If you’re recognizing a smell from your heat pump, it’s attempting to tell you that something is up. We’ve developed a list of the most popular six heat pump smells, what causes them and how you can fix 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. Your Heat Pump Smells Like Mold

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

2. The Heat Pump Smells Fishy/Rotten

If your heat pump smells like fish, there could be a couple of things wrong:

  • Overheated motor
  • Wiring problems
  • Plastic components or coating is melting
  • Other mechanical problem

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

3. Your Heat Pump Has a Rotten Egg Smell

Often when you have a rotten egg smell, you have a gas leak. But your heat pump doesn’t utilize natural gas. If your heat pump smells like sulfur, a tiny animal may have crawled inside it for warmth and died. One of our Bishop’s HVAC experts can eliminate the smell by cleaning your heat pump.

4. Your Heat Pump Smells Like a Sewer

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

5. The Heat Pump Smells Burnt

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

6. Heat Pump Defrost Cycle Smells

Like we discussed previously, a dirty socks smell can happen when your evaporator coils need sanitizing. You might experience this smell when your heat pump goes into defrost mode.

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

Having a Bishop’s HVAC HVAC technician clean the coils will help get rid of the smell.

Depend on for Your Heat Pump Repair Needs

It can be confusing to troubleshoot your heat pump by alone. Your comfort matters to us at Bishop’s HVAC, so you can count on our professionals to assist you when you need us. When you need heat pump repair in that you can rely on, call us at .