The strangest, persistent odour
Hello all. This is a serious mystery.
About a month ago I began to notice a strange smell in my house. It has grown stronger, but sometimes is undetectable, sometimes very strong. I apologize for the length of this post--it has been a long process.
-At first I thought it was electronic components because I first smelled it in my home office. I tried disconnecting some of my electronic components. This did not seem to make a difference
-I thought it might be faulty wiring in the walls. I got an electrician to check the plugs that seemed to be closest to the smell. Nothing found.
-Maybe fridge. Had a technician check it out but he said it was working perfectly.
-Maybe water heater. Had a technician check it out and he did not find anything wrong. I think he checked only for CO leaks.
-Furnace (gas)? Had this inspected and tech said it was working fine.
-Later someone else found some problems with the furnace and tech fixed a condensation reservoir. But he said it was not related to the smell, though he didnÃ¢ÂÂt smell the smell himself.
-I had a quick indoor air quality check done. It found no elevated levels of anything except VOCs, but they were not terribly high. I will get a more comprehensive test if I can't sort this out (those test cost hundreds of dollars)
-I had a water leak in my bathroom above my front foyer a few weeks before I smelled it. I cut into the ceiling to see if any mold or smell was coming from there, but there was nothing.
-The smell often was stronger when the furnace was running.
-Ducts were cleaned and a disinfectant sprayed in them. Randy the duct cleaner who is also a water heater and furnace installer, said the problem may be the venting of the water heater into the chimney. He said there may be a creature dead in the chimney, restricting the venting, so then exhaust flows back into the house and is circulated by the furnace which is right beside the chimney vent, but vents to the side of the house
-He will also come to clean the furnace but he doesnÃ¢ÂÂt think thatÃ¢ÂÂs the furnace is the problem.
-I then tried an experiment by not running my hot water all day to see if there was a smell. I caught a mild one, but that may have been because the water heater turns on at various times to reheat the water.
-But some days when I'm not using a lot of hot water the odour is quite powerful
-I have noticed that a few times the smell was especially strong when the sun was shining. Could this have something to do with the chimney?
-It is not coming from outside since it has appeared when the wind is blowing from different directions
-The smell alternates between being a slight organic smell, perhaps rotting animal but not super strong, and a more mechanical smell, almost like a refinery. When it is strong, I also find myself getting irritated, watery eyes
Any help, suggestions, ideas, advice, references... please contact me or post here!!