Is Your Furnace Smelling Bad? Here Are 4 Possible Odors And Likely Causes

A functional furnace is vital to heating your home and ensuring clean air circulation. However, you may notice unpleasant smells from the furnace, indicating a malfunction. This is likely due to normal wear and tear accumulating over time or ineffective maintenance. While some smells might not signify danger, other odors may be toxic and potentially detrimental to your health. Thus, it is advisable to hire a heating expert to diagnose your unit and remedy the cause of the smells. The following are some reasons why your furnace is smelling bad:

Burning Smells

If you go without using your furnace for long, dust may accumulate in the internal components. As such, when you turn it on, the unit will emit a burning smell due to the dust heating up. However, if the smell does not dissipate after a while, you could be experiencing an electrical malfunction. This could result from a power surge or a short circuit, causing the plastic insulation to melt. Consequently, you will notice a pungent burning rubber smell. In such a case, you should engage a furnace repair professional to rectify your system's circuitry for seamless operation.

A Rotten Eggs Smell

You may occasionally notice a rotten egg odor if yours is a gas-powered furnace. This could be due to the gas lines deteriorating over time or the access fittings becoming loose, leaking gas. Notably, utility providers add an additive to natural gas to give it a distinct smell because it is odorless. For this reason, when gas leaks, a rotten egg smell will circulate through your house. Although natural gas is non-toxic, it can cause asphyxia if inhaled at high levels.

Smoke-Like Smell

Combustion in the heat exchanger leads to the formation of flue gasses, unburnt hydrocarbons, and particulates such as soot. Subsequently, the system channels these by-products away from your house through the chimney. However, an obstruction in the chimney can divert the smoke into your air ducts, causing a smoke-like smell to emanate from your vents. Thus, it is wise that you contact a heating professional to clear the blockage in the exhaust pipe for proper ventilation.

A Musty Smell

When you engage your heating unit after a period of dormancy, you may notice a musty smell coming from the vents. This is due to dust accumulation in the system, leading to damp spots in the ducts. Consequently, mold may thrive in these areas and cause musty smells as mold spores circulate in your home. Since inhaling mold spores in huge amounts can adversely affect your health, you should hire a furnace contractor immediately. They will clean the ducts and resolve the issue with the filters to prevent mold growth.

A heating unit that emits unpleasant smells may cause an uncomfortable indoor atmosphere. Schedule routine maintenance checks with a heating technician for clean air circulation.