How to Deal with a Sudden Musty Smell in Your House

April 29, 2020 | Blog, Home & pets, Odorklenz-air, Remove mildew smell, Uncategorized

The summer months are upon us, and in many states the warmer climate is soon to follow – which will lead to more time indoors, frequently running air conditioning units, and sometimes unfortunate smells inside the home that can also come during this time of the year. The conditions within an indoor environment can play a key role in the odors that can accumulate in this space, especially during times of the year where the weather is warm and the air conditioning is frequently running in your home, which can cause musty odors to develop fiercely in the air of this personal indoor environment. Musty and mildew odors are one of the most stubborn, difficult to remove smells that can form in a home that will seep into all areas of this space including the surfaces, flooring, and even the air space of the environment.

When a musty odor starts to take place within the confined space of your personal indoor environment, the root cause behind this odor can be a variety of sources in the home. Generally speaking, however, upon the initial indication of this smell inside of a home, most homeowners will immediately identify the cause of this smell is from mildew or mold growth. Mildew and mold are two funguses that can easily invade an indoor environment and produce this foul odor, but these are not the sole causes of musty smell in a home and as such more investigation will be necessary to determine the underlying problem and how to remediate the musty smell in this indoor environment.

In this article we are going to learn more about how to deal with a sudden musty smell in your house, what causes musty odor indoors, and the best solutions to use to expel musty smells out of your home quickly and effectively!

What is Musty Smell

Smells surround us in a home, whether you are baking cookies, doing a fresh load of laundry, sweat odors emanating from the dirty hamper, wet dog smell from your household pet, and even musty odors that form in the home from unexpected sources in a home that will travel and taint the indoor air space in your personal indoor environment. Typically, when a musty odor develops within the confined space of your home this can alert you to trouble brewing between the walls of this space. Sometimes musty odor can come from a far less troubling source than you might have anticipated, while other times it can come from a very disruptive source that can wreak havoc in your home – such as mildew or mold growth.

The association that we place with “musty” smell is usually winter sweaters that have been packed away during the summer that you open months later in the winter to have this foul, wet smell to them – aka musty odor. Usually this smell will coincide with the presence of mold in the environment or moisture that has led to this sudden musty odor to develop. Additionally, must smell in a home can also come from old items in the space that have seen or experienced a lot of wear-and-tear over the years. These sources in a home can include carpeting, old upholstered furniture, and even linens that have been washed one too many times. Thus, this demonstrates the difficulty that a homeowner may have when it comes to identifying the source of the musty odors in their home when looking at all components of the living space.

Why Does My House Smell Musty

Why does my house smell musty? As we have discussed throughout this article, there are many sources within a home that can be a contributor to musty smells that will accumulate in this indoor space. Among the most prominent sources of musty odors in a home other than mold growth will include household pets, drains and sewers, cigarette smoke, and even front load washing machines. Firstly, pets are present in most American households – with the American Veterinary Medical Association stating that more than 38 percent of households have dogs and 25 percent house cats in their homes. Any pet owner will know and understand that their pets will release an odor into the environment, and this odor can be a musty scent that will spread throughout the air space.

Another cause in a home will be the drains and sewers in the bathroom or kitchen in this indoor environment, these drains will release a sulfur, or rotten egg smell that can translate into a musty odor in the air of the home. This odor can be similar to the odor produce from washing machines as well, which can accumulate water around the seal of the door which will ultimately work to produce a musty odor in the environment. Lastly, cigarette smoke can also be another issue when it comes to strong musty odors, since this smoke can release many chemicals into the air that can turn into this same, unwanted odor in the home.

Musty Smell in House Causes

Have you started to notice that the musty smell contained within your home only hits your nose during certain times of the day or after certain events happen in the environment – such as rain? The musty smell that lingers inside this indoor environment can be magnified as certain conditions become present in the home, like after a rainstorm outside your home, when your dog comes into the home after getting a bath, or even the moment you air conditioning system kicks on in this confined space. Below we are going to discuss some of the causes behind that musty smell in your home and why the smell originates from this household source.

