Have you recently had a new furnace installed and are now noticing a weird smell? You're not alone, because a lot of other homeowners also have this happen at first. Let’s review what’s causing this smell, and when you can anticipate 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 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 like 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 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 lingers can mean the motor is too hot or there’s an electrical problem, among other concerns.
Dust accumulates inside your furnace when it’s not running in the spring and summer. That dust will burn off when you turn on your furnace in the fall, producing a burning smell. This smell should go away within a few minutes.
One way you can decrease or prevent this smell is by having furnace maintenance done each 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 Disregard
While it’s less common for a new system to require furnace repair, it can happen. Here are three other odors you should look out for and what they might mean.
- Burning plastic or rubber. If your furnace smells like burning plastic, you might have an electrical issue. Electrical wiring is coated in plastic to protect against shocks, and this smell is an indication that heat is melting this precautionary coating. To prevent a fire, shut off your furnace immediately and have it inspected out by an HVAC technician.
- Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies include sulfur in natural gas to warn you when there’s a problem. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, turn it off right away, leave your home and call 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you ill, plus it’s extremely flammable and explosive.
- Musty. If your furnace smells musty, you might have mold and mildew flourishing in your ductwork. We recommend having your ductwork inspected and cleaned if needed.
Now that you are aware 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 Precision Mechanical HVAC technicians can help. Give us a call at 605-206-3766 to schedule your appointment now. We offer quality, affordable furnace repair in Rapid City and surrounding areas.