temperature is just right in the summer or you don’t need to warm things up over winter. As your system remains dormant for an extended period of time, a gradual layer of dust begins to accumulate within the HVAC system. This dust comes with a bit of an unpleasant odour and it can alarm those who don’t really know what it is. Most of the time you can simply leave your system on and open your windows to allow the dust to clear, although you may wish to opt for a professional clean.

Damp smell

The smell of damp can often indicate that areas of damp and mould have grown within your HVAC system. While this problem isn’t necessarily difficult to rectify in terms of cleaning up your system, often the reason why it has occurred in the first place will simply lead to it reoccurring if this original source is not dealt with by expert air conditioning professionals. Common causes of damp and mould include poor insulation and blocked drains which cause moisture to increase.

Strong smell of smoke

If your HVAC system is emanating an odour of smoke, then this is a clear sign that some kind of mechanical or electrical fault has occurred. If this smell does occur, then you should immediately switch off your HVAC system and call an air conditioning professional to take a closer look. Mechanical and electrical problems are particularly dangerous as they could eventually cause a fire, so it’s vital that you get it looked at by a professional as soon as possible.