Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now noticing a strange 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 look forward to it to disappear, as well as three other furnace smells you shouldn’t neglect.

Why Your New Furnace Smells

There are two explanations why a new furnace might reek.

Protective Finishing

Your furnace has a special application 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 typical and the smell should go away the more your furnace operates.

To be on the safe side, you’ll want to contact a heating and cooling company if the smell persists. A burning smell that remains can mean the motor has overheated or there’s an electrical problem, among other problems.

Dust

Dust accumulates inside your furnace when it’s off in the spring and summer. That dust will burn off when you flip on your furnace in the fall, making a burning smell. This smell should subside within a few minutes.

One way you can decrease or prevent this smell is by having furnace maintenance done each year. This is required to keep your valuable manufacturer’s warranty valid, plus it keeps your furnace clean and ensures it will run smoothly during the upcoming heating period.

3 Other Furnace Smells You Shouldn’t Ignore

While it’s less common for a new system to need furnace repair, it happens. Here are three other scents you should look out for and what they might mean.

  1. Burning plastic or rubber. If your furnace smells like burning plastic, you might have an electrical issue. Electrical wiring is coated in plastic to prevent shocks, and this smell is a signal that heat is melting this protective coating. To avoid a fire, shut off your furnace right away and have it examined out by an HVAC technician.
  2. 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, shut it off right away, leave your home and dial 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you ill, plus it’s very flammable and explosive.
  3. Musty. If your furnace smells musty, you might have mold and mildew flourishing in your ductwork. We advise having your ductwork examined and cleaned if required.

Now that you understand which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re well-equipped to take care of your new furnace. If you’re worried about a weird odor, our Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling HVAC technicians can help. Give us a call at 515-207-6569 to schedule your appointment today. We supply quality, affordable furnace repair in Des Moines and surrounding areas.