HomeX Logo

Sorry, the web browser you're using is not supported by this website.

Please use Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or another browser to access homex.com. Thank you.

Skip to main content

We use cookies to enhance your experience. For details on how we use cookies, collect data, & how to manage your consent please see our Cookie Policy & Privacy Policy.

The Air in My Home Smells Strange

Nobody likes the smell of rotten eggs or stinky socks. When the air in your home stinks, it's impossible to ignore. Mold and mildew are the main culprits behind musty odors in your home. This buildup can happen in the damp, stuffy, unventilated areas of your home or air system. Dirty ductwork can also contribute to your air's musty and stale smell.

What's Making Your Home Smell

Unsure where to look? Here's how to sniff out trouble and kick that funk to the curb.

Potential Issues

  • moisture on cold surfaces
  • indoor allergens
  • air is humid
  • air smells strange
  • puddle around the indoor air conditioning unit
  • furniture is warped

Warm, humid air coming in contact with cooler pipes and toilets causes the water in the air to form into water droplets, called condensation. The higher the humidity level, the higher the temperature needed to create condensation (known as the dew point). This means that as your humidity levels increase, cold surfaces that wouldn't typically gather condensation will suddenly start to sweat. Over time, high condensation in your home can damage the surfaces around your toilets and pipes. If your humidity level is over 55%, it can even create a cozy environment for mold and mildew to grow. Frequently wiping away the condensation will help in the short term, but you'll want to find a way to lower the humidity to prevent long-term damage.

LEARN MORE

  • air smells strange

The exhaust pipe is where your tankless water heater cycles the exhaust gases out of your home. A small part called the transition clamp is in charge of making sure that no gas escapes as it moves between the water heater and the exhaust pipe. But, it can't do it on it's own. It needs help. That's where the hangers (also called supports) come in. It's their job to make sure that the exhaust pipe can't be pulled, bumped, or shaken out of place. If they aren't holding the pipe completely still, the transition clamp will lose its grip over time. Once that happens, exhaust gases will leak into your home.

LEARN MORE

  • air smells strange
  • AC keeps turning on and off

The wires that connect your HVAC system's power and controls can face a few problems, including damage to the wire itself, a tripped circuit breaker, a blown low voltage fuse, or failed transformer. When one of these things goes wrong, it impacts your whole AC system. You’ll need to have it inspected and repaired. This type of troubleshooting requires training and knowledge that should be handled by a technician.

  • indoor allergens
  • indoor air is polluted
  • air is too hot
  • air smells strange

Sometimes, all your system needs is a good cleaning. Dust and other particles that float in the air get trapped in your filter whenever your air conditioner is running. Over time, this dirt and debris will build up and create a thick layer on the filter. The thicker the buildup, the harder it is for your system to push air through, which puts stress on the unit and makes your system less efficient. You should inspect the filter once a month. A good "rule of thumb" is if you hold the filter up to a light source and cannot see the light through it, you should replace the filter.

LEARN MORE

  • air smells strange
  • indoor allergens

Your ducts are the airways within your home. Any air that moves through your furnace or other HVAC systems does so within the ductwork. If your ducts have built up dust from a lack of maintenance or dirty air filters, that dust will continue to circulate throughout your home. Too much dust can even cause respiratory issues and allergies.

  • puddle around the indoor air conditioning unit
  • air is humid
  • moisture on cold surfaces
  • not reaching temperature set on thermostat
  • blower sounds strange
  • AC keeps turning on and off
  • air smells strange
  • air is too hot
  • furniture is warped

Your AC unit works to cool the air in your home by way of its evaporator coils. The coils allow the cooling chemicals (needed to cool your air) to evaporate from liquid to gas and absorb the heat in your air, which is how your air gets cooled. Because this part is exposed to such cold temperatures, it is vulnerable to freezing. The coil will freeze if the system is low on refrigerant or has an airflow issue, as a result of a dirty coil, filter, fan wheel, or heat exchanger. If this occurs, and is not caught in time, the issue can escalate further and the larger refrigerant line may freeze. If this is the case, you will see ice on the suction line leading from the inside unit to the outdoor unit.

  • no hot water
  • air smells strange

A thermocouple is a small sensor with a big responsibility. When your gas water heater's pilot light turns on, it triggers the thermocouple to release a small electric current, which then allows the gas valve to open. This ensures that your pilot light will stay lit and prevents gas from leaking if it goes out. If the thermocouple breaks, the gas valve won't know whether to stay open or closed, which can prevent your water heater from working or even cause the unburned gas to leak into your home.

LEARN MORE

Let's Get It Fixed!

Our virtual experts can diagnose your issue (for free!) and resolve simple problems.

What Did You Think of This Article?

What Did You Think of This Article?