If your home has lingering odors, these could be originating from particles trapped within your ductwork. Dirty air ducts are not only capable of harboring odors, they can also circulate these unpleasant smells throughout the entire house. If you are the original owner of your home, you probably have a good idea of the source of your odor problem. However, if you reside in a pre-owned home and have never had the ducts professionally cleaned, it can be harder to decipher the source of recurring smells. Foul odors emanating from a home’s duct system are most commonly attributed to bacteria, mold, pets, tobacco use, vermin, or food preparation.
The amount of dirt and dust that accumulates within an air duct system can be astounding. This debris can become a virtual incubator for bacteria, which can produce bad odors. In addition to giving the air a dreadful smell, bacteria can also enter your living environment and have a negative effect on your health. Fortunately, a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of the air duct system is quite effective at combating bacteria.
The musty smell of mold is much more than a nuisance, it can trigger allergies and cause respiratory problems. Mold is usually found in air ducts that contain some degree of moisture or humidity. Mold is a member of the fungi family and can reproduce in large quantities if not addressed. Mold releases spores into the air, which can get distributed throughout your home if not eradicated from the duct system.
If dogs, cats and other animals that currently share your home, or shared your home in the past, they can contribute a wide variety of disagreeable aromas. For example, fur and dander can accumulate in the air ducts, disseminating a pet’s essence throughout the entire house. Also, the scent of pet urine is particularly offensive and can cling to the dust and grime within a home’s duct system. Unless the air ducts are properly cleaned, this odor can remain indefinitely.
The smoke from cigarettes and cigars is easily drawn into a home’s air duct system and can permeate the entire house. Also, tar and nicotine residue leaves a sticky coating on anything it contacts, including the interior surface of your home’s ductwork. Even if you have thoroughly cleaned or replaced everything in your home, you will still notice a smoky odor coming from your vents until your ducts have been professionally cleaned and sanitized.
More often than you might think, various pests and rodents crawl into residential air duct systems. They not only leave droppings, many of these creatures are unable to escape and quickly expire. The homeowner is generally unaware this has occurred until the smell of decay begins to waft throughout the home. Of course, the only way to eliminate the stench is to remove the carcass and any residual contaminants.
The process of preparing and cooking certain meals can produce strong and lingering odors. These smells can be drawn into the air duct system, where they become quite repugnant over time. Frying can also cast grease into the air, which can actually coat the intakes and walls of the air ducts.
No matter what issue you notice with the HVAC system, make sure to contact us so we can inspect it for you.