The Ultimate Guide To Funky Home Smells

The Ultimate Guide To Funky Home Smells

The Ultimate Guide to Funky Home Smells

There are two definitions of funky: 1) something that’s cool, and 2) something that smells bad. For our purposes, we’ll be talking about the latter—and the tragic consequences if this stench is emanating from your home.

The problem is, you may be so accustomedto your home’s smell that you don’t even notice whenyour guests are knocked off their feet when they enter your home. And whether you’re just entertaining or are hoping to sell your home, off-putting smells can be a huge turnoff, even if your home is immaculate otherwise. To help, here’s your ultimate guide to all the odors that can assail your home andhow to get rid of them once and for all.

Rottenfood

Cause: Your refrigerator and garbage disposal are basically burping up decayingfood.

What to do:Purge yourrefrigerator on a regular basis,andclean the shelves and drawers to remove rotten spilled liquid. Yes, this isgross. Do it.

“Use distilled white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide and a microfiber cloth,” says cleaning expertLeslie Reichert.To rid your sink of stink, clear rotting food from the blades of your garbage disposal by putting ice cubes down itwith some salt and frozen lemon peels.

———

Animal odors

Cause: The most common nose-crinkling smells in a home are caused bythe furry friends that live with us, usually because they don’t always relieve themselves where they should.Odors can also be due toa lingeringstench on animal fur, says Frank Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

What to do: If a cat or dog usesa carpet as a toilet, usea pet enzyme removal product such asResolve on the offending area to remove all trace of the scent and find an effective way to deter your pet from a repeat performance in a spot it may consider its own.

For litter boxes, sprinkling a bit of baking soda can work wonders. If shedding is your nemesis,vacuuming the fur (off the floor and furniture)and spot-deodorizingshould do the trick.

If all of the above do not work, removal of the offending furniture or rugis often the only way to resolve the issue, says Lesh.

———

Smelly carpets

Cause: Think of carpets as large sponges that absorb all the smells in your home—from pet odors to sweaty feet to pungent cooking, and beyond.

What to do:For large olfactory challenges, call in a steam cleaner. For smaller yet troublesome areas, put some cheap vodka in a spray bottle and lightly mist the carpeting.

“When the vodka evaporates, it will take the smells with it,” Reichert says.

———

StinkyAC

Cause:Your air conditioner dehumidifies the air as it cools, but stagnant water can collect in an AC unit, allowing mold and mildew togrow in the lingering moisture. This can result in a smell similar tosweaty extremities wafting from air vents, saysRichardCiresi, a multiple-unit franchisee of Aire Serv in Louisville, KY. And, in addition, if someone in your home smokes, the fumes can getpulled into the condenser coil and recycled into your home every time you run the AC, says Ciresi.

What to do:A quick cleaning and repair to help excess water drain properly should remedy amildew issue. Sincea dirty filter can also harbor mold growth, replace filters regularly. To banish lingering smokesmells, clean the coil.

———

Mustiness

Cause:Water’s the culprit! “Basement smell” can severely affect the structural integrity of your homeas well as your health. Although watercan accumulate anywhere, areas where dampnesstends to hide include the attic, basement, and bathrooms.

“If you have a water leak behind a wall or under a floor,wood rot may occur along with mold and mildew odors,” says Lesh.

What to do: Finding small leaks early can help prevent serious water damage and offending stenches.

“I recommend looking at the underside of the attic roof at least twice a year or after heavy rain/snowfall in the spring,” says Lesh.In abasement or crawl space, water accumulation is often causedby poor drainage from the roof. Keep your gutters clean and the downspouts flowing away from the foundation. And always dry out damp areas with a humidifier.

———

Burnt … something

Cause:You may smell a truly weird odor the first time you fire up yourfurnace in the fall. But relax, it’stypically from the accumulated dirt that falls into the floor ducts, says Lesh. This scent may permeate the entire house for a while when the debris first heats up.

What to do: Simple—clean the ducts before you turn your heat on each year.

———

Ageneral stalescent

Cause: Stagnant air holds on to dust, dander, and dust mites.

“This usually happens in the summer and winter as we all keep our homes closed up because of air conditioning and heating,” says Reichert.

What to do:You can battle stale air just by opening a few windows once a week to increase air flow.

“Your home needs to have the air exchanged; and if you open some windows, you allow fresh air into the house and remove those stale odors,” says Reichert.

Article Provided by:  Margaret Heidenry is a writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Boston Magazine.


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Dated: April 5th 2017
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