Locating Cause of Bad Odor In My Home

I have this odor that comes and goes. I think that it is associated with the furnace, however I have just had the furnace annual maintenance done. I had the air ducts cleaned and did the monthly cleaning of the filters and it is still here.


I find as I get older it affects my chronic bronchitis making it worse than usual and causes my eyes to burn. When it shows up it seems to be strongest when the furnace is blowing heat.

I know it is not the refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, washer, or dryer as those are new and the dryer duct was cleaned with the rest of the vents. I always figured it was associated with the cleaning of the furnace filters, but this time it showed up four days after I had cleaned the filters.

My husband does not seem to notice it and my son has no sense of smell so I feel like I might be crazy. Anyone know who I can call to get this looked into? My furnace people are clueless and have been no help at all.

By wjw

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January 11, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

I am going to list some things that it could be, and you can see if they seem to be what might be causing it.


  • Dead animals in the wall
  • Cat urine that was in the carpets
  • Mold
  • Old cigarette smoke

Here are some things to do inside the house:

1. Place fans where they can blow out the windows.

2. Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda on the floors and furniture that can be vacuumed. Vacuum it up after thirty minutes.

3. Get four bowls of cut onions and place them around the parameter of each room, or in the corner of each room. Onions absorb odors, believe it or not.

4. Fill up a spray bottle with two cups of water and 1/2 cup white vinegar. Spray everywhere and wipe down with this.

5. Have someone check and see if the vent on top of the house is clogged by dropping a heavy item tied to a rock down the vent. If it doesn't go all the way down, have it cleaned out by someone who does this for a living.
Here is an article on carpet and how to make it not smell from Angieslist...

http://www.angi  or.htm?CID=EHW73

I hope this helps and if not, you might try a professional carpet cleaner if you think it might be your carpet.

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January 11, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would sprinkle all the carpets and furniture with baking soda. Then after thirty minutes vacuum it up. I would fill a bottle of 2 cups of water with 1 cup of white vinegar and spray down all the rooms with it and wipe it off, as far as the walls go and doors etc. Have the vent on the roof checked to see if it is blocked.


Tie a heavy small object to a long string. Drop it down the vent. If it doesn't fall, the vent needs to be cleaned.

Blessings, Robyn

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September 24, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hello, I had a similar problem. It was esp bad when the oil furnace came on. We finally tracked it down to a leak under the toilet that was dripping loaded water into the ventilation system. Yuck.

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October 19, 20150 found this helpful

I have a similar smell that runs all through my ventilation system every time the heat comes on it smells like poop behind my wall is leaking the shower wall leaks of water and I pulled the wall out and found that up under the tub is totally rusted out that smell goes through my whole house what would be my solution is this a costly job or not

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January 10, 20130 found this helpful

What room are you in and what chair or bed are you in when you smell the odor?

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January 10, 20130 found this helpful

The odor is throughout the house - livingrooms, bathrooms and bedrooms - not sure about garage as my disability does not let me get out there. The odor is there reguardless of where I am at - sitting in chair in the livingroom, at desk in office, cooking in kitchen, at diningroom table or in bed in master bedroom.

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August 20, 20170 found this helpful

It could be that you have a sinus infection. The bacteria can permeate your sinuses and throat and it makes everything smell rotten until you have it treated.


It would explain why no one else is noticing the smell.

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August 20, 20170 found this helpful

You may have odors coming up from rarely used plumbing. Use those fixtures and clear them out. B

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