Why Does My Furnace Smell Funny?

Most furnace issues are fairly easy to understand. Breakdowns mean call in the professionals, odd sounds indicated damaged or loose components, and so on. But what does it mean when your furnace smells funny? It’s not as uncommon of an issues as you might think! The certified furnace professionals at McAllister are here to clue you in on what that smell might be, and what you should do about it.

Having furnace troubles and not sure where to turn? Get superior service and furnace repair by contacting McAllister online today!

Funky Furnace Smells: The Easy Stuff

These smells are somewhat common and usually don’t indicate much of a threat unless they’re present for extended periods of time:

  • Dusty, musty odors. The smell of heated dust is known to anyone who has turned on their furnace for the first time of the season. A light layer of dust is usually present at the beginning of the season, particularly if you didn’t get fall furnace maintenance. Usually this smell sticks around for a few minutes and then dissipates. But if it sticks around, you might be looking at some air flow issues in the future. So if your home smells dusty for hours at a time when the furnace is running, call in the experts for some diagnosis and furnace repair!
  • Slightly pungent moldy smell. Ductwork can often go ignored for long periods of time, and being a dark, slightly-moist area in the home, that means there is a small risk of mold infestation. Mold tends to smell slightly rotten or sweet. While it’s not an emergency, per se, mold should never be ignored. It spreads very rapidly and can do serious damage to your walls and floors as it spreads. Not to mention breathing complications for those with allergies.

Potentially Dangerous Furnace Smells: The Emergency Stuff

If you smell any of the following, you need to take immediate steps to ensure the safety of your home and yourself:

  • Rotten egg/sulfur smells. These smells can occur when you make use of a natural gas furnace. The smell isn’t actually the gas itself, which is odorless to humans, but a chemical product called mercaptan that gas companies purposely put into your gas as a warning indicator. If you smell this, your home could be at a very serious risk, as it usually indicates a gas leak. Evacuate your home and contact your gas provider immediately. If you are familiar with your gas shutoff valve, it is a good idea to shut it off as you leave.
  • Burning, metallic, or “ozone” smells. This smell always means something serious. Burnt wires, overloading systems, and potential electrical fires are a huge risk, if they’re not already occurring when you notice this smell. Shut off power to your furnace by way of your breakers and contact our experts immediately! If you’re not sure that the furnace is the culprit, kill power in your home and contact an electrician right away.

When faced with these smells, always play it safe. Fires and explosions may seem like one of those dramatic things folks say to rile people up, but they’re really very, very serious dangers.

Furnace Repair in South Jersey

When you choose McAllister, you’re making the smartest decision for your system. Our technicians are skilled and experienced heating professionals who can quickly diagnose problems with high tech tools. We’ll identify the issue, fix it, and you can get on with your life. If you need emergency service, no worries—our HVAC repair specialists are on call all day, every day, even holidays.

For dependable heating repair in South Jersey, choose McAllister. Contact us online or give us a call at 609-927-4122 to schedule service.