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Have you ever been sitting in your home and detected an unfamiliar odor or an unpleasant smell? If it’s coming from your latest culinary experiment in the kitchen, that’s one thing! But if it’s originating from your HVAC system, it may require a call to an HVAC professional for an inspection.

The primary purpose of your home’s HVAC system is to control indoor air temperature and humidity. However, many older systems were not designed to address odors within the home. If the air flowing out of your vents smells odd, you may want to have your heating and air system inspected by a professional. While certain odors are temporary and harmless, others may require maintenance to address.

Dealing with tobacco smoke

If you recently purchased your home and the former occupants were smokers, you might be dealing with the lingering remnants of tobacco smoke that has circulated throughout the home. The odor from stale smoke can become attached to condenser coils and leave an odorous film throughout the ventilation ducts. It’s not always noticeable by those who smoke, or by those have lived in the presence of smoke for an extended period. However, it is often detected when a non-smoker moves into the home.

If you suspect this is the case in your home, you may want to consider having your system and ductwork cleaned by professional HVAC technicians specializing in duct cleaning and HVAC maintenance. Having the unit and ductwork cleaned and serviced can go a long way in eliminating persistent odors, including tobacco smoke.

Musty and Damp Odors

If your HVAC system is not properly maintained and is contributing to excessive moisture, mold and mildew can form on coils and throughout the system. There are several potential causes, including clogged drainage tubes, improperly sized AC systems, lack of sufficient insulation and leaky ductwork. It’s important to correct the cause of the problem before cleaning so that it doesn’t reoccur.

Using UV (blue light) air cleaners and filtration systems can also be helpful in addressing air quality. These HVAC system add-ons are designed to neutralize or reduce potential allergens, allowing you to breathe easier within your home. They’re also useful in reducing the presence of odors throughout your home.

The First Heating of Winter

You may also smell something odd the first time you turn on your furnace for the winter, but this is frequently normal and harmless. This smell occurs as dust burns off your furnace’s heating elements. Dust accumulates on the heating components throughout the months when your furnace is not in operation. After this initial use, the burning smell should dissipate.

If you have a smell you can’t trace or are concerned about, contact our offices in San Jose, CA. We look forward to serving you and meeting your particular needs.