When a furnace is turned on for the first time of the heating season, you can expect it to have a slight burning smell. But, within minutes, warm, clean and fresh smelling air should start circulating throughout your home. Eventually, you might not even notice that your furnace in running at all, as it runs quietly and efficiently.
If you get anything else, then you may have a problem.
To ensure your family’s safety, let’s talk about the most common smells a furnace makes and the causes that might be behind them:
Burning or Electrical/Metallic Smell
Some burning smells are normal when first turning on the furnace. Electrical smells and metallic smells in the furnace, however, are generally pretty distinct since they don’t occur very frequently. Burnt smells coming from your furnace often indicate certain components on the inside are getting too hot. Some burning smells are due to burning wires, old age, and general wear and tear. But, others are an indication of a bigger problem. Call Longhorn Maintenance Heating and Air to be sure you don’t have a major issue with your furnace if the burn smell does not go away.
Rotten Eggs Smell is BAD!
If you have a gas-powered furnace that smells like rotten eggs (or sulfur), you may have a gas leak. ALWAYS HAVE A WORKING CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR IN YOUR HOME. Due to the risks involved, you should call in a professional and exit your home if it all of a sudden smells like rotten eggs and/or the CO detector alarms. Do not reenter until you know the area is safe again.
That Wet, Sweaty Athlete Smell
You might never expect that this smell could ever come from your furnace but it is quite common. Dirty sock or locker room smells from your furnace means that bacteria has built up on your heating system coils. You’ll need to have the coils cleaned to get rid of it.
Dusty or Musty Smell
When you haven’t used your furnace for a while, your furnace might smell like a damp, dusty, or musty basement. The odor may smell particularly strong for the first few uses of the season, but it should fade gradually. If it persists, you may have a dirty furnace filter. Try changing the air filter to rid of that musty smell.
Pay attention to smells and use this guide to know when you have a problem with your furnace that needs attention. If you suspect you have a smell that is not normal, first shut down the furnace and unplug it. Next, call Longhorn Maintenance Heating and Cooling for an inspection and repair. We’ll diagnose and make repairs as needed to ensure your peace of mind.
The nose knows so call us in El Paso, Horizon City and surrounding areas, at 915-852-7334 at your first sign of unusual smells coming for your furnace.