Business owners often become concerned if their HVAC system begins emitting unfamiliar odors. And indeed, some HVAC odors are a reason for concern. Others, however, are quite normal or are simply an indication of a minor, temporary issue. Review the following odors and what they mean, and you’ll know what to do the next time your commercial HVAC system starts smelling.
When you first turn the HVAC system on for the season, you may notice an odor that reminds you of burning or scorched dust. Don’t let this one alarm you too much. Some dust probably settled on the burner while the unit was turned off. Once the dust burns up, the odor should go away.
If you still notice the dusty odor a day or two after turning the system off, then you may want to have a commercial HVAC service company come clean and maintain your system. Regular system maintenance can prevent these odors from occurring in the first place.
A “rotten eggs” odor is perhaps the most concerning odor that can come from HVAC equipment. It means you have a gas leak. Natural gas is not naturally scented, but gas companies add sulfur to the gas to ensure that leaks don’t go unnoticed.
Gas leaks are an emergency, especially in a commercial setting. If you smell rotten eggs, evacuate the building and call your commercial HVAC repair company immediately.
Sometimes you may notice an odor that reminds you of hot or burning metal. This is usually an indication that the wiring or electrical components of your HVAC system are malfunctioning. What you’re smelling could be a wire or other component overheating.
While most commercial HVAC equipment is designed with emergency shut-offs to turn the equipment off before a fire starts, a metallic odor is still a reason for concern. Turn your system off, and call a local commercial HVAC contractor. Your system may need a new blower motor, ball bearing, or belt.
Mold and Mildew
When the heat or air conditioning turns on, do you notice a musty, moldy smell wafting through the room? Such odors are common. They are not particularly dangerous, although mold can cause allergy symptoms in some people. However, mold and mildew odors often indicate that your condensate drain is clogged, causing water to pool and encourage mold growth. It’s wise to let an HVAC contractor take a look.
If you have an oil-burning furnace or boiler, then be on the lookout for oily smells. These odors generally indicate that you have an oil leak. It could be in the oil tank, in the oil lines, or in the heater itself. Call commercial HVAC mechanical contractors Philadelphia residents trust to work on oil-burning systems, and have the leak addressed before any more oil is wasted.
If you notice these or other odors coming from your HVAC equipment, don’t hesitate to contact H & H Commercial Services. We offer commercial heating and air conditioning repair Philadelphia business owners can rely on.