LESLIE: Vicky in New Mexico is having some issues with the electronic furnace. What can we help you with?
VICKY: Well, I’ve getting a recurrent smell, bad smell, from fumes when the furnace blower cuts on. And I’ve had the local utility company here. They always check for carbon monoxide which, of course, is odorless. They never find that and they say they don’t find any gas source for the fumes and they don’t know what it is. Plus, what’s rather upsetting is I smell it because I’m here for extended period of time and I’ve had a lady friend here. She smelled it. But when the pros come out and check, well, where’s the odor?
TOM: Well, a couple of things could be causing this, Vicky. Is this only happening on the initial startup or do you pretty much smell it all the time?
VICKY: No, it’s been going on since before Christmas.
TOM: Alright, well there’s a couple of things that could cause this. First of all, we want to make sure your heating system is running safely and if you’ve had the utility company check that then I’m going to presume that it is running safely. Secondly, you could – and I hate to say this – but you could have something in your ducts like a rodent that died. And if that happens…
LESLIE: Which could cause a similar smell.
TOM: Yeah. That can cause a very, very similar smell.
VICKY: Pardon me. How would anything get in the ductwork? That has been suggested, but how?
TOM: Well, you know, I’ve got to tell you, Vicky, a mouse only needs a really small space to get in; about the size of …
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Like a quarter of an inch.
TOM: Yeah, well about the size of a finger. I would say a little bit more than a quarter but about the size of your finger they can – a mouse can squeeze in and there’s lots of gaps in ductwork, believe me. So there are places that rodents can get in.
I would suggest that you have your duct system cleaned, as good next step. We know the system is running safely. Get the duct system cleaned and that, I think, is going to take care of it. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.