Why do houses have their own smell?

Why do houses have their own smell?

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We’ve all experienced it, returning home after a long vacation and being welcomed by the comforting, familiar scents of our house. It’s a strange phenomenon—that every home and building seems to have its own special smell. 

It’s easy to think that our home’s scent only has to do with the air fresheners we use or the food we cooked that day. This is true to some extent—but it actually goes much deeper than that. The permanent smell in our home typically isn’t just the result of one thing or type of thing. Rather, everything in your home comes together to create its smell. 

Scented products obviously contribute to the smell in our home. This includes air fresheners, candles, and incense. It can also include heavily scented personal care items like perfume and hairspray. These smells stick to textiles, walls, and floors in our homes. These scents layer on top of each other over time and create a unique smell. Candles and incense if burned throughout the years can even seep into walls and floors leading to a deeper, more permanent scent. 

Cooking and cleaning of course play a role in our home’s smell. When we cook and clean, we notice the smell right away and it will usually linger for a few hours or even a few days. Often, the strong smell of cleaning products or food will dissipate quickly, but sometimes the scent can attach itself to dust, curtains, carpets, or walls and persist much longer as a result. If you use the same ingredient or product all the time, you may also find that particular scent lingering in your home. 

Oddly enough, the type of home you live in can also affect the way it smells. Older homes and newer homes will actually smell different because they’re made of different materials. Old homes might have scents that are more associated with stone, wood, or even metal. Newer homes may smell like adhesives, plastics, and fresh paint. 

Even things we wouldn’t expect to contribute to the smell of our homes do! Furniture, books, and even plants can all change the scent. For example, if you have a lot of wood furniture, you may notice more woody smells in a home. Plants serve as an air filter, so their presence (and number) inside of your house will have an impact on the air. 

On top of all of this, you have a role in the scent of your house. We all have personal scents, and this goes beyond the perfume you wear or the shampoo you use. Depending on our genetics, what we eat and drink, and whether we smoke, we produce our own variety of odours through our skin, hair, and breath. Over time, these odours will linger in your home and create a totally different and unique scent profile. 

Your pets can also be part of your home’s scent. Different animals create different smells. This has to do with them being different species, but it can also be a byproduct of scents they pick up as they live their day to day lives. What does this mean? Birds often stay in their cage, so the scents they create come from them, their food, and their immediate surroundings. On the other hand, dogs spend a great deal of time outside roaming around. They will pick up scents like grass and dirt and bring these scents into your home. 

Most of the time, the smell of home is comforting. It’s something we don’t typically notice day to day but it can feel like a welcome relief to return to if we’ve been gone for a while. But if the scent in your home has taken a turn towards unpleasantness, you might need to take action. It’s easy to get rid of one-off bad smells through cleaning, but when it comes to the overall scent of your home, it can be a little more difficult.

One way to clear bad smells is through duct cleaning. Over the years dust, dirt, and other debris can build up in your ducts. Scents can stick to this build up and create an unpleasant odour, which then recirculates continually throughout your home. Duct cleaning will clear out any accumulation that may be contributing to unpleasant smells. 

Additionally, clean ducts will allow better airflow throughout your home. Professional duct cleaning removes any debris that’s contributing to stale air and bad smells. When air is allowed to flow and recycle as it is meant to, your home will smell fresh. 

Live in the Winnipeg area and want to fix or change the smell of your home? Start with a duct cleaning from Whyte Ridge Furnace & Air Duct Cleaning. Our technicians have years of experience and will be able to clear and sanitize your ducts so that your home can be filled with fresh air and fresh smells.