Why Your Furnace Has a Strange Smell
As the weather cools down and you switch from cooling to heating your home, you might be worried about unusual furnace smells floating in the air. Find out what the most common furnace smells could mean and how concerned you should be about each one.
The Furnace Smells Musty
Musty furnace smells almost always indicate mold growth hiding in the HVAC system. To avoid exposing your family to these microorganisms, handle this problem as quickly as possible.
A clogged air filter can harbor mold, so getting rid of the smell might be as easy as swapping out filter. If that doesn’t work, the AC evaporator coil mounted near the furnace might be to blame. This component accumulates condensation, which will sometimes trigger mold growth. You’ll be better off with a professional’s help to inspect and clean the evaporator coil. When all else fails, start thinking about investing in air duct cleaning. This service cleans away hidden mold, no matter where it’s growing in your air ducts.
The Furnace Smells Like Rotting Eggs
This is one of the most concerning furnace smells because it probably indicates a gas leak. The utility company puts in a special substance known as mercaptan to the natural gas supply to make leaks more easily detected.
If you notice a rotten egg smell near your furnace or out of your ductwork, shut off the heater right away. If you can find where the main gas supply valve is located, shut that off as well. Then, leave the house and dial 911, in addition to your gas company. Don’t go back in the house until a professional tells you it’s safe.
The Furnace Has a Sour Stench
If you detect a sour smell that stings your nose while standing close to64} the furnace, this could mean the heat exchanger has cracked. This important component contains68} combustion fumes, like carbon monoxide, so a crack could allow unsafe levels of CO gas into your home.
Carbon monoxide poisoning has the potential to be deadly, so shut off your furnace immediately if you detect a sour odor. Then, contact an HVAC professional for an inspection. Consider replacing your furnace if a cracked heat exchanger is to blame. For your health and safety going forward, see to it that you have reliable CO detectors on all floors of your home.
The Furnace Smells Dusty
When you turn on the furnace for the first time every fall, you should expect a dusty odor to appear for a little while. This is the smell of six months’ worth of dust burning away as the furnace wakes up. As long as the smell disperses within one day, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
The Furnace Has a Smoky Smell
Natural gas, oil and propane furnaces are combustion appliances, so they vent fumes to the exterior. A smoky smell can mean the flue is clogged, and now fumes are settling back into your home. The odor can reach through the entire house, jeopardizing your family’s health if you neglect it. So switch off the furnace and contact a professional right away to arrange for repair.
The Furnace Smells Like Burning Plastic
Overheating and melting electrical components are the most likely reason for a burning plastic smell to appear. A faulty fan motor is also possible. If you don’t address the problem, an electrical fire could start, or your furnace could experience irreparable damage. Turn off the heating system right away and contact an HVAC technician for help identifying and repairing this unusual furnace smell.
The Furnace Has an Oily Smell
If you have an oil furnace, you could detect this stench if the oil filter becomes blocked up. Try replacing it to determine if that resolves the problem. If the smell persists for more than one day after completing this step, it might imply an oil leak. You’ll be better off with help from an HVAC professional to fix this problem.
The Furnace Smells Like Sewer Odors
Sewer gas smells very similar to rotting eggs, so first determine the likelihood of a natural gas leak. If that’s not the problem, your sewer lines might have an issue, such as a dry trap or sewer leak. Flush water down your own drains, including the basement floor drain, to fill dried-out sewer traps. If the smell persists, you should contact a sewer line repair company.
Contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for Furnace Repair
When in doubt, get in touch with an HVAC technician to examine and repair your furnace. At Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we deliver comprehensive diagnostic services to pinpoint the problem before repairs begin. Then, we suggest the most viable, cost-effective repairs, alongside an up-front estimate for every option. Our ACE-certified technicians can manage just about any heating malfunction, and we back our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee for one year. For details about why your furnace smells bad or to request furnace repair near you, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.
Zoning Systems: Customized Comfort in Every Room
Central heating and air systems have revolutionized home comfort and made it possible to stay perfectly comfy in any season or climate. However, while centralized systems are a handy way to manage the temperature, they in some cases fall short when it comes to evenly distributing heated or cooled... Continue reading
Eight Popular Heating Myths Debunked
There are plenty of myths out there about home heating that cause confusion and inefficient furnace operation. It’s time to get the facts out there. Here, the heating authorities at Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing get to the bottom of the eight most common myths to keep... Continue reading
Eight Ways to Upgrade Your HVAC System
During the chilly days and nights in the U.S., there’s no better way to improve your home’s comfort than with a few effective upgrades. It’s not just about keeping the house toasty warm as the snow begins to fall—it’s about enhancing efficiency and improving the very air you breathe.... Continue reading