What’s that smell? 4 furnace smells and what they might mean.

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why does my furnace smell funny

Are strange smells circulating through your home? Is it coming from your furnace?

This is a common occurrence especially when the furnace is switched on for the first time at the start of a heating season. Most of the smells don’t usually indicate a problem unless they last for an extended period of time.

Here are the some of the most common smells and their causes:

Musty, Dusty odors. When you turn your heat on for the first time at the start of the season, you may smell some heat dust. A layer of light dust is usually present at the beginning of the season. This smell sticks around for a few minutes and eventually dissolves. If the smell remains for an extended period, call an HVAC expert to diagnose the problem. There may be an airflow issue.

Slight moldy smell. Ductwork is a dark moist area in your home which makes it a risk for mold infestation. Mold spreads rapidly and can damage your home and create breathing problems for those with allergies. While this is not an emergency, we recommend you contact a professional as soon as possible.

Burkholder’s HVAC offers a duct cleaning service that utilizes state-of-the-art air duct vent cleaning equipment and processes to help eliminate the contaminants in your home’s air ducts and helps ensure the safety and efficiency of your air quality.

Dangerous Furnace Smells

If you smell any of the following take immediate action to ensure the safety of your home and your family:

Rotten egg/sulfur. If you have a natural gas furnace this smell may occur. Since the gas is odorless, the gas companies add a chemical that causes a smell giving you a warning indicator.  If you smell this, evacuate your home and bring all family members and pets along with you. Call your gas provider and let them know you may have a gas leak.

Burning/metallic smells. This smell always signifies something serious. Burnt wires, overloading systems, and potential electrical fires are a large risk if they are not already occurring when you notice this smell. Shut off the power to your furnace off through your breaker and contact us immediately.  If you believe that the problem could be something other than the furnace, shut off the power to your whole home and contact an electrician right away.

When faced with any strange furnace smell, it is always best to play it safe and call an HVAC professional.

The skilled and experienced technicians at Burkholder’s HVAC are ready and available 24/7.  We will identify the cause of your furnace smell and make repairs if necessary. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.