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Blogs from September, 2023

woman pinching her nose against bad smell

Furnace Odors & Their Causes

Your furnace plays a crucial role in keeping your home warm and comfortable, especially during the colder months. However, strange odors emanating from your furnace can be a cause for concern. While some odors may be harmless, others could signal a potentially serious issue.

Here are five weird furnace smells you should never ignore:

Furnace Smells Like Burning Dust

When you first start your furnace after a period of inactivity, you may notice a burning smell. This is typically caused by the accumulation of dust on the heating elements. As the furnace warms up, the dust burns off. This smell should dissipate after a short time. If it persists or is accompanied by smoke or a burning odor, it's time to call a professional technician.

Furnace Has a Rotten Egg or Sulfur Odor

If you detect a strong rotten egg or sulfur-like smell, it could indicate a natural gas leak. Natural gas is odorless, but an additive called mercaptan is included to give it a distinctive smell for safety reasons. If you suspect a gas leak, immediately turn off the gas supply, open windows for ventilation, and evacuate your home. Then, contact your gas provider and a qualified technician to address the issue.

Musty or Moldy Odor from Furnace

A musty or moldy smell suggests the presence of moisture in your furnace system. This could be due to a leak in your ductwork or a clogged condensate drain line. Mold growth can pose health risks, so it's crucial to have a technician inspect and resolve the issue promptly.

Electrical Burning Smell from Furnace

If you notice a distinct electrical burning odor, it could indicate a problem with the furnace's electrical components. This might be a malfunctioning motor, frayed wiring, or a failing capacitor. Continuing to run the furnace in this condition could lead to a dangerous electrical fire. Turn off the furnace immediately and contact a professional technician.

Furnace Has a Metallic or Oily Smell

A metallic or oily odor could be a sign of overheating or a problem with the furnace's heat exchanger. This is a critical component that separates the combustion process from the air that circulates through your home. If the heat exchanger is compromised, it can release dangerous gases into your living space. It's essential to shut off the furnace and seek professional assistance right away.

Tackle Odd Furnace Smells with Reddick & Sons

Unusual furnace smells should never be ignored. They can serve as early warning signs of potentially serious issues with your heating system. Regular maintenance and timely repairs by a qualified technician are essential in keeping your furnace operating safely and efficiently.

If you encounter any of these strange furnace odors, don't hesitate to contact our experienced technicians at Reddick & Sons Inc. We're here to ensure your furnace runs smoothly and keeps your home warm and comfortable all winter long.

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