Have you recently had a new furnace put in and are now noticing an unusual smell? You're not alone, because many other homeowners also have this happen 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 disregard.
Why Your New Furnace Smells
There are two reasons 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 like carbon monoxide naturally created 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 go away 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 sticks around can mean the motor has overheated or there’s an electrical problem, among other concerns.
Dust collects 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 every year. This is necessary 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 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 prevent shocks, and this smell is an indication that heat is melting this precautionary coating. To prevent a fire, shut off your furnace right away 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, shut it off immediately, evacuate your home and dial 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 checked and cleaned if necessary.
Now that you know which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re well-equipped to take care of your new heating system. If you have concerns about a strange odor, our American HVAC Inc HVAC technicians can help. Contact us at 408-215-1018 to schedule your appointment now. We provide quality, affordable furnace repair in San Jose and surrounding areas.