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Old 01-17-2012, 06:36 AM  
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Default Central Heating System Smells!!!

Hello, I have the fortunate pleasure of owning a canine companion who unfortunately has my complete home smelling like a zoo. She frequently likes to eliminate on the basement floors and apparently the system has picked up the horrific smells, yuck! I have tried everything I know, disinfected and mopped basement floors and around the furnace area several times, changed filters, candles, air fresheners and yet the smell is still filtrating through the vents of my home and literally the smell is unbearable. It is to the point where I keep my heat on the lowest setting possible (has me saving on energy costs) because I cannot stand the smell anymore. I'm so ready to rip out the system and straight get a whole new system. Certainly that would solve every issue, lol but realistically, that isn't a option at all. Help me somebody! What else should I try before calling in a professional?

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Old 01-17-2012, 08:04 AM  
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What kind of floors do you have in your basement - sounds like bare concrete? Also, where is your return air duct (or do you have one) and does your system have an intake pipe for combustion air running outdoors?

I am not an HVAC person, but it helps to know how much air your furnace is sucking from your basement...

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Old 01-17-2012, 09:52 AM  
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Sounds like you have tried everything I would have done. My wife a a few cats and they have been doing the same thing but we don't seem to have the smell. What kind of disinfectants have you been using? Maybe try something a little harder?
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:31 AM  
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Would duct cleaning take care of that sort of thing? I know it's aimed at dust mainly...but maybe the cause of the smell is sticking to the crud in the ductwork??
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:02 PM  
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First things first--train the dog to do her business outside, not in the house! Don't do anything else until she learns what the outside is for. Since she now thinks her behavior is acceptable, it will be a challenge to house-break her. I'd suggest a confinement cage, as most dogs won't soil the area they have to sit or lay in.

There's a commercial, microbacterial product available that does wonders for the stench of dog pee. Can't remember the name, but it's available where motels and hotels get their cleaning supplies. Did wonders for the last place we lived in, where the previous owner had allowed their Fido free run of the house, all day long, no one home (flooring actually rotted out under the carpet at the door to the back yard, poor dog).

Since you've already changed furnace filters, I suspect your next option is to have all of the ducts cleaned and sanitized (after potty training, of course).
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:50 PM  
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I spent about 5 years professionally installing and servicing HVAC systems and can give you a few suggestions, but there are a few things I need to know.

First, do you have a straight heating system or is it a heating/cooling system? If cooling is involved, it's very likely you have a sheet of dog hair that is retaining the urine smell accross the cooling coil in your air handler, most especially if you're not religiously changing your air filter at least once a month. The smell can also be coming from the drip pan and drainage piping. You can add bleach to help with that.

Second, you need to know what kind of duct system you have before you decide to lay out the money for a duct cleaning. If it's a sheet-metal system wrapped with insulation on the outside, a duct cleaning will work fine. If it's sheetmetal with insulation tacked on the inside of the ductwok, you wont be able to get that smell out with a cleaning. You'll have to have all of that insulation ripped out and have your ductwork re-insulated. If you live further south and have fiberglass ductwork which is popular in southern homes, forget about cleaning it. You'll have to replace your entire duct system to get that smell out.

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