Have you recently had a new furnace put in and are now experiencing an unusual smell? You're not alone, because many other homeowners also experience this at first. Let’s review what’s causing this smell, and when you can anticipate 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 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 runs for the first couple of times, the coating may emit a burning smell. This is standard 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 is too hot or there’s an electrical problem, among other concerns.
Dust accumulates inside your furnace when it’s idle 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 go away within a few minutes.
One way you can reduce 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 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 look out for and what they might mean.
- Burning plastic or rubber. If your furnace smells like burning plastic, you might have an electrical issue. Electrical wiring is covered in plastic to protect against shocks, and this smell is a sign that heat is melting this protective coating. To prevent a fire, turn off your furnace immediately and have it inspected out by an HVAC technician.
- Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies include sulfur in natural gas to warn you when there’s a problem. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, shut it off right away, 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 inspected and cleaned if necessary.
Now that you are aware 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 Halverson Brothers Inc HVAC technicians can assist you. Give us a call at 715-352-4052 to schedule your appointment now. We provide quality, affordable furnace repair in Menomonie and western Wisconsin and surrounding areas.