Your HVAC smells like fish. Do you know why your HVAC systems is circulating fishy smelling air? It can be due to a variety of causes, but we want to get you down to the actual cause so that you can fix it — or call an HVAC service professional in Kankakee to come out and fix it.

Whether you cooked salmon the night before, or you have an issue with your HVAC system, the air in your home should not be smelling fishy for long. While a deliciously prepared fillet of salmon can melt even the toughest of taste buds, you shouldn’t have to go to bed wondering why your home still smells like fish (warm or otherwise).

In fact, a fishy smelling HVAC system, whether you have it set to hot or cold, is a sign of a problem — one you want to get fixed as soon as possible.


Why Your HVAC Smells Like Fish

You’re curious why your HVAC system is circulating that fishy stench through your home. While you may have a neighbor that could have planted a fish in your vents, it’s definitely not that. In fact, the “fishy” smell you’re experiencing may not be mold or dead critters, even. For most, it’s a much more serious problem.

The air circulating through your home smells fishy because electrical wiring is on the verge of melting. The chemicals used in the plastic insulation wires can begin to melt, which emits a fish-like smell. While you may have a fish in your vents, it’s more likely that your intake vent is heating up some nearby wires to the point of melting them. Once the insulation on these wires is melted off, the danger of those wires shorting out or starting a fire is increased.

How to Fix Your Melting Wire Problem

If your wires are melting, you want to remove the heat from the process. The warm air is what’s causing the wires to melt, so turning off your HVAC system can reduce the possibility of those wires from melting all the way through. Depending on the season and where you’re located, you may have to wait a few hours to a few days before turning your heat back on. In most cases, however, you call an HVAC service specialist in Kankakee, and they will come out the same day.

Other Reasons Why Your HVAC Smells Like Fish

Now, if you do you have an HVAC specialist come out to your Kankakee home and inspect your HVAC system, you may find that the melting wires are not the issue. So, what else could be creating that smell? You’re about to find out.

Mold, Mildew, or Moisture

First comes moisture. Then comes mildew. Finally, mold arrives. If any moisture, mildew, or mold is present in your HVAC system, you may get a pungent fish smell. While the smell is more on the earthy side, it can smell like fish to some people. If your HVAC expert says its not faulty electrical wiring, it’s time to get your home checked for mold.


As sad as it may be to think, you may have a dead critter in your intake vent. This can pull air across the animals body and pump the air into your home. While a deceased animal can smell awful, it can smell like fish to some people. A critter in your HVAC system may not be as serious as faulty electrical wiring, but it does pose some health risks. It’s best to get your vents cleaned as soon as possible.

When to Call for HVAC Service in Kankakee

Whether you live in downtown, or you live on the outskirts of town, it’s best to call your HVAC specialist as soon as possible when your HVAC system smells strange. The smell of fish, as you’ve read, can mean a few different things. While you may be a handy DIY homeowner, you still want the professional knowledge and experience of an HVAC specialist in your corner.

Your HVAC Service in Kankakee

When you run your air, do you smell fish? Make sure the trash is taken out, then give your HVAC professional in Kankakee a call. Home Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, Electrical, & Furniture is here to serve you and your family. Stay safe and give us a call today!