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Commonly Reported HVAC Problems:
Commonly Reported HVAC Problems:
[Copyright © 1996-2014. Hannabery HVAC. All rights reserved.]
HVAC Related Odors:
Odor problems can be as serious as a gas leak or as simple as a dirty air filter. But remember, a good mechanic doesn't just use his hands. He uses his ears and nose - all his senses. Unusual odors can indicate a serious problem and should not be ignored.
Odor complaints are very common in the heating and air conditioning field. There are many different types of odors and different causes, but for the most part they can be broken down into five different categories.
We will go through each of the five categories and list the possible causes, along with things to check.
Sometimes loose electrical connections cause wires or plastic relays to overheat, causing electrical odors.
It is possible for a very dirty air filter to cause the odor. If the airflow is restricted enough, it could cause electric resistance heaters to overheat, even burn-out.
If you smell an electrical odor, check your air filter. If it is not blocked, shut the equipment off at the breaker if possible, and call for service.
It can also be debri such as plastic getting into the ductwork and melting on the electric resistance heaters or heat exchanger.
If you smell a burning odor, check your air filter. If it is not blocked, shut the equipment off at the breaker if possible, and call for service.
Now excluding that "worse-case" scenario, if you notice an odor that smells like gas and it seems to be coming out of the supply vents, it usually isn't gas. Sometimes dust that settles on the heat exchanger during the summer months burns off at the beginning of each heating season, and it smell just like gas.
If the odor doesn't seem to be coming from the vents, try to pinpoint where the smell is coming from. Use your nose. If it is gas, it usually would be from a leak in a pipe fitting or at the equipment itself.
Gas odor is the one that causes the most fear. People think of gas explosions or carbon-monoxide poisoning. Well, gas explosions are very rare and carbon-monoxide for the most part is odorless.
Having said that though, don't take a gas odor lightly. If you can't locate the source of the odor and you are worried you have a gas leak, remember, open the windows, get out of the house, then call the gas company.
The oil leak is usually easy to spot. Just look for oil. Check the burner itself, the oil tank, filter and oil line. Sometimes it is just a matter of tightening a fitting. If there are no signs of an oil leak then it is most likely a burner problem.
This can be caused by many things, too many to list actually. It could be a minor adjustment to the burner, to a faulty or blocked chimney. From a bad fuel pump, to a plugged oil nozzle. Listen for any unusual rumbling or banging sounds or smoke or soot while the burner is running. If you notice any of these things and/or you have an oil odor, you should call for service immediately.
One other common problem today is that new houses are insulated so well and are built so tight that they run out of combustion air, causing odor problems. In this case it is just a matter of bringing in a fresh air for the burner. Call your local Heating Company to assist in a proper diagnosis.
More HVAC Odor Tips:
Please keep in mind that the information found on our website is provided free of charge and Hannabery HVAC does not assume any liability resulting from the information we provide. We hope this information helps, but please note that these are just rough guidelines, and not all possible situations are covered. Your HVAC system should be inspected and repaired by a trained technician.
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