Smelling nasty things around the house is not unusual. From unpleasant kitchen odors to the odors wafting off the cat’s litter box, the nose knows when it smells something bad. For all those types of odors, there are air fresheners and deodorizers.
On the other hand, there are others that suggest a genuine cause for concern. The makers of the Zephyr Fresh whole-home HVAC essential oil diffuser say that they are odors you do not want to simply cover up. Homeowners who smell them need to figure out the root cause and make sure it is addressed.
1. Rotten Eggs
If you smell rotten eggs lingering throughout your home, the first question to ask yourself is whether you have natural gas service. Think of your stove, your water heater, and your furnace. Why? Because a rotten egg smell could indicate that natural gas is leaking into your home. If so, you are looking at a potentially life-threatening situation.
Natural gas has no odor in and of itself. To make it possible for customers to detect leaks, utility companies add a synthetic scent that will command a customer’s attention. The point of all this is to say that if your home has gas service and you smell rotten eggs, do not take any chances. Get out of the house, call 911, and then call your utility provider.
2. Fish Fry
Are you a fan of fish fry? If not, you probably don’t like anything that smells like fish. Fish fry odors in your home could be problematic if you don’t eat seafood. That goes without saying. But what do such odors suggest? It could be that something in your electrical system is not working properly.
Electrical components – like wires and sockets – can create a fishy smell when they overheat or burn. As such, a fishy smell may be an indication that you have a serious electrical problem. Call an electrician right away. An uncorrected problem could lead to a fire, and you don’t want that.
3. Wet Dog
Dog owners know they cannot escape that wet dog smell. Dogs get wet, so there isn’t much you can do about it. But what if you do not own a dog? Then smelling wet dog could mean you have other animals living in your home. Think mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons, etc.
If you smell wet dog despite not owning a canine, look for other signs of animal infestation. Look for animal feces, chewed paper, damaged wiring, and the like. If there is any sign that there are critters living in your home, it is time to call the pest control company.
4. Locker Room
Last but not least is that offensive locker room smell. If it’s only your son’s room that smells bad, you might be okay. But if the odor permeates your entire home, you could have one of two problems. The first is bacteria growth in your heating and cooling system. You can address it by having the system professionally cleaned and disinfected.
The other possibility is that you have mold growing somewhere else in the house. Check the foundation and the basement or crawlspace walls. Check under the sinks in the kitchen and bathroom. If you find mold, you have likely found the source of the smell. Get rid of the smell by getting rid of the mold.
Some common household smells can be dealt with using air fresheners. Others belie a more serious problem requiring professional help. If you are a homeowner, learn to tell the difference.