It’s concerning to have an unpleasant odor in your home and be unable to locate its source. There are many possible reasons that a house smells funny. This guide will help you narrow down the potential problem. Check these areas for odors in your home so you can take care of the issue.

Check for Odors in Home: Pests

If your house smells like a wet dog and you don’t have a dog, you may have a hidden pest problem. This odor could mean that there are rodents in your home.

Another indicator of an animal intruder is a rotting smell. A small animal may have died inside your walls, crawl space, or ductwork. Squirrels, raccoons, or rats can transmit diseases to humans. Hire a professional to check your home and assess the situation.


If your home smells funny, it could be due to rotting food in the trash can or garbage disposal. A hidden piece of food may also be lying around, creating this odor. Make sure to regularly clean your home, including under your stove and refrigerator.

Check for Odors in Home: Mold

Certain types of mold, like toxic black mold, smell like cat urine. A musty smell means there is rotting wood or mold in your home.

Check high moisture areas like the bathroom, kitchen, and basement—thoroughly clean moldy surfaces with water and bleach. Proper ventilation and fixing leaky fixtures are some ways to prevent mold from coming back. if you have a severe mold problem, contact a professional for mitigation.

Heating System

A dirty sock smell could be bacteria buildup on your heating system coils. This bacteria growth is caused by condensation. It is most common when the system cycles between hot and cold. The best way to eliminate this odor in your home is to clean the coils and air ducts regularly.

Plumbing System

Sewage odors may signify a clogged plumbing system or vent pipe. Call a plumber to assess the problem and make repairs. Another common cause of this smell in your home is the water heater. It may require an anode rod replacement.

Check for Odors in Home: Gas Leak

Your home might use natural gas for heating, cooking, and drying laundry. If you notice a rotten egg smell, there could be a gas leak in your house.

Do not turn on any appliances and evacuate your home immediately. Call your gas company to address the leak while keeping a safe distance from the house.

Electrical Component

A fishy smell signifies an electrical component is burning or overheating. This could come from several electrical sources such as frayed wires, overloaded circuits, or defective outlets. Calling an electrician after noticing this smell is essential to address the problem and prevent an electrical fire.

Cowan Inspections Group provides home inspection services for homebuyers and sellers. Contact us if you are moving to or from the Park City area.