Have you recently had a new furnace put in and are now noticing an unusual smell? You're not alone, because many other homeowners also experience this at first. Let’s review what’s creating 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 specific parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely gets rid of 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 standard and the smell should go away 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 is too hot or there’s an electrical problem, among other concerns.
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 disappear within a few minutes.
One way you can decrease or prevent this smell is by having furnace maintenance done each 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 Disregard
While it’s less common for a new system to need furnace repair, it happens. 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 an indication that heat is melting this precautionary coating. To prevent a fire, shut 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 leak. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, turn it off immediately, evacuate your home and dial 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 know which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re well-equipped to take care of your new furnace. If you have concerns about a strange odor, our Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC HVAC technicians can help. Contact us at 715-318-6728 to schedule your appointment now. We offer quality, affordable furnace repair in Ellsworth and surrounding communities.