Does Your Air Smell? It Could be Your HVAC Unit!Most of us have environmentally conscious lifestyles and indoor air quality (IAQ) is everyone’s business, not just HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) professionals. Here are some common causes of air smells, but when you notice an odor, use your other senses, too. Listen for unusual noises and look for water drips on your floor as well as usual puddles of water outside. If you smell . . .

  • “Burning gas” – It’s not unusual when you first turn on your HVAC unit; dust may have settled on the heat exchanger. If the smell’s still there 20-30 minutes later, call us.
  • Electrical “burning” – If it’s the first time your HVAC unit’s been on for the season, give it 20-30 minutes to see if the smell goes away. If not, turn it off and check the air filter. If the filter is clean, turn off the electricity supply to the unit and call us.
  • Must, Mold – Mildew in your HVAC system may be the problem. Your air conditioning unit has a lot of moisture condensation; if it doesn’t properly drain, the runoff gets into your air vents. You need your air vents cleaned, but you also need your unit’s drain repaired. Call us.
  • Oil – If you smell oil, look for an oil leak around your HVAC unit. There could be several problems causing an oil burner malfunction. Newly installed furnaces may emit an “oil smell,” but it should dissipate after 24 hours. If not, call the HVAC professionals who installed your new unit.
  • Sulfur, “rotten eggs” – There may be a natural gas leak. Open windows, leave the house, and take your pets with you. Once you and your family are elsewhere, call the gas company.

IAQ and You

It’s important to pay attention to environmental red flags, including odors. If your home or office air smells “funny,” it’s no laughing matter. Call your HVAC professionals at Bradbury Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning at 281-651-5484 for more information. When we visit, we’ll also give you a free assessment of your current HVAC requirements and what you may need next year or later.