Bad smells in your living spaces are unpleasant and can sometimes signify a bigger problem. Here is a list of several common odors in the home and their causes. With this information, you can take steps to eliminate unsavory smells.
A Smell Like Rotten Eggs
If you notice a rotten egg smell in your home, it could point to a dangerous problem. Some natural gas companies add an odorant to their product to alert customers to a leak. The odor itself isn’t harmful; however, a gas leak can be very dangerous. If you detect a sulfurous smell, like rotten eggs, leave the house immediately and call the gas company to investigate.
Chemical Odors from Brand-New Furniture in the Home
If you’re smelling a strong chemical-like odor in the home and recently purchased or assembled furniture, it could be the glue. Particleboard is manufactured with adhesives containing VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These compounds can affect your health and cause headaches or breathing difficulties. Let new furniture sit outside for a few hours before bringing it indoors, and open the windows to improve ventilation and boost air quality.
The Smell of Smoke in an Unused Fireplace
If you haven’t recently used the fireplace but are still detecting the smell of smoke, check to verify the damper is closed. When left open, wind and rain can push chimney soot down the flue and into the home. The odor may seem smoky and damp. Try cleaning the firebox, and removing ashes and leftover firewood, if the damper is closed and the smoke persists.
Sewage-Like Odors in the Home
Smelling sewage, especially in the bathroom, could indicate an improperly installed vent pipe, clogged toilet, or other plumbing concerns. It could also be due to a broken sewer line or drainage problem. If you’re unable to locate and repair the issue, call a plumber to troubleshoot and eliminate the odor.
A Smell of Rotting Food
If you smell an odor of rotting food, especially in the kitchen, check the fridge, cabinets, and countertops to ensure food hasn’t been forgotten somewhere. Clean the refrigerator thoroughly – including the drawers – and take out the trash to eliminate lingering food odors. When the smell is coming from your kitchen sink garbage disposal, clean the blades. Toss slices of lemon peel into the disposal and turn it on. Alternatively, pour 1/4 cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. The reaction will help eliminate odors.