Have you recently had a new furnace put in and are now experiencing an unusual smell? You're not alone, because many other homeowners also have this happen at first. Let’s review what’s causing this smell, and when you can expect it to disappear, as well as three other furnace smells you shouldn’t disregard.
Why Your New Furnace Smells
There are two reasons why a new furnace might smell.
Your furnace has a special coating on certain parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely exhausts gases such as carbon monoxide naturally produced during the heating process.
When your furnace runs for the first couple of times, the coating may give off a burning smell. This is normal and the smell should go away the more your furnace runs.
To be on the safe side, you’ll want to contact a heating and cooling company if the smell continues. A burning smell that sticks around can mean the motor has overheated or there’s an electrical problem, among other concerns.
Dust collects inside your furnace when it’s idle in the spring and summer. That dust will burn off when you switch on your furnace in the fall, producing a burning smell. This smell should disappear within a few minutes.
One way you can reduce or prevent this smell is by having furnace maintenance done every year. This is required to keep your valuable manufacturer’s warranty valid, plus it keeps your furnace clean and ensures it will run smoothly during the upcoming heating season.
3 Other Furnace Smells You Shouldn’t Disregard
While it’s less common for a new system to need furnace repair, it can happen. Here are three other smells you should watch for and what they might mean.
- Burning plastic or rubber. If your furnace smells like burning plastic, you might have an electrical problem. Electrical wiring is coated in plastic to protect against shocks, and this smell is an indication that heat is melting this precautionary coating. To prevent a fire, shut off your furnace right away and have it checked out by an HVAC technician.
- Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies add sulfur to natural gas to alert you when there’s a problem. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, shut it off immediately, evacuate your home and dial 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you sick, plus it’s extremely flammable and explosive.
- Musty. If your furnace smells musty, you might have mold and mildew flourishing in your ductwork. We advise having your ductwork checked and cleaned if needed.
Now that you know which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re well-equipped to take care of your new furnace. If you're worried about a strange odor, our Wolfe & Sons Heating and Cooling HVAC technicians can help. Give us a call at 614-451-0846 to schedule your appointment today. We provide quality, affordable furnace repair in Columbus and surrounding areas.