Ignoring furnace smells could put your family at risk. Because furnaces are usually fueled by natural gas (or oil), leaks or spills pose a significant hazard for fire or explosion. Further, several furnace components are powered by electricity. While regular maintenance will help to ensure that your furnace operates safely, it’s helpful to know which furnace smells to be aware of, and what to do if you notice unusual furnace odors.
Here are some of the primary smells you should know about:
- Strong fuel odors – It’s not unusual to notice the faint smell of fuel burning if you’re close to the furnace. However, a sulfuric rotting egg smell (resulting from a chemical put into odorless natural gas to make it smell), is a danger sign. This smell signals a gas leak, and you leave the house immediately and contact 911 or your local fire department. Oil leaks are also a concern.
- Burning smells – It’s common for the furnace to burn off accumulated dust that settles inside the system’s components over the summer season. As the unit sits idle, dust collects on the fan, the motor, the heat exchanger, and more, which will give off a burning smell once the furnace fires up. This smell should not continue for more than a few hours once the furnace is fired up for the first time. A burning smell at any other time of year, or if it continues upon start-up, calls for expert help.
- Electrical smells – Electricity powers the motor in the furnace that runs the blower, which pushes conditioned air into the home’s living spaces. When the motor, its wiring or other parts burn out, you’ll notice an electrical odor. Get professional help whenever you notice electrical smells.
Know what to do when these furnace smells occur in your home. For emergency service, or to schedule a furnace maintenance appointment, please contact us at Climate Control Company. We’ve served Western Colorado homeowners since 1956 with quality heating and cooling maintenance services, installations and repairs. Contact us today or visit our website for more information.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace maintenace and other HVAC topics, please visit our website.
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