Have you recently had a new furnace set up and are now noticing a strange smell? You’re not alone, because plenty of other homeowners also have this happen at first. Let’s review what’s creating this smell, and when you can expect it to go away, as well as three other furnace smells you shouldn’t ignore.

Why Your New Furnace Smells

There are two reasons why a new furnace might stink.

Protective Finish

Your furnace has a special finish on certain parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely exhausts gases like carbon monoxide naturally produced during the heating process.

When your furnace starts for the first couple of times, the coating may release a burning smell. This is typical and the smell should dissipate the more your furnace runs.

To be on the safe side, you’ll want to call a heating and cooling company if the smell lingers. A burning smell that lingers can mean the motor has overheated or there’s an electrical problem, among other concerns.

Dust

Dust collects inside your furnace when it’s not running in the summer. That dust will burn off when you turn on your furnace in the fall, producing a burning smell. This smell should subside within a few minutes.

One way you can reduce or prevent this smell is by having furnace maintenance done every year. This is necessary to keep your valuable manufacturer’s warranty applicable, plus it keeps your furnace clean and ensures it will run smoothly during the upcoming heating season.

3 Other Furnace Smells You Shouldn’t Dismiss

While it’s less common for a new system to necessitate furnace repair, it happens. Here are three other scents you should watch for and what they might mean.

  1. Burning plastic or rubber. If your furnace smells like burning plastic, you might have an electrical issue. Electrical wiring is coated in plastic to protect against shocks, and this smell is a signal that heat is melting this precautionary coating. To avoid a fire, switch off your furnace as soon as possible and have it checked out by an HVAC technician.
  2. Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies include sulfur in natural gas to warn you when there’s a leak. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, shut it off immediately, get out of your home and call 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you sick, plus it’s extremely flammable and explosive.
  3. Musty. If your furnace smells musty, you might have mold and mildew growing in your ductwork. We recommend having your ductwork examined and cleaned if necessary.

Now that you understand which furnace smells are normal and which ones aren’t, you’re prepared to take care of your new heater. If you’re worried about an odd odor, our Three Rivers Heating & Cooling HVAC technicians can help. Give us a call at 503-213-4433 to schedule your appointment today. We provide quality, affordable furnace repair in Portland and surrounding communities.