Unpleasant household odors are most common in the winter, when your home is sealed tight to keep in the warmth. Some smells are easier to deal with than others. Here’s a guide to handling five smells — both those that are easy to erase and those that are a little harder to eliminate.

  1. If frying or burning foods have made your kitchen smelly, pour several tablespoons of vinegar, along with some water, into a pot, and bring it to a boil. After a few minutes of boiling, the vinegar and water vapor released into the air should take care of the unpleasant odor.
  2. Smoky smell after you’ve enjoyed a fire? A drafty chimney can send soot in the fireplace into the home, creating a very strong smell. Check the damper, ensuring it’s tightly closed. If the problem persists, you may need to increase the air returns in the ductwork system, as a pressure imbalance could be contributing to this smell.
  3. Unfortunately, a small animal can occasionally get into your home and die. If you can’t locate the animal (perhaps because it has climbed into a wall), use a strong air cleaner to mask the odor. The smell will eventually go away. Thoroughly inspect your home for access points, paying special attention to the attic and basement, and carefully seal to keep this from happening again.
  4. Sewage smells are terribly unpleasant. If bathroom odors are strong and persistent, add a ventilating fan to the bathroom if you don’t have one. Change the fan to a stronger unit if you do have a fan. You can also pour vinegar into the toilet bowl and leave it for a while. After several minutes, scrub the toilet and flush.
  5. The smell of burnt dust is often caused by dust accumulation in the heating system. It’s best to deal with the problem by turning on the furnace in the fall, while you can leave windows open, and running the system briefly. Also make sure you have your furnace serviced regularly to avoid a dust buildup in your system.

Give unpleasant household odors the boot with these simple tips. For more information about home comfort and energy-efficient heating, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We’ve served homeowners in greater Cincinnati since 1910.

Image via Shutterstock.com