The PuroClean Blog

Clearing the Air: How to Remove Air Duct Odours From Your Home

Clearing the Air: How to Remove Air Duct Odours From Your Home

When it’s good, it’s wonderful (the scent of freshly baked cookies coming from the kitchen), but when it’s terrible, it can be quite unpleasant (what’s causing that burning smell?). Whatever the case, air ducts are essential to all heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. However, these air ducts can accumulate dust, debris, and even mould over time, leading to unpleasant odours that can impact indoor air quality. In this blog, we’ll discuss the different types of air duct odours, their causes, and how to remove them using DIY solutions.

An unpleasant smell in your home can quickly become overwhelming.

Common Types of Air Duct Smells

  • Mouldy or Musty Odour. That distinct smell is one of the most common air duct odours people experience. It’s often caused by undetected mould or mildew in your air ducts, which can harm your health if left untreated. 
  • Burning or Electrical Odour. This can spell trouble! A burnt or electrical odour coming from your air ducts can mean there’s an issue with the mechanical components of your air conditioning system. Don’t ignore this smell, as it could indicate a potential fire hazard. 
  • Pest Odour. Nothing’s scarier than hearing noises inside your home! Sounds from your air ducts or droppings around the air vents could indicate a pest infestation. This can lead to a pungent odour that can be as difficult to eliminate as the critters!
  • Chemical Odour. A chemical-like could indicate a gas leak, carbon monoxide, or other serious issues with your air conditioner. Don’t wait to contact a professional to address the issue.

What Causes Unpleasant Smells in Your Air Ducts?

Now that we’ve discussed the different types of air duct odours let’s look at what causes them. There are several possibilities:

A clogged air filter can collect moisture buildup, dust, and mould.

  • Mould and mildew growth due to moisture buildup in your air ducts can occur due to high humidity or inconsistent air conditioner maintenance, such as irregularly changing your filters.
  • Accumulation of dirt, dust, and debris from neglect can lead to bacterial growth and unpleasant odours. It also provides an absorbent surface for moisture and mould to proliferate.
  • Rats and mice can leave behind droppings or introduce any outdoor odours they bring with them. Sometimes, the smell could result from a dead animal trapped inside the air duct. 
  • Issues with your cooling system include clogged filters, malfunctioning components, or other potential mechanical problems. In these cases, it’s best to call a licensed professional to determine the underlying issue with your HVAC system. 

DIY Solutions for Air Duct Odour Removal

In most cases, a professional can figure out what’s causing the unpleasant smells. However, a do-it-yourself approach to tackling the not-so-welcome odour can also combat the problem! Here are some DIY solutions you can use that can help prevent and solve the source of any odours leaking out from your air ducts: 

  • There’s nothing a thorough cleaning can’t do! Clear out your vents and the openings of your air ducts of any stagnant dirt, dust, and debris that might be in the way. Not only will your home’s ventilation flow better, but you’ll also eradicate bacteria that might be present.
  • Vinegar, baking soda, and fragrant essential oils are odour neutralizers you might already have in your home! Place a dish of baking soda in your air ducts to eliminate the unpleasant smells. Vinegar and essential oils can mask the odours. 
  • Let the air in your home circulate! Open your windows and doors, letting the fresh outdoor breeze in and the foul, musty odour out. 
  • If you spot any potential rodent infestations, set up traps and seal cracks or openings around your air ducts. Doing so will keep them out and stop the odour from spreading. 
  • Use UV lights to disinfect your air ducts for a truly effective method! They’ll kill off any mould or bacteria that lurks inside. This is handy for those hard-to-reach areas in your air ducts.  
  • Stay on top of all periodic maintenance for your HVAC system. Changing your air filters every month will improve your air conditioner’s efficiency, saving you money while easily keeping your space cool or warm. Occasionally inspecting your air ducts will also deter any problems from getting out of hand. Your HVAC system will thank you, and so will your nose!

Replacing your air filters monthly can prevent air duct odour issues!

Ultimately, prevention is the best thing you can do when dealing with unusual air duct smells. A clean air duct is a functioning air duct, so you don’t have to worry about any issues arising in the future–and you can breathe better, too!

Dealing With a Stubborn Odour? Call the PuroClean Experts!

Has the smell coming from your air ducts become unbearable? Don’t let a dirty duct ruin your living space. Our trusted technicians are here to come to the rescue! We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for reliable and professional air duct cleaning services. We understand the importance of responding quickly, so you’re always our top priority. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (877) 261-7876 or visit our office locator page to find your nearest PuroClean.