What That Odor Coming From the Furnace Could Mean

January 24, 2017

While it’s common for furnaces to give off a musty smell when they’re first used for the season, other odors can indicate a problem that needs attention. If you have an odd furnace smell this winter, keep the following information in mind and get help from professional HVAC technicians in Des Moines if needed.

Persistent Musty or Dusty Smell

If your furnace keeps giving off a musty smell throughout winter, try changing the air filter. These filters become clogged with dirt and dust, which affects your furnace’s ability to run efficiently. You might also have the smell of burning dust coming from your furnace when your air filter is dirty.

Burning Smell

Furnaces sometimes give off a burning electrical smell when the motor becomes overheated. This can happen when the motor has bearings that have deteriorated due to wear and tear. Keep in mind that an overheated motor can end up causing electrical hazards if the wires that connect to it become hot enough to melt. If you detect this furnace smell in your home, shut the heat off on your thermostat and have a professional HVAC technician check your heating system.

Rotten Egg Smell

If you have a gas furnace, having a rotten egg smell in your home can mean that you have a natural gas leak. This is considered an emergency and should be handled immediately. Open up windows and doors so outside air can come in, then stand far away from your home and call 911 for assistance. You should also contact your gas company about the leak.

Chemical Smell

A chemical smell can indicate that the heat exchanger in your furnace is cracked, which is also a serious problem. When this part of your furnace cracks, carbon monoxide can enter your home. Have an emergency HVAC repair technician check your furnace, and leave your home immediately if your carbon monoxide detectors go off.

If your furnace needs repairs this winter, please contact Lozier Heating & Cooling. We offer dependable HVAC services for homeowners in the Greater Des Moines area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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