Your furnace is designed to provide years of safe, clean and quiet operation. If you start to notice unusual or unexplainable odors coming from your furnace, however, it could indicate an impending failure or a serious safety issue. Here are three types of furnace smells you should never ignore.
1. Rotten egg smell
Furnace smells like rotten eggs or sulfur is a cause for serious alarm. Utility companies and fuel providers put odor-causing substances in normally odorless natural gas. If you smell this type of odor, it could indicate a natural gas leak that could cause a catastrophic fire or explosion in your home. Take immediate action:
- Evacuate your home at once.
- After reaching a place safely away from your home, call your utility company and fire department for assistance.
2. Burning or dusty smell
When your furnace is first started for the season, it may put out a burning or dusty smell. In most cases this is normal, and it will stop after dust inside the system is blown away. If the odor persists, it could indicate a serious problem with your furnace.
- Give the furnace some time to get rid of accumulated dust.
- Change the furnace's air filter to see if the odor goes away.
- If the smell continues, call your HVAC technician for help.
3. Metallic, electrical or overheating smells
If components or electrical elements inside your furnace are getting too hot, they may produce furnace smells similar to hot metal, burning oil, hot plastic or rubber. If you smell odors that suggest something in your furnace is overheating or burning:
- Shut the furnace off immediately and unplug it
- Call your HVAC source for inspection and repair
- Monitor the furnace for a few hours to make sure there are no fires or further problems
If you need HVAC work in your home, you can turn to the experts at Sobieski Services for professional heating services that keep furnaces working like they should. Contact us today for more information on what to do if you notice unusual furnace smells.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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