Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now experiencing an unusual 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 anticipate 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 smell.
Your furnace has a special finish on specific parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely gets rid of gases like carbon monoxide naturally produced 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 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 continues. A burning smell that lingers can mean the motor is too hot or there’s an electrical problem, among other issues.
Dust collects inside your furnace when it’s idle 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 go away within a few minutes.
One way you can decrease or prevent this smell is by having furnace maintenance done every 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 require furnace repair, it happens. Here are three other smells you should watch 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 protect against shocks, and this smell is an indication that heat is melting this precautionary coating. To avoid a fire, turn off your furnace right away 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 leak. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, turn it off immediately, leave your home and call 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 growing in your ductwork. We recommend having your ductwork checked 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're worried about an odd odor, our H & H Service Company HVAC technicians can help. Give us a call at 717-220-4502 to schedule your appointment today. We offer quality, affordable furnace repair in Mechanicsburg and surrounding areas.