Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now noticing a weird 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 anticipate it to go away, 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 covered in plastic to prevent shocks, and this smell is an indication that heat is melting this protective 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 leak. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, turn it off right away, evacuate your home and call 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 flourishing in your ductwork. We recommend having your ductwork checked and cleaned if needed.
Now that you know which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re ready to take care of your new furnace. If you're worried about an odd odor, our Ilten's Incorporated HVAC technicians can assist you. Contact us at 319-208-3295 to schedule your appointment now. We provide quality, affordable furnace repair in Cedar Rapids and surrounding communities.