Have you recently had a new furnace put in and are now noticing an unusual smell? You're not alone, because a lot of 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 disregard.
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 like carbon monoxide naturally created during the heating process.
When your furnace operates for the first couple of times, the coating may emit 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 persists. A burning smell that sticks around can mean the motor has overheated or there’s an electrical problem, among other issues.
Dust collects inside your furnace when it’s idle in warm weather. That dust will burn off when you turn 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 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 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 issue. Electrical wiring is coated in plastic to prevent shocks, and this smell is a sign that heat is melting this protective coating. To avoid a fire, shut off your furnace immediately and have it inspected out by an HVAC technician.
- Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies include sulfur in natural gas to warn you when there’s a leak. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, shut it off right away, leave 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 flourishing in your ductwork. We advise having your ductwork inspected and cleaned if necessary.
Now that you know 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 Patterson & Stirling Inc HVAC technicians can assist you. Give us a call at 814-308-0416 to schedule your appointment today. We offer quality, affordable furnace repair in Erie and surrounding communities.