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  1. #1

    Mystery smell in Air Diffuser

    I'm hoping that someone on here can help me out with a mystery smell coming from only one room's diffuser on a heat pump system. It's a 2 1/2 ton system that has been in use for about 18 months. The filters have been changed on a regular basis (30-45 days). The smell only occurs off and on and has been doing so for several months. It doesn't get any worse, it just will go away all of a sudden. I've checked the insulation at the connection point to the diffuser to make sure it wasn't a condensation mold issue and there didn't seem to be a problem. I've looked around the attic space for dead critters and wasn't able to find anything. I'm baffled. If it was something dead, moldy or otherwise, you would think that the smell would get worse or go away, not come and go for several months. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario
    Posts
    4,622
    Return leakage (into unit) near a sewer vent?

    Dry trap near the indoor unit?

    Those two occur more often than anyone would like to admit...

    Other than that, can you see every inch inside the ducting?
    Is this a Fabreze moment? C.Y.D. I'm voting white elephant. 2.
    My competition are my best salespeople!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    425
    Where is the diffuser located at in relation to the air handler/coil? Just asking to see if it may be related to odor coming from the evaporator coil that may be stronger because of proximity.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,263
    Are you sure it comes form the diffuser, and not the wall itself?
    I r the king of the world!...or at least I get to stand on the roof and look down on the rest of yall

  5. #5
    The room is adjacent to the AHU but I didn't suspect it being dirty coils or other unit related problems as this diffuser was from a flex drop off a main; there is another drop close beside it going to another room that never has any smells. It still is worth cleaning and blowing the coils though I suppose.
    It's not the wall that smells because you can only smell it on the air when the air is moving.
    Dry trap? Are you talking about the condensate trap? Or are you thinking about a dry plumbing trap (no issue there)?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    3,708
    I once had a lady called saying her house smelt like the electricl wire were getting hot.I rush over there and sure enough it had that smell.

    Check everything in the house,panel box,turning off power to the house to see if the smell would go away.No luck.

    After opening windows thru out we found the smell to be the strongest in the master bedroom.As we follow our nose we found a open can of shoe polish under the night chest.

    Food for thought.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Muskegon, Mi.
    Posts
    425
    Someone hiding their stash in the duct?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario
    Posts
    4,622
    Quote Originally Posted by ECI Inc View Post
    The room is adjacent to the AHU but I didn't suspect it being dirty coils or other unit related problems as this diffuser was from a flex drop off a main; there is another drop close beside it going to another room that never has any smells. It still is worth cleaning and blowing the coils though I suppose.
    It's not the wall that smells because you can only smell it on the air when the air is moving.
    Dry trap? Are you talking about the condensate trap? Or are you thinking about a dry plumbing trap (no issue there)?
    The old Kmart in town here had an "air handler room". Huge. Had a wall of coils and a chicago fan. 50 or 75 hp I think.. Someone in their infinite wisdom decided it was a good thing to have two floor drains in the room.. just in case one plugged up. Of course the condensate only ever flowed towards one of them. Every time we did an inspection we'd throw a bucket of water down the second one, but invariably a couple of time a year we'd still get the "store stinks of gas, but not gas" call.
    Is this a Fabreze moment? C.Y.D. I'm voting white elephant. 2.
    My competition are my best salespeople!

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