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 have this happen 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 explanations why a new furnace might smell.
Your furnace has a special finish on specific 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 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 call a heating and cooling company if the smell persists. A burning smell that lingers can mean the motor is too hot or there’s an electrical problem, among other concerns.
Dust collects inside your furnace when it’s idle in warm weather. That dust will burn off when you turn on your furnace in the fall, producing 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 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 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 protect against shocks, and this smell is an indication that heat is melting this protective coating. To prevent a fire, turn off your furnace immediately 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 problem. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, turn it off right away, evacuate your home and dial 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you sick, 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 needed.
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 heating system. If you're worried about a strange odor, our Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating HVAC technicians can assist you. Give us a call at 641-628-3621 to schedule your appointment today. We offer quality, affordable furnace repair in Pella and surrounding communities.