Not sure how to tell friend his house stinks

I’m in a bit of a hard place right now, and I’m not quite sure what to do about it. I truly want to be kind and supportive to my friends at all times, and I would never want to burn any relationship bridges. That being said, I feel like I have encountered a particularly sensitive issue that I’m not sure how to handle. A few days ago I agreed to stop at my friend’s house and stay with him for a couple of days. As soon as I arrived, his terrible indoor air quality smacked me right in the face. It literally smells like he hasn’t left his apartment or let in any fresh air in over 10 years. I took three steps in the door and nearly passed out from the uncomfortable humidity and odor that nearly choked me. From that moment forward, I didn’t know how to tell him about his central HVAC system but it has been on my mind every single second that I’ve been breathing this disgusting indoor air. I feel awful about it, because I know he’s been unhappy with his living situation and doesn’t need HVAC stress to worry about. He has been very isolated even before the pandemic began, and he rarely leaves his apartment. I know that his central HVAC system has been his life line throughout this entire social distancing ordeal. However, he clearly hasn’t been taking good care of the air filter changes or air duct cleanliness. It smells like a troop of homeless people has been camped up inside his apartment, and I can only assume the odor is coming from his air vents. I’m still trying to think of a sneaky strategy to approach the air quality topic. In the meantime I’m very grateful that my face mask has been hiding my disgusted expression.

 

Not sure how to tell friend his house stinks