House Smells Musty Humid Indoors

When you walk inside your home and are met with the unfortunate smell of musty odor, along with strong humidity levels than you can almost always bank on the fact that mold or mildew growth is the underlying source. Mold and mildew odors are both caused by the presence of these funguses in the air of an indoor environment that has started in the pipes, inside the walls or other hidden spaces inside this personal space. Typically, mold is a more serious problem than mildew and therefore it will emit a stronger, more potent odor of mustiness than mildew will when growing. Often times mold will come from weather conditions that can find their way indoors and lead to the optimal conditions for mold growth in a home.

House Smells Musty but No Mold

Have you looked everywhere inside your home, and identified that there is no mold source present that is causing your house to smell musty? If you house smells musty but no mold is present, this can mean other issues. As we discussed previously, musty smell can be caused by many different cases inside a home such as poor ventilation and air flow that can lead to stagnant air being trapped in this indoor space which can lead to odors in the air. Musty odors in a home can come from spillage problems, moisture intrusions, and even from air conditioning units that haven’t been used in months, since they are not used during the winter months in many States.

House Smells Musty When AC is On

When it comes to the musty odor that has permeated inside of a home, often times this odor can originate from the air conditioning system that is used in this indoor space. Musty odors can come from your AC because mold and/or mildew is being distributed in the air of this space, along with other issues with the air conditioning system itself. A dirty evaporator coil can be a problem, as well as a clogged condensate drain line, and leaky air ducts. Generally, these issues will occur due to the infrequent use of an air conditioning system during the winter months, which will trigger odors when the air conditioning is placed in use during the summer, hotter months.

How to Get Rid of Musty Smell in House

The more time that you spend inside your home, the more often you will be homed in on the unpleasant aromas that are permeating within the indoor space – such as musty smell. Whether it be during the winter months or summer months, allow for fresh air to help remediate this odor problem may not be the most ideal solution. The cleanliness and maintenance practices that are instilled in an indoor environment is an important component to fighting off musty odors and other smells that can accumulate in this home environment. Be sure to take the time to dust, vacuum floors, furniture, and even curtains often to remove dirt, soil and even moisture problems that have accumulated in these areas.

In addition to maintaining cleaning practices, some households will also try to odor neutralization solutions in this indoor space. Many people will turn to candles, air fresheners, oil diffusers, and other odor removing products. However, when it comes to actually neutralizing this strong musty odor these products will fall short, and the addition of an air purifier will be necessary to accomplish this odor neutralization in the air of your home.

Air Purifier for Musty Smell

When you are dealing with an odor, the area that needs to be treated within the space is your indoor air. Cleaning the air in your home is not as easy as cleaning the surfaces of your home, and often times homeowners aren’t sure what to do to clean their home’s air. You may ask, how to get rid of mold and mildew smell from your home and the answer is an air purifier for musty smell which is an efficient and easy option for removal of odors from your personal indoor air. An air purifier is designed to efficiently filter out pollutants and contaminants found within your indoor air including odors that are present in the air space.

The OdorKlenz Mobile Air System is the ultimate air purification solution for VOC and odor removal from your personal indoor air space. This air purifier contains a two-stage filtration process that consists of a hospital-grade HEPA filter and a patented earth mineral air cartridge for VOC and odor elimination. The OdorKlenz patented earth mineral technology is able to neutralize and/or breakdown a broad spectrum of chemicals and noxious odors that come into contact with the filter including that of musty odors. Unlike other air purifiers that simply take in the odors and hold them onto a filter media, OdorKlenz actually neutralizes and breaks down the compounds completely alleviating the fear of the odor being re-released back into the environment.

Mobile Air System


Patented earth mineral technology works to attack VOCs and break them down on a compound level

No chemicals or masking agents

Will not release any chemicals back into your environment

Safer and faster at removing VOC's than traditional carbon filters and PECO air purifiers