Whiff Of Rotten Eggs – Fixing 3 Odor Issues With Your HVAC System


Once you turn on your heating or cooling system, does it emit a smell similar to that of rotten eggs? Or do you get a whiff of some other unpleasant odor? If there is a foul stench emanating from your HVAC system, this could indicate a number of problems. You should not just ignore or live with a unit thatÙs producing a horrible smell as some causes of rank odor can endanger your health and safety.

Oil or Gas Odor

An oil odor is usually from a leak or an oil burner that is not functioning efficiently. As for a gas smell, this could be due to a gas leak.

How to Fix It

Once you observe an oil leak, try to adjust or tighten the fitting. But if other issues come up together with the oil smell, such as smoke or a rumbling sound from within your unit, call HVAC experts right away.

If you suspect a gas leak, here are the three things that you should do. First, call the gas company. Second, open doors and windows. Allow gas to dissipate by encouraging ventilation. Third, get out of the house. Do not stay in an enclosed space when there is a gas leak because this substance is highly toxic and overexposure can cause coma or death. Moreover, although gas explosions rarely occur, these could still happen.

Cleaning the air cooler filter at Stacken.
Cleaning air filter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Burnt Odor

Once you smell something burning from within your HVAC unit, this will probably make you feel quite alarmed. But don’t panic yet because this could be just due to dirt that has been trapped in your unit’s heaters. Short circuits or electrical problems can also create a burning smell.

How to Fix It

Before you panic, check your unit’s air filter first. See if it is blocked. If it is, remove the obstruction, which could be dirt and grime, and then turn on the unit again. If the burning odor persists, turn the unit off right away and call an expert who can help. A burning odor is also produced when plastic gets melted by the heaters. However, if the unpleasant smell is accompanied by smoke or soot, suspect an electrical problem. Turn the machine off as soon as possible and call a professional HVAC electrician.

English: Grey-green mold growing on pita bread.
Grey-green mold. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Foul odor from your heating and cooling system is most likely because of mold. Mold easily grows in damp and dark environments. Fungi can readily grow on drip pipes, drain lines, pans, and evaporator coils. This produces a “rotten egg” smell, which is an earthy, damp and musty odor.

How to Fix It

If you suspect a mold problem, you’ll need to locate the mold is and get rid of it. However, there are types of molds, and some can gravely affect your health. Therefore, if you don’t have the expertise to handle a mold removal procedure and if you do not possess the right protective gear for mold elimination, get in touch with professionals who can do the job. According to http://teamelectricinc.com/ , the first step is usually identifying and analyzing the problem. This is a vital step because if experts believe that you have toxic mold at home, then they can suggest ways on how the matter can be quickly resolved. Still, even if you’re just dealing with regular mold, it’s important to refrain from using your HVAC system until the issue is settled. Mold spores easily spread in the air, and you can get sick if you inhale these.

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Claire Willows is a freelance writer who likes to write about home improvement issues. Her work has appeared in a number of websites.

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