What those smells coming from your furnace could indicate and what to do about them
Many homeowners have experienced smelling a weird odor coming from their furnace and wondered what it could be, but did you know that those odd smells could actually be an indication of a problem with your furnace? While’s it’s not particularly uncommon for an HVAC unit to cause some type of smell upon its first use after a long summer, some odors are potentially a sign of a major problem. Here are 3 of the most common smells that your home’s furnace could produce and what you should do about it:
Rotten egg smell
One of the easier smells to recognize is the odor of rotten eggs, what many think of as that sort of classic, offensive sulfur smell. The fact that the smell is so pungent is a positive thing however, because it lets homeowners know about the presence of a gas leak coming from the furnace. Since gas has no natural odor to it, manufacturers add the sulfuric rotten egg smell to the gas with the purpose of acting as an indicator of the presence of gas.
If you happen to notice this smell its imperative to immediately turn the furnace off, and open up the windows your home to let the gas out. Be sure to call your HVAC specialist as soon as possible and let them know that you think your furnace has a gas leak, and leave your house to let it air out if the smell is overpowering.
Burning electrical smell
Similar to how the smell of rotten eggs is very distinct, the odor created by burning or overheated electrical wires is hard to mistake, especially since most homeowners have probably not had to smell such an odor in their home’s before. The smell of burning metal or wires coming from your furnace is something to take very seriously, as it likely part of the mechanics within the furnace that is overheating or in the process of doing so.
Your HVAC system could also produce this smell when worn out rubber and plastic pieces within the furnace start to overheat, yet another reason why it’s so important to maintain regularly scheduled furnace checks from your HVAC service technician. No matter what the cause is if you notice any burning smells coming from your furnace, turn your system off right away and contact your heat and air specialist for an immediate appointment.
Burning dust smell
After not using your furnace for several months, dirt and dust tends to accumulate in the ducts and vents and therefore could cause a smell when you first turn on your furnace after it being off for an extended period. However, if that burning smell persists for too long, consider changing the air filter of the unit. Should that not clear up the smell, it’s time to give your HVAC technician a call.
Since your air conditioning unit uses water to create cold air, condensation does occur and therefore, there is a potential for mold to form within your HVAC system. A musty smell coming from your furnace could be a sign that mold has formed in the duct system and is in need of a thorough cleaning. Be sure to call All Year HVAC for service.
Even if you aren’t sure what the reason or odor you smell could be, it’s always a good idea to call your local heating and air expert just to be safe. And remember that the best way to prevent such issues from happening to your HVAC system in the first place is by regularly scheduling routine inspections and tune-ups from your trusted service technician.