Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now noticing a weird 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 go away, as well as three other furnace smells you shouldn’t disregard.
Why Your New Furnace Smells
There are two reasons 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 like 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 normal and the smell should go away the more your furnace runs.
To be on the safe side, you’ll want to call a heating and cooling company if the smell continues. A burning smell that sticks around can mean the motor is too hot or there’s an electrical problem, among other concerns.
Dust collects 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 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 smoothly 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 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 coated in plastic to protect against shocks, and this smell is a sign that heat is melting this protective coating. To prevent a fire, shut off your furnace immediately and have it checked out by an HVAC technician.
- Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies include sulfur in natural gas to alert you when there’s a problem. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, shut it off immediately, leave your home and dial 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you ill, plus it’s highly flammable and explosive.
- Musty. If your furnace smells musty, you might have mold and mildew flourishing in your ductwork. We recommend having your ductwork checked and cleaned if needed.
Now that you know which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re ready to take care of your new furnace. If you have concerns about an odd odor, our Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling HVAC technicians can help. Contact us at 804-302-6657 to schedule your appointment now. We offer quality, affordable furnace repair in Greater Richmond and surrounding communities.