Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now noticing an unusual smell? You’re not alone, because a lot of other homeowners also have this happen at first. Let’s review what’s creating 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 reasons why a new furnace might smell.
Your furnace has a special coating on certain parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely exhausts 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 go away the more your furnace heats.
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 has overheated or there’s an electrical problem, among other issues.
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 reduce 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 properly during the upcoming heating season.
Three Other Furnace Smells You Shouldn’t Ignore
While it’s less common for a new system to need furnace repair, it can happen. 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 problem. Electrical wiring is coated in plastic to prevent shocks, and this smell is an indication that heat is melting this protective 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 problem. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, turn it off right away, evacuate your home, and call 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you sick, plus it’s extremely flammable and explosive.
- Musty. If your furnace smells musty, you might have mold and mildew growing in your ductwork. We recommend having your ductwork inspected and cleaned if needed.
Now that you are aware of 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 Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing HVAC technicians can assist you.