Question on Smell
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  1. #1

    Question on Smell

    We are having a smell come through some of our ducts that kind of smells like cigarette smoke. We've lived in the house for three years and have never had any issues. We did have the air conditioner replaced this summer, but no smells until we turned the furnace on. I did accidentally drop some allergy medicine pills down one of the vents earlier this year.

    I've tried to locate any place external to the ducts that the smell could be coming from but haven't been able to find any. Also, it only really comes through on one side of the house. I also had our furnace company out to see if anything was wrong, but they couldn't find anything. I do have a ductwork cleaning scheduled, but am curious to know if there are any thoughts on what it might be. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    S.C.
    Posts
    931
    Do you have teenagers living in the house?

    Maybe a relative that visits?

    Is the return close to the kitchen?
    It's refreshing to pull your head out of the box when servicing a system.

  3. #3
    No to all 3 questions. It's not cigarette smoke, but that's the best way I can describe it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Kamloops B.C.
    Posts
    31
    Do you have ac or a heat pump maybe the coil is dirty and needs a cleaning

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    S.C.
    Posts
    931
    I am assuming this is a gas furnace? This unit was probably not fired at install. I am guessing this is the heat exchanger getting acclamated to the high temps from the burners. It should go away fairly soon.

    Could just be dust on the exchanger or elements if electric.
    It's refreshing to pull your head out of the box when servicing a system.

  6. #6
    We have AC and it's new (installed in June). I think the duct cleaning company will clean the coils if necessary. I'm mostly just hoping that having them come out will fix the problem. Since I can't locate any smells external to the ducts, I'm hopeful that it will.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    S.C.
    Posts
    931
    Is this happening in the heat mode?

    Is the furnace new also?
    It's refreshing to pull your head out of the box when servicing a system.

  8. #8
    The furnace is not new and the smell only started when we starting using the heat. It's actually most noticeable right after the furnace stops but the hot air is still rising through the ducts.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    S.C.
    Posts
    931
    I would call the service company and make sure they ran the system thru a full cycle on and cycle off to make sure of proper fan operation.
    It's refreshing to pull your head out of the box when servicing a system.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Cedar Grove, Wi-Sheboygan
    Posts
    1,582
    Could be the indoor coil, might have some type of coating on it that might be a irritant to you but not others.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    13
    Are you not able to open the vent to see if those allergy pills were burnt to ashes? Most pills including the OTC allery pills don't have any smell to them unless they're burnt.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Upper Peninsula,Michigan
    Posts
    38

    Talking Furnace

    Quote Originally Posted by absoair View Post
    I am assuming this is a gas furnace? This unit was probably not fired at install. I am guessing this is the heat exchanger getting acclamated to the high temps from the burners. It should go away fairly soon.

    Could just be dust on the exchanger or elements if electric.



    Is it gas furnace or electric elements used as the heater?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Upper Peninsula,Michigan
    Posts
    38

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Benny View Post
    The furnace is not new and the smell only started when we starting using the heat. It's actually most noticeable right after the furnace stops but the hot air is still rising through the ducts.

    I would also say clean /check registers & dampers.

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