If you’re discovering a smell from your heat pump, it’s trying to tell you that something is up. We’ve developed a list of the top six heat pump smells, what causes them and how you can correct 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. My Heat Pump Smells Musty

If your heat pump smells musty, there’s probably mold growing on moist evaporator coils or in the ductwork. This heat pump odor is often referred to as dirty sock syndrome. You can avoid this by scheduling frequent heat pump maintenance and air duct cleaning.

2. Your Heat Pump Has a Fishy Smell

If your heat pump smells like fish, there could be several things wrong:

  • Overheated motor
  • Wiring issue
  • Plastic components or coating is melting
  • Other mechanical difficulties

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

3. Your Heat Pump Smells Like Sulfur

Usually when you are dealing with a rotten egg smell, you’re dealing with a gas leak. But your heat pump doesn’t use natural gas. If your heat pump smells like sulfur, a tiny animal may have creeped inside it for warmth and died. One of our Phelps Heating & Cooling, Inc. [techs can remove the smell by cleaning your heat pump.

4. My Heat Pump Smells Like a Sewer

As we discussed earlier, your heat pump is electric, so any rotten egg smells are linked to a gas leak in another place. If your heat pump smells like sewer, you might currently have a backed-up or broken sewer line. We advise getting in touch with a company that does sewer line repair.

5. My Heat Pump Smells Burnt

You might be dealing with an electrical issue if your heat pump smells like burning, burning plastic or burning rubber. This burning smell can be due to melting plastic on electrical wires. Electrical issues in HVAC systems are unsafe and could lead to 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 mentioned earlier, a dirty socks smell can happen when your evaporator coils need to be cleaned. You might experience this smell when your heat pump goes into defrost mode.

It’s common for your heat pump to have to turn on defrost mode during heating season. When the air is much cooler, frost can form rapidly on the coils from condensation and interfere with heating. During defrost mode, your heat pump temporarily switches to cooling to get rid of the frost.

Having a Phelps Heating & Cooling, Inc. HVAC technician clean the coils will help get rid of the smell.

You can Count on Us for Your Heat Pump Repair Needs

It can be confusing to troubleshoot your heat pump by yourself. Your comfort matters to us at Phelps Heating & Cooling, Inc., so you can count on our specialists to assist you when you need us. When you need heat pump repair in that you can rely on, call us at .