Condo is in Florida. The building is 32 years old. 8 Units in a 2story building. Mine is on the 2nd floor. Brand new HVAC system including ducts-2018.

Attic insulation was fine according to a home inspector in 2018, but some "bare" spots were remediated in 2019 through weatherization assistance program. Humidity is maintained 50-60. Temp is set 74-77F.

No leaks, no visible mold anywhere. Walls are clean and painted in 2017 before selling. No old furniture. No carpet. Large windows, plenty of day light. Mix of cathedral ceiling and normal ceiling in bedrooms. Washer and Dryer are on Lanai (outside). No pets.

I live there year around. I am very sensitive to odors. When I walk in from outside, the old house odor is clearly felt. It is not very strong, but I sense it.

Any ideas on where it may be coming from?

  • Is it empty or are you living there? Did you move in recently? – JPhi1618 Mar 24 at 16:00
  • @ JPhi1618 I live there year around – Anna Smith Mar 24 at 16:02
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    "Old house odor in a condo" Hmmm. perhaps your condo was an old house in a previous lifetime OR there is ghost of a person in your condo who used to live in an old house. – Alaska Man Mar 24 at 16:13
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    Check your bathroom vents. Sometimes they are in wall vents and can be shared with neighbors. – JACK Mar 24 at 16:17
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    @Alaska Man My nose is pretty accurate. It detected a hidden leak in my friend's house in Oregon the moment I stepped in. He denied it saying he has the driest crawl space in Oregon. But a tiny nail to hang a picture on the 1st floor wall had punctured a pipe from the second floor bathroom where a person was taking 1 hour long shower every day. The mold was inside the wall but also outside (that wall), hidden behind a couch against that wall. It continued for at least couple of months. Remediation cost was huge. – Anna Smith Mar 24 at 17:07

If you can not find the source of the odor or want a temporary/permanent fix try using a charcoal filter in the cold air return of the furnace. I use a filter from Home Depot or Lowes called a "web absorber" model#FPR-5 at about $12.00. It is a 20"X25" cut to size filter that I used to replace the pre-filter in my electronic air cleaner. My wife is like you in that she can smell a "flies fart" at 10 miles. I have been using them for about 15 years and she is happy and so am I .

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You note the power of your nose in the original question and in at least one of the comments so you are going to smell even the smallest issue. And Florida is very humid allowing for the mold and mildew to grow. I believe that the smell is mildew (this from my childhood spending time with my Grandmother in Stuart). One way to deal with it is to reduce the humidity which it needs to flourish. I suggest getting a dedicated dehumidifier and reduce the humidity down at least to 65 if not 50 or lower. I use one here in Seattle, it's a must have for me or there will be similar issues.

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