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 expect it to disappear, 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 exhausts gases like 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 dissipate 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 lingers 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 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 go away 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 require furnace repair, it happens. Here are three other smells 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 prevent shocks, and this smell is an indication that heat is melting this protective coating. To avoid 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 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 highly 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 TopTec Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical HVAC technicians can help. Contact us at 847-362-0262 to schedule your appointment today. We offer quality, affordable furnace repair in Libertyville and surrounding areas.