smell from furnace

Weird smell from furnace? 3 possible causes

Furnaces are an essential part of a home’s heating system, working by creating hot air and pushing it through a home’s ducts. With proper care and regular maintenance, your furnace will be able to last for quite a long time. However, every so often, you may still notice something that needs to be addressed.

For example, you might pick up an odd smell from your furnace. Smells coming from furnaces (especially older ones) may be a sign that you need to contact a technician as soon as possible. If you’re in need of help, get in touch with our team at Smart Air.

Regardless, here are the different types of odors you may pick up from your furnace and what they mean.

  1. A burning smell

One of the most common smells coming from a furnace is a burning smell. 

This is primarily due to furnaces often being dormant for long amounts of time after the winter season is over. As the days pass by, dust and bits of dirt may gather inside the unit, eventually burning when you first start the furnace up.

As a result, light burning smells often aren’t that severe of an issue. Keep using the unit, and the furnace smells should usually disappear within a day.

  1. A ‘rotten egg’ odor

If you find yourself asking, ‘Why does my heater smell like rotten eggs?’, you may find yourself alarmed to learn this smell is the sign of a serious issue.

The smell of rotten eggs coming from your furnace is signaling a natural gas leak. Evacuate your home as soon as possible to avoid any health risks and contact an HVAC technician to get the leak fixed. Only return when you’re told it’s safe to do so.

  1. The smell of plastic

While a light burning smell is usually no big deal, if your furnace smells like burning plastic, you’ll likely need to consult a technician as soon as possible.

Although the issue is less severe than a potential gas leak, the burning plastic can be a sign that some of the furnace’s components are melting or otherwise damaged. Turn the furnace off immediately to avoid any further damage and contact a technician. 

In quite a few cases, the smell from your furnace can also be a failing fan motor, which only further emphasizes the need for a professional!

Consult professionals at Smart Air

Pay mind to any odd smell from your furnace. In many cases, these odors are a sign that you’ll need to get in touch with a technician or an HVAC specialist as soon as possible to avoid health risks or structural damage to either your home or the furnace itself. 
Whatever the reason is, our team at Smart Air is ready to help, so contact us today!