Have you recently had a new furnace put in and are now noticing an unusual smell? You're not alone, because many other homeowners also have this happen at first. Let’s review what’s creating this smell, and when you can expect it to go away, as well as three other furnace smells you shouldn’t ignore.
Why Your New Furnace Smells
There are two explanations why a new furnace might stink.
Your furnace has a special finish on specific parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely exhausts gases such as carbon monoxide naturally created during the heating process.
When your furnace operates for the first couple of times, the coating may emit 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 persists. A burning smell that sticks around can mean the motor has overheated or there’s an electrical problem, among other concerns.
Dust accumulates inside your furnace when it’s not running in warm weather. That dust will burn off when you switch on your furnace in the fall, creating a burning smell. This smell should go away within a few minutes.
One way you can reduce or prevent this smell is by having furnace maintenance done each year. This is required to keep your valuable manufacturer’s warranty valid, plus it keeps your furnace clean and ensures it will run properly during the upcoming heating season.
3 Other Furnace Smells You Shouldn’t Ignore
While it’s less common for a new system to need furnace repair, it happens. Here are three other odors 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 prevent shocks, and this smell is an indication that heat is melting this precautionary coating. To prevent a fire, turn off your furnace right away and have it checked out by an HVAC technician.
- Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies include sulfur in natural gas to warn you when there’s a problem. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, turn it off immediately, evacuate your home and call 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 necessary.
Now that you know which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re ready to take care of your new heating system. If you have concerns about a strange odor, our Jett's Heating & Air Inc. HVAC technicians can help. Give us a call at 815-410-1128 to schedule your appointment now. We offer quality, affordable furnace repair in McHenry and surrounding areas.