Vents in your home allow heat and air conditioning to reach every room in the house from a centralized unit; however, they can also encourage the spread of various and not quite pleasant smells.
Vent cleaning and regular replacement of unit filters can help stop the smells that come through vents, especially if they are caused by issues with the unit itself. Other smells can be neutralized by strategically sprinkling or placing boxes of baking soda in the ducts or next to the vents.
What can I put in my air vents to make my house smell good?
Baking soda may help eliminate unwanted smells that can come through air vents, but you can also encourage appealing scents to travel through the vents to mask bad odors or simply promote a nice smelling house.
Dryer sheets, potpourri satchels, essential oil diffusers, and air fresheners are all clever ways to allow pleasant scents to travel through your air vents. When you notice the scent has weakened or ceased completely, you will need to replace your scent booster.
Make sure to choose a product that will not deteriorate and rot. Fresh flowers and fruit or other perishable items should never be used to promote smells through an air vent as they will quickly rot and could attract unwanted pests.
Although candles can smell good, they should also never be used in air vents to give your house a pleasant scent. Clip-on air fresheners and essential oils are ideal than candles because they do not require hazards such as an open flame or a required plug.
What smells travel through vents?
Any smell can travel through your air vents, but there are some common scents you should be aware of. Rotting animals trapped in your vents, mold or mildew build up, natural gas leaks, and sewer pipe cracks or leaks can all contribute to common unpleasant smells that travel through vents.
If you live in an apartment building, you may also smell room fresheners, kitchen aromas, or other scents from your neighbor’s living space. Smoke from fires or cigarettes can also travel through vents and permeate throughout your house.
The type of smell that comes from your vents could signify issues that can be hazardous to your health or even potentially life threatening. For example, the damp smell of mildew can lead to respiratory issues and the rotting corpse of an animal or a leaking sewage pipe can make you really sick.
The smell of smoke may indicate there is an uncontrolled fire in the house and a strong lingering scent of rotten eggs may be indicative of a gas leak that could lead to an explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning.
Will air duct cleaning get rid of the smells coming from my vents?
Air duct cleaning may greatly improve and eliminate the smells that come through your vents. Mold or mildew that has built up within the system will create a stinky sock smell that not only permeates throughout your house but can also lead to severe respiratory conditions and stir up unwanted allergies.
A thorough cleaning of your air ducts may also reveal larger issues that could be causing rotten smells to come into your house such as decaying animals or other unwanted guests. Your best option for cleaning might be a professional cleaning service since they will have all the cleaning equipment and knowledge of the system to thoroughly clean the unit.
If you get your air ducts professionally cleaned and you still have smells coming from your vents, you may want to investigate the source since it may not be your air ducts. More serious causes of smells coming through your air ducts that are unrelated to your ventilation system could be natural gas leaks or sewage pipe cracks.
How do I prevent smells from my neighbors from coming in my vents?
Even if the source of the smells coming through your vents, i.e. coming from your neighbors, is out of your control, you can still take steps to eliminate the smells from permeating your own home. Seal off vents with insulation and duct tape that bring in the unpleasant odors from your neighbor’s apartment.
Place air fresheners and baking soda near vents that carry in smells from outside your home. You could also respectfully address the issue with your neighbor or landlord to see if you can come to a compromise to help clear the air in your home.
Check to see what kind of air system you have because some bring in air from the outside and don’t have a good filtration system. If this is the case, there may be an extra filter that you can add to help eliminate unwanted odors.
Alternatively, you may consider relocating the central air system away from the influence of smelly neighbors if possible. Talk to an HVAC specialist to see what options may work best for your situation.
How do I stop basement smells from coming through my vents?
One of the best ways to stop basement smells from coming through your air vents is to eliminate the odor at the source. Place baking soda around your basement to absorb musty and damp odors, especially near where the vents lead to the rest of the house. You can also make sure that your air system receives a thorough cleaning.
Basements are notorious for being damp and trapping humidity which can promote the growth of mold and mildew. A dehumidifier may help draw the moisture from the air and rid your vents of the moldy smell that can subsequently spread throughout your house.
The musty scent you smell coming from your vents could be from your basement, but it could also be from various parts of the air system itself such as a clogged condenser drain line, a dirty evaporator coil, or a grimy air filter. Make sure that all of these parts are cleaned or replaced to help eliminate musty odors.