What is That Smell Coming from Your Furnace?

It’s the first cold day of the year. You put on your most comfortable robe, make a glass of hot cocoa, and fire up your furnace as you prepare to spend the day in cozy blissfulness. You turn on the TV, ready to binge-watch your favorite Netflix program, and… you can’t help but notice a strange smell coming from your heating system.

This could be due to something as minor as a dirty air filter, or it could represent an immediate safety hazard – it all depends on the smell. In this article, the home heating experts at Air Treatment Company break down some common scents that may arise from your furnace, and what problems they could signify:

  • Smells like dust. If this is the first time you are using your furnace this season, a dusty scent is normal. Dust collects inside of your furnace and air ducts over the summer months, and can be burned or blown around the house when you first turn your furnace on.

  • Smells like mold. Musty odors are commonly caused by mold trapped inside your furnace filter. This does not signify can immediate problem, but you should replace the filter as soon as possible in order to maintain good air quality.

  • Smells like oil. The smell of oil can be caused by a clogged filter or a leak. Change your furnace’s oil filter and see if the smell subsides. If it is still present after a couple of hours, turn off your furnace and call a professional service – you could have a dangerous leak on your hands.

  • Smells like rotten eggs. If you smell rotten eggs, turn off your furnace immediately. What you are actually smelling is sulfur, which likely means there is a gas leak that could potentially lead to a fire or explosion.

  • Smells like something is burning. It is possible for the electrical components inside of your furnace to overheat. When this happens, you may smell hot metal or burning plastic. If this happens to you, turn off your furnace and contact a repair service.

Residents of Fairfax County, Virginia can count on Air Treatment Company to provide fast, reliable furnace repairs. Our technicians are trained to service any make or model of heating system, and we even provide same-day emergency services. Contact us online or give us a call at (703) 270-0881 today.

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