We’ve all experienced it—hard to remove smells in our homes or the homes of others that can’t seem to be remedied. The smells linger for far longer than seems possible. Unfortunately, there are many different factors that can lead to an unpleasant smelling home. Things like smoke, pets, spills, mold, mildew, cooking or even plumbing problems can be at the root of these bad odors. For this very reason, it can be hard to pinpoint the problem sometimes, much less fix it. Obviously, regular and thorough cleaning of your home is a great way to keep your home smelling clean. However, there are some steps you may not immediately think of that can improve bad smells or even get rid of them completely. Here are a few:


·      Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate. Ensuring proper ventilation in your home is key to keeping bad smells and the length they stick around to a minimum. Making sure your home’s air circulates properly, regardless of the season, is crucial to a fresh smelling house. Opening windows allows fresh outside air to get into the home, circulating and pushing out the old air carrying the bad smells around your rooms. Installation and proper use of mechanical ventilation systems like exhaust fans and Energy Recovery Ventilators are critical in tightly built homes. Air can become stale if limited outside air is able to get into the house on a long-term basis. Proper ventilation is key to high indoor air quality, which will help keep your home free of bad smells. Installing air filtration systems will also help keep your air clean—removing dust and allergens from the air. Proper ventilation also reduces the risk for mold and mildew in the home, which can cause health problems in addition to odor issues.


·      Clean light bulbs. While often not thought of in terms of odors, dirty light bulbs are often culprits. The heat produced from the energy of the light bulbs can sometimes amplify the smells caused by dirt and dust. If these surfaces are not properly and regularly cleaned, they may be causing hidden odors. As you do when you change a light bulb, use caution when cleaning them and make sure they are cool first.


·      Change filters regularly. Manufacturers and contractors recommend changing the filters of your heating and cooling system for a reason. This isn’t just to maximize the efficiency of the system (although that is a huge advantage). If you let filters go unchanged, the air quality of your home will drop. Dirty and overused filters don’t do a good job of filtering dust, dirt and allergens from the air, causing bad (or smelly) air to remain floating around your home.


·      Pay attention to your bathroom. Because of its uses, the bathroom is one of the biggest trouble areas when it comes to bad smells. Constant water usage from showers and sinks makes the bathroom a potentially extremely damp place in your home. If your bathroom doesn’t have good air flow (again, ventilation), it may develop mold or mildew from the water. The installation of good fans in bathrooms can help limit the potential for mold and mildew. Furthermore, if you have a guest bathroom that doesn’t get much use, it’s a very good idea to go in from time to time to run the water, flush the toilet and open a window. This will ensure plumbing traps do not dry out, and sewer gasses don’t leak back into your home.


Again, there’s no better remedy or prevention tactic for bad odors in your home than a clean home. But, sometimes that may not be enough. Thinking about properly maintaining the systems in your home will help keep your home fresh and efficient. At BelRed, we’re pros at identifying the root cause of odors in your home. If you’re experiencing these types of odors and you can’t figure out the problem, don’t hesitate to let us help.