Furnace Smell

What is that strange smell that is coming from the furnace? Did you turn on your furnace for the first time recently and discover an odd smell? Are you wondering if this is normal or if you should be concerned? Below, we detail some of the main causes of smells and what you should do when you experience one of these issues.

Determine the Smell
There are a variety of smells that can come out of your furnace, specifically when you first turn it on for the year. Smells indicate that there is a problem – be it major or minor. That said, it is necessary to determine the source so that you can do everything possible to avert costly issues and repairs. Below we have detailed the most common causes of smells.

Dusty
This is a minor issue. It’s normal to have a dusty smell when you first turn your furnace on each year. Dust will collect on the air filter when it’s not used and you can expect it to burn off in no time.

Musty
This is also a minor issue. If there is mold on the filter it can cause a musty smell. To fix this problem, you need to change or wash and dry the filter.

Oil
This could indicate a minor or major issue. A filter that is clogged can cause an oil smell and is only a minor issue. To fix it, simply change the filter and you the smell should dissipate. If you continue to smell the oil, call Southwest Heating & Cooling to check for an oil leak. An leak can become a major issue.

Smoke
A smoke smell indicates a major issue that needs addressed immediately. If you have a blocked chimney, it will cause smoke to exit through the duct work. You need to have your chimney inspected and likely cleaned by a professional.

Electrical
This also is a red flag that you have a major problem. You potentially have a burned-out motor, malfunctioning electrical parts or frayed wiring. You need to have your furnace inspected as soon as possible.

Sulfur
If you smell sulfur, this is a major issue. It’s caused by a leak in your furnace or your main line and could lead to an explosion.

Whether you have a minor problem or a major problem, you should acquire the help you need. The minor issues described above are pretty easy to fix. The major issues, however, can lead to severe problems that should be checked out ASAP for the safety of your family. Seeking immediate help can also help to avoid more costly repairs down the road. Contact Southwest Heating & Cooling today so that we can check out the mysterious smell coming from your furnace.

It is our goal to educate our customers about HVAC energy issues to keep your family comfortable and safe!