If you’re discovering a odor from your heat pump, it’s trying to tell you that something is up. We’ve put together a list of the most popular 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 likely mold growing on wet evaporator coils or in the ductwork. This heat pump odor is often known as dirty sock syndrome. You can avoid this by scheduling routine 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 problems
  • Plastic components or coating is melting
  • Other mechanical difficulties

Electrical problems are unsafe, so turn your heat pump system off as soon as possible at the breaker box and contact us at for heat pump repair.

3. Heat Pump Smells Like Sulfur

Normally when you are dealing with a rotten egg smell, you’re dealing with a gas leak. But your heat pump doesn’t utilize natural gas. If your heat pump smells like sulfur, a small animal may have creeped inside it for warmth and died. One of our Freed Heating & Air Conditioning technicians can get rid of the smell by cleaning your heat pump.

4. Heat Pump Smells Like Sewer

As we mentioned above, your heat pump is electric, so any rotten egg smells are tied to a gas leak elsewhere. If your heat pump smells like sewer, you might currently have a backed-up or broken sewer line. We recommend calling a company that does sewer line repair.

5. Heat Pump Smells Like Burning

You might have an electrical concern if your heat pump smells like burning, burning plastic or burning rubber. This burning smell can be the result of melting plastic on electrical wires. Electrical issues in HVAC systems are unsafe and could cause a fire. If you notice this smell, turn off your heat pump at the breaker and get a hold of us at .

6. Heat Pump Defrost Cycle Smells

Like we talked about previously, a dirty socks smell can happen when your evaporator coils need to be cleaned. You might experience this smell when your heat pump has defrost mode.

It’s ordinary for your heat pump to have to use defrost mode during heating season. When the air is much colder, frost can form rapidly on the coils from condensation and interfere with heating. During defrost mode, your heat pump briefly switches to air conditioning to clear away the frost.

Having a Freed Heating & Air Conditioning HVAC technician clean the coils will help eliminate the odor.

Trust Us with Your Heat Pump Repair Needs

It can be confusing to troubleshoot your heat pump by yourself. Your comfort matters to us at Freed Heating & Air Conditioning, so you can count on our experts to support you when you need us. When you need heat pump repair in that you can count on, call us at .