Does your home always seem to have a funny, unappealing odor? If you do not think it does, ask your friends. Sometimes, people go nose blind to the odors in their own homes because they become so accustomed to smelling them. However, your friends may notice the odor, and you may notice it when you come home after being away for a few days or weeks.

So how do you get rid of those lingering odors that you can't quite put your finger on? Here are four tactics to banish odors and get your home smelling fresh again.

1. Have the Carpet Professionally Cleaned

Carpet may look attractive and provide comfortable padding under your feet, but it is a magnet for dirt, bacteria, and mold spores — all of which have odors. If you have pets, their hair and dander will also end up in the carpet, contributing to the stink. Vacuuming only does so much as the particles that are ground deeper into the carpet fibers can't be reached by a vacuum alone.

Have your carpet professionally cleaned, and your home's smell will instantly improve. The solutions that carpet cleaning professionals use contain special deodorizing compounds to neutralize smelly components in the carpet. Plus, the high-powered extraction machinery sucks debris out from deep within the carpet.

Most homeowners need to have their carpets cleaned twice a year. If you have pets, you may require more frequent cleanings to keep odors at bay.

2. Have Your Upholstery Cleaned

Similar to carpet, sofas and upholstered chairs tend to hang on to smelly particles. Whenever you're eating and you accidentally drop a piece of food on your furniture, it can potentially leave behind smelly particles. The upholstery also absorbs oils from your skin and your pets' skin, which can add to the smell overtime. 

If your furniture has removable covers that you can just toss in the washing machine, then laundering them should do the trick. However, many sofas and chairs need to be professionally cleaned to remove odors. A professional upholstery service can clean not only the surface of the furniture but also the foam stuffing. 

Between upholstery cleaning sessions, take these steps to keep your furniture odor-free:

  • Vacuum the furniture weekly.
  • Sprinkle the furniture with baking soda, let it sit for an hour, and then vacuum it up; do this once a month.
  • Keep a slip-cover over your upholstered furniture if you have a dog or cat who sleeps on it.

If you have a very old, worn piece of upholstered furniture, you may need to replace it in order to completely get rid of odors.

3. Upgrade Your Air Filter

The air filter in your HVAC system is meant to trap smelly particles so that they do not continue to circulate through your home's air. However, if you just buy the cheapest fiberglass air filters, your filter is probably not doing its job as effectively. Upgrade your air filter to one with a MERV number of 10 or higher. Such a filter will trap almost all smelly particles, including mold, dust, pet dander, insect debris, and dust mites.

Also remember to clean or change your air filter as often as recommended on the package. Some air filters only need to be changed every six to nine months, but thinner, less expensive filters should be changed every one to two months.

4. Install a Dehumidifier

Both bacteria and mold, the source of many home odors, replicate more rapidly in a moist environment. For this reason, installing a dehumidifier in your home will help keep odors under control, especially during the warm, humid summer months.

Modern, whole-home dehumidifiers tie right into your HVAC system and are controlled by the same thermostat that controls your furnace and air conditioner. You won't even notice the device is running as it removes moisture from the air, helping to fight odors.

If you install a dehumidifier, upgrade your air filter, and have your carpet and upholstery cleaned, those lingering home odors should fade away quickly. Contact All State Carpet & Tile Care if you're looking for a carpet and upholstery cleaning company in the valley area.