Is That Odor Coming From Your Furnace Normal?


After months of not being used during the warm weather months, the furnace could emit a funny smelling odor when it is turned on. In most instances, there is no need to worry. However, there are some odors that could be an indication of a bigger problem. If your furnace has a funny odor, here is what you need to know.

What Is the Odor?

There are several odors that could be coming from your furnace and ignoring them could be potentially dangerous. For instance, if your furnace has a rotten eggs odor, there is likely a gas leak. Continuing to use the furnace and remaining in the home could put you and your family at risk.  

Another odor to be wary of is a burning electrical smell. The odor could be a sign that your furnace has a component, such as the blower motor, that is worn or damaged. Continuing to use the furnace could result in further damage to the component and potentially an electrical fire if it overheats.

Sometimes, your furnace can smell like corn chips or dirty socks. The odor is likely an indication that there is a bacteria buildup. If you continue to use the furnace, the bacteria could be pulled throughout your home's heating system and wind up being spread through the home with the help of the air duct system. It is a hazardous situation for everyone in your home, but particularly those with breathing problems.

In some instances, there is no reason to panic if there is an odor. For instance, if the furnace has a musty odor or it only lasts a few minutes, there is usually no reason to be concerned. The system likely had an insignificant buildup of dust due to the months of inactivity. The smell should disappear within minutes.

What Should You Do?

If the smell from your furnace persists, you need to call an HVAC technician to have it examined. Turn off the furnace and do not operate it to avoid further damage to your system.

If the smell is rotten eggs, you need to get out of your home immediately and call your local utility company. The company can turn off the gas. You also need to have your furnace inspected by the HVAC technician to determine if there are leaks.

Do not put off the call to the HVAC contractor if you have any other odors coming from the furnace. Waiting could result in the furnace breaking down at an inopportune time. 

About Me

Remaining Comfortable In Your Home after Completing a Major Renovation

In a few, short months, my spouse and I will begin the construction process to build a much needed addition onto our small home. The addition will include a den and a master suite. But because our home will be much larger after the building process is complete, we will need to update our HVAC system. After speaking with our knowledgeable HVAC contractor, we’ve decided to purchase a second heating and air conditioning unit for our home. This additional unit will be considerably smaller than our current one. It will only heat and cool the new addition to our house. On this blog, I hope you will discover the best options for heating and cooling a home after building an addition onto it.

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