6 Common Heat Pump Smells Explained

September 30, 2021

If you’re noticing a smell from your heat pump, it’s trying to tell you that something is up. We’ve created a list of the top six heat pump smells, what causes them and how you can repair them.

  1. Heat pump smells musty
  2. Heat pump smells like fish
  3. Heat pump smells like sulfur
  4. Heat pump smells like sewer
  5. Heat pump smells like burning
  6. Heat pump defrost cycle smells

1. Heat Pump Smells Musty

If your heat pump smells musty, there’s probably mold growing on wet evaporator coils or in the ductwork. This heat pump odor is often referred to as dirty sock syndrome. You can prevent this by scheduling regular heat pump maintenance and air duct cleaning.

2. Heat Pump Smells Like Fish

If your heat pump smells like fish, there could be several things wrong:

  • Motor is too hot
  • Wiring problem
  • Plastic components or coating is melting
  • Other mechanical issue

Electrical problems are dangerous, so turn your heat pump system off immediately at the breaker box and contact us at 239-214-0411 for heat pump repair.

3. Heat Pump Smells Like Sulfur

Normally when you smell a rotten egg smell, you’re dealing with a gas leak. But your heat pump doesn’t use natural gas. If your heat pump smells like sulfur, a little animal may have crawled inside it for warmth and died. One of our Comfort Zone Inc [technicians can eliminate the smell by cleaning your heat pump.

4. Heat Pump Smells Like Sewer

As we mentioned earlier, your heat pump is electric, so any rotten egg smells are tied to a gas leak somewhere else. If your heat pump smells like sewer, you might be dealing with a backed-up or broken sewer line. We suggest getting in touch with a company that does sewer line repair.

5. Heat Pump Smells Like Burning

You might be dealing with an electrical problem if your heat pump smells like burning, burning plastic or burning rubber. This burning smell can be caused by melting plastic on electrical wires. Electrical problems in HVAC systems are dangerous and could lead to a fire. If you notice this smell, turn off your heat pump at the breaker and call us at 239-214-0411.

6. Heat Pump Defrost Cycle Smells

Like we mentioned earlier, a dirty socks smell can happen when your evaporator coils need cleaning. You might experience this smell when your heat pump is in defrost mode.

It’s common for your heat pump to have to turn on defrost mode during heating season. When the air is much cooler, frost can form fast on the coils from condensation and impede heating. During defrost mode, your heat pump temporarily switches to cooling to remove the frost.

Having a Comfort Zone Inc HVAC technician clean the coils will help get rid of the odor.

Trust Us with Your Heat Pump Repair Needs

It can be difficult to troubleshoot your heat pump by yourself. Your comfort matters to us at Comfort Zone Inc, so you can count on our professionals to assist you when you need us. When you need heat pump repair in Cape Coral that you can depend on, call us at 239-214-0411.