When you catch a whiff of an unpleasant odor in your Lufkin, Texas, home, the HVAC system could be to blame. Certain HVAC odors are especially concerning, so take a look at what these smells mean and what to do if you notice them in your air.

Rotten Eggs

The smell of rotten eggs is familiar to most and always displeasing. When it’s coming from your HVAC system, it’s also particularly concerning because it could indicate a gas leak. Natural gas companies add the smell to the fuel to alert you that something may be awry. Turn off your system completely and contact the company that provides your natural gas. Next, speak with one of our HVAC technicians to determine where the leak is coming from and how to fix it.

Musty Odors

A musty odor in your air may indicate the presence of moisture in the ducts or HVAC unit. A buildup of condensation may be the problem, which happens if the condensation pipe is clogged or otherwise unable to allow the excess moisture to drain. Regular HVAC maintenance can reduce the risk of this problem occurring in your system, as your technician will make sure everything is draining correctly.


The smell of burning may be harmless, especially if you’re just starting up your heating system after a long period of disuse. The scent could mean the system is burning off dust. However, if the smell persists or you’ve been running the system for a while, the odor could indicate a wiring problem or other electrical issue. In this case, turn off the system and contact an HVAC technician.


If you smell a strong oil odor, you may need to replace your HVAC system’s air filter. However, if you continue to smell oil after replacing a dirty filter, your furnace may be leaking. Speak with a professional to have it looked at.

At McWilliams & Son Heating and Air Conditioning, we can help you diagnose HVAC issues such as foul odors in your home. Contact us at 877-936-1974 to learn more.

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