Smells in my central heat

Written by kay wagers
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Smells in my central heat
Mold can cause bad smells in your heating system. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

During the winter, you rely on your central heating system to provide warm air to keep you and your family cosy. If your heat system blows strange smells with the warm air, you could have a maintenance problem.


A smell coming from your central heat will be most noticeable when your heat is running and warm air is blowing through the vents. The odour will be unpleasant, smelling of something musty or earthy, according to "Black & Decker Complete Home Repair."


The most likely source of the smell in your central heat is mould growing inside your furnace humidifier. Drum-style humidifiers contain standing water and if they are not cleaned regularly, mould growth occurs. When your heat runs, it blows mould spores and their odours through your house.


You can stop the smell in your central heat by cleaning away the mould that causes it. Using a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water, wipe down the interior of the humidifier. Soak the humidifier pad in the same solution to kill any mould growing within it. Regular cleanings will prevent the mould from coming back.

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