It’s almost never a good sign if your furnace is emitting a strange smell. If you find yourself in that situation, it’s helpful to identify the smell and know how to proceed to avoid a system failure, or worse, a fire hazard. Here is a guide to handling strange smells coming from your furnace.
It’s not uncommon to smell natural gas or oil if you’re close to the furnace, but the odor should be almost undetectable. If you pick up a rotten egg or sulfur smell, you probably have a significant gas leak in the furnace or the main lines, which is a major hazard. If you smell oil, it’s possible that oil is leaking from the furnace. Both scenarios can lead to an explosion. Evacuate your home immediately, and call 9-1-1 from your cell phone once you’re outside.
On occasion, a furnace can give off an electrical odor, similar to an iron burning or metal overheating. This may be a sign that a furnace component is malfunctioning or has already worn out. If you notice an odor like this, shut off the furnace, and call your HVAC contractor for help. The technician will thoroughly inspect the furnace, checking for a burned-out motor, frayed electrical wiring or another problem. In addition, the technician will take the opportunity to inspect the entire system, checking for wear and tear.
There’s no need to fret over a dusty smell when you turn on your furnace at the start of the heating season. Over the year, as the furnace sits idle, it naturally collects dust. When the furnace cycles on, it burns the dust off of the components. If this smell continues, however, it’s cause for concern. Contact your HVAC contractor.
Get in touch with the experts at Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning whenever a worrisome smell is coming from your furnace. We’re happy to send a technician to your home to make sure you and your loved ones are safe. We serve homeowners in greater Fort Collins.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Fort Collins, Colorado about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).