Revenge of the Smelly Ducting

For about a month now, we’ve had this odd odor in our house. It started out in our laundry room, on the east end of our main floor. Then we noticed it in our bedroom, on the west end of our 2nd floor. Since then, we’ve noticed it in almost every room in the house on different days, but never all over at once. It’s always one or two rooms, but they could be on opposite ends of the house.

I few weeks ago, I realized that the smell was coming from the furnace vents. After some experimentation, I noticed that running the furnace made the smell go away. It got worse when the temperatures were warmer, and the furnace wasn’t running.

So we called out our local heating/plumber guy. After they were out here three times, they did find a couple of problems with our furnace, but no gas leaks or anything that could explain the smell — which, by the way, three different employees couldn’t identify. They even left an air charting unit with us, which ruled out things like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particulates. It did helpfully notice that there were odors, but didn’t tell us what they were.

So here we are, still smelling this…. smell. It defies categorization. It mystefies experts. Something like a cross between dirty laundry, mold, and a skunk. And yet…. none of those, either. It’s weird.

I’ve taken to closing the vents in our bedroom before turning in for the night if the smell is bad in the evening.

So, I’m appealing to all the bloggers out there for suggestions, short of selling the place and moving to town :-)

Oh, and this is not the first time we’ve had odor problems here. However, the cause the first time was immediately apparent and thus could be eventually dealt with :-)

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