What’s that Smell?! Why you should Clean your Air Ducts


If your home has lingering odors, there’s a good chance that these smells could be originating from particles trapped within your duct work. Dirty air ducts are not only capably of housing these odors, but they will also facilitate these unpleasant smells throughout the house!

Causes of Unpleasant Smells in HVAC System

At Austin Breeze, we’ve found that most of the unpleasant smells emanating from your HVAC system can be attributed to one of the following:

  • Bacteria
  • Mold
  • Pet Dander
  • Tobacco
  • Rodents
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he amount of dirt and dust that accumulates within an air duct system can be frightening. The debris can become an incubator for bacteria, which could lead to bad odors. Not only can some bacteria produce an awful smell, but because the bacteria is in your air ducts, they can enter your body and have a negative effect on your health. Fortunately, a professional air duct cleaning and disinfecting is extremely effective at eliminating bacteria.


Mold has a distinct musty smell. Mold can trigger allergies and potentially cause irreparable respiratory problems. Mold is most often found in air duct that contain moisture and/or humidity. Mold can be dangerous if not addressed because it can reproduce in large quantities in a short amount of time. Mold releases spores into the air, which can then be distributed throughout your home if not eradicated from the duct system. If you suspect Mold is the cause of the smell, look into mold remediation services immediately.

Pet Dander

Dogs, cats, and other animals that live within your home can help contribute to the variety of smells in your home. For example, fur and dander can accumulate in the air ducts, thus disseminating a pet’s essence throughout the entire house. We all want our pets to be house trained, but unfortunately, accidents happen. The scent of pet urine can be pungent and can cling to dust found in the duct system. Only a proper air duct cleaning will eliminate and remove this odor permanently.

Tobacco Use

This should go without saying. If you currently smoke cigarettes or cigars in your home, or someone has in the past, the smoke is easily drawn into the air duct system and then permeated throughout the entire house. Furthermore, the tar produced from smoking tobacco is sticky, and leaves a coating inside your air ducts, thus trapping odors, dust, and more. Until you’ve had your air ducts professionally cleaned, the smoky odor will remain.


Although we don’t like to think about it, rodents and pests find their way into air ducts more often than we think. These pests not only leave droppings behind, but many of these creatures can’t escape and eventually die within the air duct system. Eventually, thanks to decay and decomposition, the smell will waft throughout the home producing an awful odor. Of course, the only way to eliminate the stench of death is to remove the carcass and any residual contaminants via a professional HVAC duct cleaning.

Get Rid of HVAC System Smell with Austin Breeze

The only sure method for removing the smell from your HVAC system is to have it professionally inspected and cleaned. Austin Breeze specializes in HVAC air duct cleaning to keep your home or business functioning with the cleanest air possible. Contact us to learn more about our air duct cleaning services in Austin today.