Have you recently had a new furnace put in and are now having an unusual smell? You’re not alone, because plenty of other homeowners also have this happen at first. Let’s review what’s leading to this smell, and when you can look forward to it to subside, as well as three other furnace smells you shouldn’t ignore.
Why Your New Furnace Smells
There are two factors 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 removes gases including carbon monoxide naturally created during the heating process.
When your furnace starts for the first couple of times, the coating may give off a burning smell. This is standard and the smell should disperse the more your furnace heats.
To be on the safe side, you’ll want to call a heating and cooling company if the smell lingers. A burning smell that lingers can mean the motor has overheated or there’s an electrical problem, among other concerns.
Dust accumulates inside your furnace when it’s off in the spring and summer. That dust will burn off when you flip 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 needed to keep your valuable manufacturer’s warranty good, plus it keeps your furnace clean and ensures it will run perfectly 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 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 issue. Electrical wiring is covered in plastic to prevent shocks, and this smell is a sign that heat is melting this protective coating. To hinder a fire, switch off your furnace immediately and have it examined out by an HVAC technician.
- Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies add sulfur to natural gas to alert you when there’s a problem. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, shut it off as soon as possible, leave your home and dial 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you sick, plus it’s very flammable and explosive.
- Musty. If your furnace smells musty, you might have mold and mildew developing in your ductwork. We advise having your ductwork inspected and cleaned if required.
Now that you know which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re prepared to take care of your new heating system. If you’re worried about a strange odor, our Herman Allen Plumbing, Heating & Cooling HVAC technicians can help. Give us a call at 804-302-6657 to schedule your appointment today. We supply quality, affordable furnace repair in Greater Richmond and surrounding communities.