5 Reasons There’s a Strange Smell in Your Home

a small rodent on a table

Are you experiencing strange smells in your home? While some of them could be a simple issue to fix, others could be potentially dangerous or even fatal if not addressed. Whether you want to get rid of the strange smell (or smells) because you are embarrassed to have company, or you smell strange odors coming from the furnace or another major appliance, it’s important to address them for both safety and peace of mind.

We’re going to go over some of the most common reasons you are experiencing strange smells in your home and what you can do about these odors.

1. You have a gas leak.


One of the most common and potentially dangerous reasons you are smelling something in your home is due to a gas leak. Whether it’s coming from your gas stove or gas furnace, it’s extremely important to address this odor as soon as possible due to the threat of danger involved. You can often smell gas, but that’s not always the case.

Other signs that you could have a gas leak include the smell of rotten eggs or sulfur, a hissing or whistling sound, a dust cloud near the gas line, and dead houseplants. If you suspect a gas leak, it’s important to open all the windows and immediately call 911 or the local fire department.

2. Your house has moisture, mildew, or mold.


If you’re smelling something that is musty or dusty in nature, you might have an issue with mold or mildew within your home. Humidity and moisture-prone environments, such as the bathroom, laundry room, basement, and kitchen, will have these odors more often than bedrooms and hallways. This odor should also be addressed immediately due to the potential respiratory and asthmatic issues involved.

If you suspect or see mold, it’s important to eliminate it as quickly as possible. Some areas of mold can be treated with bleach and water, but more serious situations need to be taken care of by a professional.

If you’re experiencing this musty smell in your car, it’s likely that excess water has been getting in from somewhere or a large amount of water was spilled on the floor. These issues are more common in vehicles that have sunroofs, so keep that in mind when searching for your next vehicle.

3. There’s a dead animal in the walls or attic.


We all know what roadkill smells like. If you’re experiencing this odor in your home, it’s likely a small animal has died in the walls of your home, or in the attic or basement. While some homeowners choose to wait for the smell to pass as the decomposition process continues, others make the decision to call their local pest control company to have the animal removed. Either way, this situation is generally harmless to the home’s inhabitants and the smell often goes away within a few days.

4. You have a broken sewer pipe.


If you are smelling something that reminds you of sewage, it’s most likely time to call the plumber. These smells will typically emanate from the bathroom, but you might also experience this smell around your water heater. There are several reasons you might be smelling sewage, but the most common reasons are due to the plumbing system being clogged or having a broken sewer pipe.

Either way, unless you are a plumber or have experience working with pipes and drains, you’ll want to call in a professional to get the job done.

5. Rotting food is hiding in a cabinet.


This is something that happens more often than you might think. If you are smelling rotting food or a compost pile in your home, you either need to change the trash bag or inspect your cabinets for potatoes that might have fallen in the back to hide. Rotting food has a very distinctive smell and tells our instincts to run away.