Welcome to part two of our series on bad HVAC smells, what they mean, and whether you should look into getting a professional to look at it and repair your issue. If you missed part 1, you can go back and read it here.

A properly-working HVAC system should operate without any drastic or noticeable odors (or noises, for that matter), so if you smell something, especially a strong smell, it should trigger you to realize that something probably needs your attention. If you wouldn’t know where to start in dealing with a smelly HVAC problem, just give us a call and talk to us. We’ll help you determine whether it’s something that’s harmless or an issue that should be handled by an HVAC expert.

HVAC Smells Like Sewage, Farts, Vomit, Fish, or Skunk

These smells could indicate a gas leak in your HVAC system, which is a serious HVAC emergency. Do not leave people or pets in the house, and call us immediately at (815) 220-5331. Why does it smell like this and not like gas? Many gas systems have an additive called methyl mercaptan specifically for the purpose of helping to detect gas leaks by making them more obvious. Methyl mercaptan is a chemical molecule that has a sulfur component, and it is responsible for the disagreeable smell of farts, feces, and bad breath. It is also very similar to skunk spray.

HVAC Smells like Gunpowder or Carbon

If you have an electrical issue or failure in your HVAC unit, it will probably smell more like gunpowder smoke than like campfire smoke or plastic burning. An electrical problem could put your unit out of commission, but it could also put you at risk of fire, so it’s something you should get looked at.

HVAC Smells Like Wet Dog or Wet Wool

If you have a smell like wet dog or wet wool coming from your air conditioning unit, it could reflect the fact that there is mold or fungus growing on the evaporator coil. This is more prevalent during the more humid times of the year, but it can also happen when a leak in your system is allowing moisture to penetrate into areas where it was not designed to be. See the section in our previous blog post on when HVAC smells like mold.

HVAC Smells Like Maple Syrup

If you have a maple syrup smell, it could indicate that you have a coolant leak from the fluids in your air conditioner coils. Depending on what type of coolant your air conditioner uses, you could smell a sweet smell when it leaks. The best way to determine what’s wrong is to contact us and let someone take a look. Sometimes it’s hard to track down the source of a maple syrup smell, so let us check into it for you.

Home Furniture, Plumbing, & Heating is here to serve anyone in Kankakee and the surrounding areas with expert service in plumbing, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Contact our friendly shop today and we’ll be happy to talk with you about the problem or issue you’re experiencing.