It's frustrating when your home has a foul odor you can't seem to get rid of. You may not even know where the odor is coming from. If you've ruled out places like the attic and basement, consider if the problem is in your air ducts. If your ducts are dirty, your home might have a bad odor and you may have a hard time controlling dust. The solution is to have your ducts professionally cleaned. Here's how to tell if your ducts need to be cleaned.
1. Dust Is A Problem In Your Home
Air circulates around your house by getting pulled in the air handler and then blowing out the ducts. While you might not be able to see deep inside the ducts, you can peek in the ends of them. If the register grilles are coated with dust bunnies and the ends of the ducts seem dusty, too, then it may be time to have your ducts cleaned.
You might also notice a dust problem if your home always has dust on surfaces such as shelves and televisions. Some dust settling is normal, but if dust collects as soon as you remove it, you may want to find out why.
If you need to change your HVAC filter more often than you're supposed to, that could signal excess dust in your house too. The purpose of the filter is to keep dust out of the HVAC, so if the filter is catching a lot of debris, it's coming from the air in your house.
2. There's A Mildew Odor You Can't Track Down
Another problem with ducts is mold growth in them. If you keep getting whiffs of mildew but you can't find any water damage in your home, there could be mold growing in your ducts. Mold can grow on metal ducts because of the dust that collects in them. Dust often contains food for mold, so it can thrive especially if the temperatures are just right.
Even if you don't smell mildew, the spores that circulate through your home could irritate your nose and throat and cause you to have allergy symptoms. Some types of mold can affect your health, so if your ducts have mold, the mold should be removed.
3. Pests Have Invaded The Ducts
If you've ever had a roach or mouse infestation, you know the pests create a foul odor when there are enough of them in your house. If the pests invade your ducts, that foul odor gets spread around your house every time the HVAC kicks on. You'll need to eliminate the pests first and then repair the ducts. After that, an air duct cleaning company can clean and sanitize the ducts to eliminate foul odors.
You don't have to guess what's happening in your air ducts. A cleaning company can use a video camera to look inside the ducts. If there is mold, dust or pest droppings present, you can see it on the video and know for sure your ducts need to be cleaned.