Your furnace and other HVAC systems should not be emitting any odours at all, however, it’s a common issue experienced among homeowners that a furnace may smell odd at times. While most of the time a strange new smell from your furnace is not an emergency or cause for panic, some smells are indicative of something more serious than others. Here are a few of the most common new smells to come from your furnace and why they occur.
Burning Smell When You First Turn On Your Furnace
One of the most common new smells that you may experience from your furnace is a slight burning smell. Usually, this is not a cause for concern. A burning smell like that of burnt toast or burnt paper most often comes when you just turned your furnace on for the season. When the furnace is not being used over the summer it can collect dust on and around the heat exchanger. When you turn your furnace on for the first time in the fall, the dust begins to burn off. If you smell a slight burning smell from your furnace, wait a few minutes for it to subside. If it doesn’t, you should contact an expert HVAC technician.
Plastic Burning Smell
If your furnace smells like burning plastic, this new smell may be cause for concern. If you smell a very distinct and powerful burning plastic smell coming from your furnace, this is indicative of electrical issues with the system. When you smell burning plastic, immediately turn off your furnace and call for emergency furnace repair.
Musty Or Mildew Smell
If you begin to smell something musty or a mildew smell coming from your furnace or spreading throughout your home, this is usually caused by dirty ductwork or a dirty furnace. A musty smell is likely telling you that you have mould growing in your furnace or your ductwork. While a musty-smelling furnace isn’t an immediate emergency, it isn’t pleasant to deal with and will decrease your indoor air quality. Calling in an HVAC technician to clean your ducts or furnace is the best course of action in this scenario.
One of the most serious new smells to pay attention to is the presence of a gas smell in your furnace. Natural gas has an additive that smells like rotting eggs (sulphur). Gas smells are indicative of a potential gas leak and this should be considered dangerous and detrimental to your health and safety. If you believe you smell gas, your local gas utility will recommend that you leave the building immediately and call 911 from outside or a neighbour’s home.
Have you noticed an odd smell coming from your furnace?
Contact the experts at Delta Air Systems Ltd. today.
Residents in the Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, and Guelph regions have been relying on Delta Air Systems Ltd. for all of their HVAC for over 65 years. Our certified technicians are committed to providing clients with quality service and equipment.