Have you recently had a new furnace installed 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 explanations why a new furnace might stink.
Your furnace has a special finish 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 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 heats.
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 issues.
Dust accumulates inside your furnace when it’s not running 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 every year. This is necessary 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 Ignore
While it’s less common for a new system to require furnace repair, it can happen. Here are three other odors you should look out 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 avoid 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 leak. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, turn it off right away, leave 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 growing in your ductwork. We advise having your ductwork checked and cleaned if necessary.
Now that you are aware 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 Anderson Heating & A/C HVAC technicians can assist you. Give us a call at 775-230-7628 to schedule your appointment now. We offer quality, affordable furnace repair in Carson City and surrounding areas.