Have you recently had a new furnace installed 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 creating this smell, and when you can expect it to disappear, as well as three other furnace smells you shouldn’t disregard.
Why Your New Furnace Smells
There are two explanations why a new furnace might smell.
Your furnace has a special finish on certain parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely exhausts 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 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 has overheated or there’s an electrical problem, among other issues.
Dust accumulates inside your furnace when it’s not running 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 disappear within a few minutes.
One way you can decrease 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 Ignore
While it’s less common for a new system to need furnace repair, it happens. 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 coated in plastic to protect against shocks, and this smell is an indication that heat is melting this precautionary coating. To avoid a fire, shut off your furnace right away and have it inspected 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, turn it off immediately, 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 furnace. If you're worried about an odd odor, our AW Heating & Air Conditioning HVAC technicians can assist you. Contact us at 402-438-7992 to schedule your appointment now. We offer quality, affordable furnace repair in Lincoln and surrounding communities.