7 answers

Mildew Smell Coming from Vent

For the past few years, as the weather becomes humid, there is a weird mildew smell that comes from one of my air returns (where you put your filters). It smells really strong if it is going to rain and only on humid days. I am not sure what kind of company to call to check it out. I am worried that there is some sort of leak or that there is a mildew problem. When the air conditioning comes on, it is not as strong. Our house is 5 years old. Has anyone ever smelled this, and what did you do about it? I am having to use air freshners all the time now. Thank you!

What can I do next?

More Answers

You need to have your vents cleaned and your airconditioning serviced. Look for a company that works or sells your brand of airconditioning. Look on the internet for air duct cleaning in your area.

I am a realtor in Dallas and I have moisture in my crawl space and have set up at fan to go on when the moisture gets up.###-###-#### Gloria Morin Gray

I have the same exact problem, I had my vents cleaned by Sears. Please don't waste your money, I still have the smell and I am going crazy trying to find it. I had a mold company come and they sugested I get them cleaned again. 1000.00 later the smell is still here.Our house is only 2 years old and we have a lenox furnace. If you ever find the problem let me know....

I put a half a cup of solumel next to the vent ( inside where noone sees it)- it keeps the pollutants out, smells fresh, and keeps the air around clean.


I believe David is who we spoke with and who helped us...he is VERY knowledgeable and SUPER nice. It will not be your cheapest quote, but if you just call him he may know another fix that you can do yourself; unfortunately for us that wasn't enough, but sounds like you have a different problem. I would call him and just see; he is very passionate about this line of work and sincerely a nice guy. We will use them in the future.

###-###-#### David

I was wondering if you found a solution as I have the same problem! We will have been in our home 5 years in March. I mentioned an offensive smell that seemed to come mainly from a return to the ones who installed our HVAC system, to no avail. Over the years, it seems the smell gets worse, and also seems to be worse in the early spring and fall when the system doesn't run as much. It has been very rainy here this past week and the smell is almost overpowering, to the point that it takes your breath when you pass by the return, but also now comes out of the vents in other rooms. I am very frustrated by this whole thing, especially since my husband doesn't seem to notice. My daughter also smells this, but neither of them are here all day as I am. Please help!

There are so many companies out there that do air duct cleaning- I'm sure they do the air return vent as well. I would definitely call one of them to come out and clean. I'm sorry that I don't have a specific recommendation as I've never used one of those companies (they usually do carpet cleaning too), but probably should. They should be able to take care of the mildew for you, I would think. Not good for allergies, mildew. It could mean that you have a leak, as well- so I might actually call the A/C people first, I dunno. I mean, it's not normal to have mildew in your vents, unless there's a water leak getting in somewhere. The reason you don't smell it when the A/C is on is that the A/C dehumidifies. There are companies out there that test for leaks in your system (but it's usually air leaks from the vents, not water leaks into the vents).

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