One easy and popular “hack” for freshening up your home in virtually no time at all is to spray a few short bursts of air freshener or disinfectant spray near your A/C unit’s intake while it is running.

This is a good trick to use if you’ve cooked fish for dinner and are trying to get the smell out of every room in the house. But what can you do to get rid of the foul odors coming from right within your HVAC system?

TR Miller Heating and Cooling provides leading HVAC services across Plainfield, Illinois, and we’ve come up with a few solutions to some of the most common HVAC system smells.

Like Sulfur or Rotten Eggs

If your HVAC system is giving off a pungent smell, like that of rotten eggs, it is being caused by a gas leak inside the unit.

The first thing to do in this situation is to evacuate your home, call your local gas company and have them turn off your gas, and then call a trusted HVAC technician to inspect the gas line that feeds into your heater or AC unit.

Whether the leak is occurring at a pipe fitting or at a crack somewhere in the line itself, repairing a gas line leak is not a DIY job, and should be left to a professional.

Old And Musty

If your home is filled with an old, musty smell that is coming from your air vents, you may have an accumulation of dust and moisture in your air ducts.

Aside from creating that damp musty smell, dust, moisture, and a tight dark space make a perfect environment for mold to grow.

Having a moldy HVAC system can lead to health complications like frequent or recurring respiratory infections, as well as aggravating pre-existing conditions like asthma.

If you are ready to get that dank and moldy smell out of your home, call a local HVAC service company like TR Miller Heating and Cooling, and ask about ductwork inspection. Depending on the severity of your situation, a simple duct cleaning should get rid of the smell. If, however, your ducts already have severe water damage or mold infestation, you may need new ductwork.

Like It’s Burnt

If Your HVAC unit is giving off a smell like it is burning, it’s probably being caused by some of the components in the unit being overheated.

While it may take some inspection to determine exactly which elements are causing the smell, the repair process to get rid of it is usually pretty simple.

Here are a few things your HVAC service technician can do to get rid of the burning smell:

  • Changing your AC filter- When the filter becomes clogged, it can put extra strain on the motor and other components, causing them to overheat. The filter should be changed at least every few months.
  • Lubricating the motor bearings- If the bearings are not properly lubricated, they’ll wear out faster, which causes the motor to overheat.
  • Cleaning the inside of the unit- Sometimes dust can settle on some of the components inside your HVAC unit, and burn off when the unit turns on, causing the unpleasant smell.
  • Replacing the fan belts- When the rubber belts in your unit start to wear out, they can give off a nasty smell like burning rubber.


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