Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now experiencing an unusual smell? You're not alone, because many other homeowners also have this happen at first. Let’s review what’s creating 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 explanations why a new furnace might stink.
Your furnace has a special coating 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 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 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 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 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 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 properly 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 happens. 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 coated in plastic to prevent shocks, and this smell is a sign that heat is melting this precautionary coating. To avoid a fire, shut off your furnace immediately 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 right away, evacuate 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 flourishing 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 ready to take care of your new furnace. If you have concerns about a strange odor, our Brookwood Inc HVAC technicians can assist you. Give us a call at 641-316-9803 to schedule your appointment now. We provide quality, affordable furnace repair in Newton and surrounding communities.