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Weird Smell Coming From Vents? – Do This

Weird Smell Coming From Vents? – Do This

The last thing you want at the end of a long day is to notice a strange smell from AC vents. After all, your heating and cooling system should be pumping clean and fresh air throughout your home.

Aside from being unpleasant, bad smells coming from controlled air can also be signs of deeper issues. So in this post, let’s discuss why your central air conditioner smells musty or has another type of smell coming from vents.

That way you can get rid of it and enjoy pleasant, clean air again.

Burnt Or Musty Smell From AC Vents? Here’s Why

The cause of bad odors in your ventilation system are directly tied to the remedies to get rid of them. So let’s talk about some of the common causes of unpleasant odors and what to do.

Mildew or Mold

As moisture grows, mildew and mold can grow inside of your AC vents. Of course, as you’re heating and air conditioning pumps air throughout your house, it will bring these smells with it.

One of the first things that should be done is have a professional air conditioning company inspect your ductwork. There may also be no mildew in your fall spaces or hatcheries.

Not only can this funky fungi damage your heating and cooling system, it’s also fairly harmful to the humans who breathe it. It can cause a variety of respiratory issues. Having your ducts clean could be one solution to this problem.

Read More: The Spooky Things Living In Your Air Vents

AC Too Large

It’s also possible that your air conditioner is too large for your home. If the air conditioner is large, it will cycle very quickly.

This means that it doesn’t run long enough during each cycle to actually clean out the mold and mildew and dehumidify the vents.


It goes without saying that if you smell burning, you should check your kitchen for any potential house fires first. Once you’ve done that, you should investigate the heating system.

Oftentimes people notice the burning smell when their furnace is turned off. This is because dust can build up on the heat exchanger. Once the furnace turns on after a long period of inactivity, the dust burns off, creating a smell.

Now, if the smell quickly goes away, then you might be out of trouble. However, if the smell persists, then it could be a bigger problem.

So try to find out whether you need to replace the filter, or your furnace, or otherwise try to clean the system. You may even need an electrical repair. So it’s best to have an HVAC professional check it out. Potential house fires are nothing you want to play around with.

Smells to Watch Out For

Get the professionals involved if you notice these following odors:

Rotten Eggs

Did you know natural gas can cause a rotten egg smell if there’s a leak? Gas leaks can be potentially fatal. If you notice a rotten egg smell, then you should turn off your heater right away.

Then exit the premises and contact heating and air conditioning professionals. They can inspect your equipment for leaks. You can have them perform any repairs that may need to be done.


If the electronics and mechanics of your furnace are not working properly, sulfur is a common odor. For example, the circuit board could be working incorrectly. It typically requires a repair because sulfur is a sign of significant damage to your HVAC system.

A smaller but still possible cause is drywall. Different types of drywall can cause a sulfur smell when they need to be replaced.

Nail Polish Smell

Your HVAC system smells like nail polish remover? This could mean you have a leak in your refrigerant system. This could create a fire hazard if not addressed quickly.

So have an HVAC tech come out and look at it right away.


Small animals can leave behind urine traces in your ductwork. So if this is the odor you’re experiencing, have someone check your ducts today. It could lead to bigger problems down the road.


Cracked pipes in the sewer line can cause your home to smell like sewage itself. This is especially true if the leak is near the intake for your duct system.

To get rid of a smell like this, you want to have a professional look at your entire system to see where it’s coming from.

Other Air Smells

Typically your heating and air conditioning ventilation should be circulating clean air throughout the home.

If there’s not enough ventilation, then that system may need to be repaired or replaced. So if opening a window really quickly doesn’t take care of the issue entirely, then it’s something more major.

Say Goodbye To a Weird Or Burning Smell From Vents

If you ever have a burning smell from AC vents at home, it’s time to get help. Reach out to the experts at Speed of Need Cleaning. Get professional dryer vent cleaning in Alpharetta and more. Let’s repair your AC so your system does its job once again.

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