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Why Does My Furnace Smell Bad?

October 11, 2022 | Blog

It’s officially fall and the weather feels amazing! It’s the perfect opportunity to leave the windows cracked to let cool air in and prolong turning on the heat. Fall can be such a wonderful time of year in the south, but even with leaves falling and temperatures dropping it’s important to keep in mind winter is quickly approaching and much colder weather will be here before we know it!

Waiting until winter to turn on your heating system can potentially cause problems when it’s already too late. No one wants to get stuck with no heat during the first cold front of the season! The professionals at Absolute Comfort Air are here to help you prepare for the upcoming winter months! If any of these unusual smells are coming from your heater, it’s time to give us a call.

Strong Gas Smells

If your heating unit is a natural gas system and smells like rotten eggs or sulfur, this is a call for quick action! You may have a natural gas leak. If this is the case, it’s an issue you cannot fix on your own. You should immediately call a professional from your gas company. Make sure all people and pets evacuate the house until someone is able to come and check for signs of a leak and has confirmed that it’s safe to return.

Burning Smell From Heater

If you have an electric system and it smells like hot metal burning or burning plastic, this could be cause for alarm. Old or faulty wiring can cause this smell, and even an overheating unit will potentially cause a burning odor as well. Both cases are not good and will need to be taken care of by an experienced HVAC technician.

Musty Heater Odors

If you smell something similar to a dirty sock, burning or dusty smell, this might actually be normal. These kinds of smells are usually common when starting your system back up in the fall. They’re caused by dust burning out of the vents and off the coil. The odor should disappear within several minutes, and you can even open a window to help air your home out. We suggest getting the coil cleaned as needed and filters changed prior to starting up your unit for the first time each fall to help reduce the distinct smell.

Heater Maintenance

Regular HVAC maintenance can help reduce or eliminate dirty furnace smells. It’s important to always test your heating system before you actually need it to prepare for the colder months. You should start by creating a safe environment by cleaning around your heater and removing objects nearby. Remember to change your HVAC filter regularly, about every 30 days or so.

You should also test your thermostat to make sure it’s controlling your furnace and detecting temperatures accurately. Pay attention to any unusual or concerning sounds your heater may make. If you have a programmable thermostat, this is a good time to update your heating schedule if needed.

Finally, test and replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This is extra important because the malfunctioning of home heating equipment is a leading cause of both household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Trusted Winder Heating Company

It’s tempting to keep the furnace turned off for as long as possible, but the longer you wait to test your system, the less time you’ll have for repairs if something is wrong. Call our team of HVAC experts at Absolute Comfort Air for a tune-up or repair before winter rolls in!

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