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Try covering the carpet with a sheet of plastic, and see if the smell gets better above and worse below it. Make sure it's a continuous sheet, not a woven plastic tarp. Use one of a reasonable thickness, as polyethylene (the material almost always used for these) passes vapors surprisingly easily. Put down the plastic in the evening. The next morning, go in ...


If the house is that old chances are some water is getting under the rug some how. In my home we had a similar problem with water getting in from under the planks beneath the storm door and causing our hardwood to warp. If pressed that's where I'd start.


Do you maybe have a steam humidifier on the furnace? If it was wired incorrectly or was damaged it could be trying to heat water when the furnace is not running, or when no water was present in the boiler. How confident are you on the diagnosis of the electrical issues? I've heard of underground feeders upstream of the breaker panel becoming damaged and ...


All things being equal, a shorter vent won't increase the risk of backdrafting unless your vent is designed to rely on the stack effect (e.g., those big black pipes that come out of pit toilets). Ed Beal is right to point out that being below the roof line is relevant but laypeople and contractors often overstate concerns about backdrafting. They do this for ...


I suspect your water heater is gas and in a utility closet on the ground floor. Check in there to see if the smell is stronger or if a water pipe looks like it may be leaking a little. My thought is damp insulation inside the water heater shell could be producing this odor.

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