When Your Furnace Smells, Here’s Help To Hunt Down The Source

When you started your furnace up for the winter, there might have been furnace smells that  you weren’t expecting. You might smell a little oil or gas, must or mildew, a dusty-burning smell, or the smell of hot metal or wires.

  • If you smell a sulfuric “rotten egg” odor coming from your furnace, it may well be natural gas leak. While natural gas itself doesn’t have a discernible odor, gas utilities add a chemical to natural gas to give it that distinctive smell. Shut the furnace off immediately! Get your family to safety and call 911
  • A musty, moldy smell may indicate there is mold in your home or HVAC system. Keeping windows closed during the winter months can contribute to mold developing where there’s improper ventilation. You might be able to solve this problem with a dehumidifier, but it’s important to have a professional evaluate all of the areas where mold might grow.
  • Electrical smells, like hot metal or wiring, may mean your furnace is not functioning properly and will need immediate service. Smells like this usually come from small motors or wiring in your furnace. If you detect this type of odor, you should call a HVAC professional to check your heater. Keeping fresh air filters in your HVAC system may help you avoid this and a variety of problems.
  • A dusty-burning smell may come from dust that has settled in your furnace during the summer months. After an hour or two, the smell should work its way out of your ventilation system. If the smell continues, you should have your HVAC system evaluated. Be sure to have your heating system serviced annually
  • Lastly, you might think that a rotten-decaying smell is one of your furnace smells. This smell may come from rodents that have found their way into your ventilation system during the summer. If you can’t find it on your own, call your HVAC professional for help.

The professionals at Overland Heating & Cooling have helped Kansas City-area residents with furnace and other HVAC issues since 1983.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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