Are you experiencing a stale, musty odor in your Bozeman home? Excessive moisture (mold growth), inadequate airflow, dirty HVAC equipment, or soiled carpets may be responsible for the musty smell. It doesn’t matter whether your house is eight years old or eighty years old; these smells don’t discriminate. Read on to learn more about the potential causes of musty house odors and how to eliminate them.
Dirty HVAC Equipment and Ductwork
It’s common for HVAC equipment and ductwork to accumulate dirt, dust, and other small particles over time. Your ducts are likely dirty, dusty, and smelly if you haven’t cleaned them in a while. Musty odors are distributed throughout the house when the heating or cooling system is turned on. That’s why it’s essential to have your entire HVAC system regularly cleaned and maintained by a professional.
A dirty air filter can’t trap airborne contaminants contributing to old house smells. Be sure to replace the air filter in any HVAC appliance you are currently using and make a schedule for doing so in the future. Also, cleaning your air ducts can help eliminate odors associated with furnace and AC use.
Keeping a home smelling fresh requires good airflow. When the air is stagnant, contaminants get trapped indoors, causing an “old house smell.” Open windows and doors (with screens) and turn on fans to create airflow throughout your home. Cross-breezes should also be encouraged throughout the house.
Promoting airflow becomes trickier in the winter, when the furnace is on, or when the air conditioner is running in summer, with widows kept shut. If you have a newer, high-efficiency home, you may want to consider installing an air exchanger that expels stale air from inside and brings in fresh air from the outdoors.
You may experience excessive moisture buildup in your Bozeman home because of leaky pipes, a damaged roof, high humidity, or exposed dirt in the crawlspace. Combined with the stagnant air and dark corners, moisture buildup can lead to mold and mildew.
Essentially, all that mold needs to grow is the presence of mold spores, a surface to grow on, warmth, darkness, oxygen, and moisture. It’s not “just” the mold that’s responsible for the musty odor; it’s the chemical compounds released at different stages of mold growth. The lingering odor can permeate carpets, curtains, and upholstery, causing the house to smell musty.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that mold spores will not grow if moisture is absent. The mold must be cleaned up and the water problem fixed to prevent mold growth from recurring. If mold growth persists in your home, you need to hire a mold remediation specialist to clean it up and prevent it from coming back.
A little home improvement such as repairing the roof, sealing windows and doors, replacing damaged pipes, and sealing the exposed dirt crawlspace with concrete can go a long way in eliminating moisture build-up and musty odors in your home.
Drink spills, pet urine, and other liquids can easily absorb into your carpet’s soft surface, pad, and subfloor. These liquids can spread smells or lead to bacteria or fungal growth If not cleaned up immediately. A quick sniff will tell you if the carpet is compromised by pet odors or mildew. A professional carpet cleaning may solve your problem, but you may also need to replace the carpet.
Make sure the subfloor is in good condition if you remove the carpet. If the subfloor is stained, replace it or seal it with an oil-based paint. Keep your home healthier, cleaner, and fresher-smelling by regularly having your carpets and rugs professionally cleaned.
Test Your Bozeman Home’s Air Quality
Although the above steps may remove the musty smell in your Bozeman home, the indoor air quality may still be poor. Air quality testing will determine whether the air is contaminated and, if so, what actions to take. According to the EPA, low-quality indoor air can cause unpleasant symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and headaches.
Indoor air pollutants can also move from room to room by your home’s HVAC system, causing symptoms to worsen. If you or your loved ones are experiencing any of these symptoms or suspect poor indoor air quality, schedule a professional indoor air quality inspection immediately
Trusted HVAC Contractor in Bozeman, MT
Comfort Systems of Montana offers all the indoor air quality systems and services you need to control the air quality in your home. Our Nate-certified technicians can pinpoint the particles polluting your home’s air supply and implement a solution to resolve the problem.
Changing your HVAC system’s filter every month is one of the easiest ways to maintain good indoor air quality. A clean filter will help your system function more efficiently and prevent particle pollutants from recirculating in your home’s air supply. You must also balance your home’s humidity, eliminate bacteria, and refresh the air supply.
Consider these devices for improving the indoor air quality of your home or business:
- Humidifiers add moisture to air that’s too dry.
- Air purifiers eliminate the smallest particle pollutants.
- Energy recovery ventilators exhaust stale air and replace it with fresh air
For more information about humidifiers and air purifiers or to schedule an indoor air quality inspection, contact Comfort Systems of Montana today. Our professional team can take care of all of your indoor air quality and heating and cooling needs. We are a family-owned and operated company, a factory-authorized Carrier dealer, and we work with all makes and models of HVAC equipment.
Whether you need furnace or AC repair, installation, or maintenance, we are happy to assist home and business owners in Bozeman, Big Sky, Belgrade, Livingston, West Yellowstone, and the surrounding area. Schedule your appointment today!