Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now experiencing an unusual smell? You're not alone, because many other homeowners also experience this at first. Let’s review what’s causing this smell, and when you can anticipate 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 coating on certain parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely gets rid of gases such as carbon monoxide naturally created during the heating process.
When your furnace operates for the first couple of times, the coating may give off a burning smell. This is standard 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 accumulates inside your furnace when it’s idle in warm weather. That dust will burn off when you turn 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 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 require furnace repair, it happens. 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 covered in plastic to protect against 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 inspected out by an HVAC technician.
- Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies add sulfur to natural gas to warn you when there’s a leak. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, turn it off immediately, leave your home and call 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you ill, plus it’s extremely flammable and explosive.
- Musty. If your furnace smells musty, you might have mold and mildew flourishing in your ductwork. We recommend having your ductwork inspected and cleaned if needed.
Now that you are aware which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re ready to take care of your new furnace. If you're worried about a strange odor, our Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning HVAC technicians can help. Contact us at 512-355-1482 to schedule your appointment today. We offer quality, affordable furnace repair in Pflugerville and surrounding areas.