Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now experiencing a weird smell? You're not alone, because a lot of other homeowners also experience this at first. Let’s review what’s causing this smell, and when you can expect it to go away, 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 finish 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 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 not running in the spring and summer. That dust will burn off when you switch on your furnace in the fall, creating a burning smell. This smell should disappear within a few minutes.
One way you can lessen or prevent this smell is by having furnace maintenance done each 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 Ignore
While it’s less common for a new system to need furnace repair, it can happen. Here are three other odors 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 problem. Electrical wiring is covered in plastic to protect against shocks, and this smell is an indication that heat is melting this protective coating. To prevent 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, shut it off immediately, leave your home and call 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you ill, 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 checked and cleaned if necessary.
Now that you know which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re well-equipped to take care of your new heating system. If you have concerns about a strange odor, our Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating HVAC technicians can help. Give us a call at 314-262-4541 to schedule your appointment now. We provide quality, affordable furnace repair in St. Louis and surrounding communities.