Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now noticing a weird 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 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 exhausts gases such as carbon monoxide naturally produced during the heating process.
When your furnace runs for the first couple of times, the coating may give off a burning smell. This is standard 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 persists. A burning smell that sticks around can mean the motor is too hot 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 switch on your furnace in the fall, producing a burning smell. This smell should go away within a few minutes.
One way you can reduce 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 smoothly during the upcoming heating season.
3 Other Furnace Smells You Shouldn’t Ignore
While it’s less common for a new system to require furnace repair, it can happen. 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 covered in plastic to protect against shocks, and this smell is an indication that heat is melting this precautionary 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 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 right away, leave your home and dial 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you ill, 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 necessary.
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 Total Comfort HVAC technicians can assist you. Give us a call at 201-268-5663 to schedule your appointment today. We provide quality, affordable furnace repair in Franklin Lakes and surrounding communities.