Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now noticing an unusual smell? You're not alone, because a lot of other homeowners also experience this at first. Let’s review what’s creating this smell, and when you can anticipate it to disappear, 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 specific parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely gets rid of gases like 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 go away the more your furnace runs.
To be on the safe side, you’ll want to call 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 issues.
Dust accumulates inside your furnace when it’s idle in warm weather. That dust will burn off when you turn 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 necessary 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 Disregard
While it’s less common for a new system to require 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 covered in plastic to protect against shocks, and this smell is a sign that heat is melting this protective coating. To prevent 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 warn you when there’s a problem. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, shut it off immediately, leave your home and dial 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you ill, plus it’s highly 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 an odd odor, our Street Heating and Cooling HVAC technicians can help. Contact us at 605-206-3915 to schedule your appointment now. We provide quality, affordable furnace repair in Rapid City and surrounding communities.