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Robert Burns
Oder from return air duct

Only during the heating season do I get an oder from a return air duct. In the summer, when the AC is used, there isn't an oder. The oder smells like something died in the return air duct. I smell this oder when the furnice is NOT running. The family says it smells like a gas leak but I've had the gas company to my hause, who have told me there is no leak. What could be causing this oder and how can I eliminate it?

A. Spruce
Re: Oder from return air duct

Remove the air grill and inspect the return air inlet and duct. If the duct is accessible in the attic, inspect it there as well. Look for signs of water, rodent, duct damage, etc. Course of remedy will depend on what is found during inspection.

Robert Burns
Re: Oder from return air duct

I should have mentioned, the whole system has been cleaned.

Re: Oder from return air duct

Your indoor coil probably needs to be cleaned, drain pan also, Heat Pumps usually have this happen but straight A/C Systems get it also, just not as bad or often. Bacteria gets on the indoor coil and scum starts to form in the drain pan from standing water, pretty nasty looking. They have Chemicals for Evap coils that are safe (not to be mixed up with condenser cleaner) and are available. You should have an HVAC Contractor do this as it could get involved, they will have anything that is needed. Good Luck!!!

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