HVAC Failure: the Smells and Sounds You Should be Watching Out For

Written by  //  July 30, 2018  //  Home Heating Cooling  //  Comments Off on HVAC Failure: the Smells and Sounds You Should be Watching Out For

HVAC problems

Heating, ventilation and cooling systems are very important for maintaining comfort in a home through the different seasons. However, despite the comfort provided by a HVAC system, sometimes things can go wrong with it. In certain cases, what can go wrong can even be dangerous. However, there are telltale signs of issues with your system you can watch out for. Some of these come in the form of sounds and smells.

Moldy Odors

One of the more dangerous smells you should watch out for is a moldy smell emanating from your air vents. As one would guess, moldy odors indicate you likely have a significant mold infestation. The most likely location in your HVAC system for a mold infestation is your air conditioner due to the fact that air conditioners create moisture when they operate. If you smell a moldy odor, have it taken care of immediately because mold can cause dangerous respiratory issues especially for those with a mold allergy.

The Smell of Gas

Even more concerning should be the smell of gas. Most people describe gas leaks as having an odor similar to rotten eggs. It is true that natural gas itself is odorless. However, many utility companies add extra chemicals to natural gas so that customers can smell it if it leaks. A natural gas leak can lead to an explosion. If you smell a rotten eggs like odor coming from your HVAC system, evacuate your house and call the gas company.


Sometimes, you may hear squealing or squeaking coming from your HVAC system. What this usually indicates is that the belt in the motor is wearing out. While it may still run properly despite the squealing, you should replace the belt before it breaks completely.


Another sound you may hear from your HVAC system is scraping. According to Master Service Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, this indicates that your system either needs a serious tune-up or outright replacement. Scraping is caused by metal rubbing on metal. It indicates a mechanical failure of some kind. If not fixed, something could happen like your blower system becoming completely detached.

Overall, your HVAC system requires constant maintenance. Perform routine maintenance tasks to keep your system in the best working condition possible. However, if you detect something wrong, don’t be afraid to call in professionals. Things like smells and noises can indicate serious problems that may even present real dangers to you and your family.

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