Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now having a strange 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 expect it to subside, 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 coating on some parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely gets rid of gases including carbon monoxide naturally made during the heating process.

When your furnace starts for the first couple of times, the coating may release a burning smell. This is normal and the smell should disperse 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 sticks around can mean the motor has overheated or there’s an electrical problem, among other problems.

Dust

Dust builds inside your furnace when it’s off in the summer. That dust will burn off when you turn on your furnace in the fall, creating 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 every single year. This is necessary to keep your valuable manufacturer’s warranty applicable, 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 necessitate furnace repair, it happens. Here are three other scents you should keep an eye 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 protect against shocks, and this smell is a signal that heat is melting this precautionary coating. To avoid a fire, turn off your furnace immediately and have it examined out by an HVAC technician.
  2. Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies add sulfur to natural gas to signal you when there’s a problem. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, shut it off as soon as possible, leave your home and call 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you ill, plus it’s extremely flammable and explosive.
  3. Musty. If your furnace smells musty, you might have mold and mildew growing in your ductwork. We suggest having your ductwork examined and cleaned if needed.

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 an odd odor, our Van Haaften Plumbing & Heating HVAC technicians can assist you. Give us a call at 641-628-3621 to schedule your appointment now. We offer quality, affordable furnace repair in Pella and surrounding areas.