It’s every host’s nightmare: What if my friends think my house smells bad? Taking care of an apartment comes with great perks – like being able to host Super Bowl parties – but it has drawbacks as well. The thing about noses is they tend to get used to bad smells over time, which is great for you, not so much for your guests. Bad smells can originate from all kinds of sources and be annoyingly difficult to fix. Here are a few things we’ve noticed that could be causing your guests to leave the party early.

You’ve Got Mold

It seems obvious, but mold loves to grow in dark, damp areas that may not be readily visible. Broken sinks, leaky pipes, or out-of-repair air conditioning systems could give rise to that musty odor that’s difficult to locate and eliminate. These odors can be especially bothersome to people with asthma and allergies, and in some cases, mold can even be deadly.

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, while a lifesaver during seasonal temperature fluctuations, require repairs and maintenance just like cars or any other machinery. Neglecting to repair or maintain your HVAC system could lead to all kinds of moldy and musty smells.

Luckily, this problem is an easy fix: companies are dedicated to installation and repair services that can keep your HVAC system running smoothly and without odor. Party saved; you’re welcome.

There’s a Dead Animal in Your Walls

Let’s be honest, this is the worst possible situation, although the plus side is that you probably noticed it before you invited your friends over. Even a tiny mouse can cause a big stink, and getting rid of the odor can be more difficult than just following your nose. If you don’t find the problem behind your refrigerator or stove, it might be stuck somewhere in the walls or underneath the floorboards.

Your best bet for fixing this issue is probably calling an exterminator. Hopefully, this never becomes a problem, but if it does, at least you’ll be well aware.

Your Best Friend

We mean your pet, of course. Pet odor is one of those smells that tends to go unnoticed by a house’s tenants, but is immediately obvious to visitors. Many things can contribute to pet odors, from litter boxes to lingering fur in your carpets.

Depending on the persistence of the smell, the solution could be as simple as frequently vacuuming or as painstaking as replacing the floors in your house – or something in between, like an enzymatic cleaner.

The Key to a Hospitable Home

Several factors contribute to a happy, healthy, comfortable, guest-ready home, and keeping it smelling clean and fresh is one of the most important and difficult to fix. Luckily, it’s easy to engage in preventative maintenance by keeping track of your HVAC system, keeping your pets clean, and investing in repair, maintenance, and installation services and cleaning products. Head off problems before they run off your guests.