Helpful Tricks for Managing Household Smells

Household Smells

Here at Dust Goblin, we know all about household smells. There are good cooking smells, bad musty smells, and everything in between. There are smells that come from the house, smells that come from our lifestyles, and sometimes smells that come from us. There are tons of ways to deal with household smells and, as you probably know, the best way is clever airflow.

Naturally, you want to get the bad smells out of the house as quickly as possible, and you might want to waft the good smells around for the whole house to enjoy. And today, we're here to show you how.

Drying Paint

If you have repainted a wall, a room, or a piece of furniture there is going to be some drying paint smell. This acrid scent can even smell good at first, but over time you will start getting a headache and need to leave the room. The sooner the paint dries, the sooner your room will be usable again. But you also don't want blow paint fumes into the rest of the house.

The trick is the clever use of a box fan and a window. 

  • Close the AC vent in the room
  • Open the window
  • Place a box fan in the center of the room, facing the window
  • Close the door.

 This will blow air onto the paint, encouraging it to dry while channeling the paint-fume-air out the window instead of into your house. The closed vent keeps paint fumes from entering the ventilation system and keeps you from wasting HVAC while the window is open. The closed door keeps paint fumes from blowing back into the rest of the house.

Stuffy Bedrooms

Not all homes have great airflow, and bedrooms are often the rooms that suffer most. If your room is starting to smell a bit musty, it's time to take action. This time, your goal is to simply increase the air circulation from the rest of the house in and out of your room to increase the air quality and decrease the buildup of stale air.

Here's how to do it:

  • Open the bedroom door
  • Place a box fan in the doorway facing outward, toward the rest of the house
  • Leave it running at least an hour each day

Burnt Dust

The burnt dust smell is what happens when dust reaches the heating elements of your HVAC heater. It's very common at the beginning of winter and you may smell it again during cold snaps when you have to crank up the heat. Burnt dust and other dust-related smells also means that your home air quality has been decreasing over time due to lack of air filtration and circulation.

You can do these things to reduce and eliminate the smell

  • Install a new air filter
  • Clean your furnace or electric heating appliance
  • Clean your air ducts and vent covers

Bathroom Smells

Lingering bathroom smells is a notorious problem of badly designed houses or apartments. A bathroom with insufficient exhaust can smell like the last visit for hours, at no fault of the person who visited your bathroom. The exhaust fan just doesn't do its job or, perhaps, there isn't a fan at all. 

Fortunately, you don't have to tolerate an indefinitely smelly bathroom.

  • Replace or repair your exhaust fan.
  • DIY an exhaust fan by installing a small fan in your bathroom window
  • Use the paint-drying trick with a box fan

Incense and Oils

Another interesting question about home smells is how to deal with burning incense and diffusing oils. You may have a member of your household who loves incense, but the smells are a bit much for most of the family. Or you might want to spread the smell of a diffused oil throughout your house without carrying your diffuser around. We can help you do both.

To keep your incense confined to one room:

  • Close the door
  • Close the vent in the room
  • Crack the window

To spread your incense all over the house (and you have an old/bad air filter):

  • Set your Thermostat to 'Fan' (not heat or AC)
  • Place your diffuser or incense by the air intake vent
  • Wait

It should be noted, if you're already using a Dust Goblin filter, your incense might actually be totally filtered. After all, scents are really just good-smelling particles in the air that an air filter can grab!

So if you've got a great air filter installed, do this instead:

  • Open all the doors in your house
  • Place your diffuser or incense at one end of the house
  • Place a box fan behind your diffuser or incense


Smells are a big part of your home air quality. And by understanding how airflow works indoors, you can also master how your house smells both in each room and throughout the home. With a combination of box fans, air filters, and ingenuity, you can get rid of smells, spread smells, and make your house smell any way you want. For more air quality insights, contact us today!