Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now noticing a weird smell? You're not alone, because many other homeowners also experience this 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 disregard.
Why Your New Furnace Smells
There are two reasons why a new furnace might stink.
Your furnace has a special finish on certain parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely gets rid of gases such as carbon monoxide naturally created during the heating process.
When your furnace runs 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 heats.
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 warm weather. That dust will burn off when you turn on your furnace in the fall, creating a burning smell. This smell should disappear within a few minutes.
One way you can decrease or prevent this smell is by having furnace maintenance done every year. This is required 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.
3 Other Furnace Smells You Shouldn’t Disregard
While it’s less common for a new system to need furnace repair, it happens. Here are three other smells 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 a sign that heat is melting this precautionary 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 add sulfur to 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 sick, 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 inspected and cleaned if needed.
Now that you are aware which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re ready to take care of your new furnace. If you have concerns about a strange odor, our Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling HVAC technicians can assist you. Contact us at 515-207-6569 to schedule your appointment now. We provide quality, affordable furnace repair in Des Moines and surrounding areas.