Furnaces are meant to keep you warm during winters. If you have a gas, oil, or electric furnace in your house, you are most likely to use it extensively during the winters. When a furnace is not working properly, there are certain signs you should be aware of so you know the right time to get the help of HVAC companies. These could be related to unusual noises or even odors. Therefore, if your furnace is giving out unusual smells while running, you should attend to it immediately. Let’s take a look into what different types of odors could mean?
Sulfur Or Rotten Eggs Smell
Natural gas tends to be highly flammable. As a result, it is used by many appliances in your house as a good fuel source. However, unfortunately, natural gas is also harmful if inhaled. It might cause fatigue, nausea, and dizziness, etc. Since natural gas does not have a smell of its own, manufacturers add mercaptan as a safety precaution. This is a sulfur-based chemical that gives off a distinct smell of rotten eggs whenever natural gas is nearby. If while your furnace is running, you smell rotten eggs like odor then it is possible that you have a leak. Since it is a serious problem, you should immediately act on getting it repaired. Do not try to repair it on your own. Better call a professional to come and fix your furnace.
Locker Room Smell
Almost all of us have experienced that overwhelming smell of fish sauce, corn chips, and old cheese. However, you might have not experienced the overwhelming odors coming from your furnace. How it happens? With the change of temperature from cold to warm and warm to cold, there is condensation buildup in furnaces resulting in a moist environment leading to bacterial growth. If you smell such an odor from the furnace, you will need to give it a good old cleaning. Grab a non-acid cleaner and start by cleaning the air filter along with the evaporator coils. If the smell still exists, you will need to get a professional to perform a detailed cleaning.
Electrical Burning Smell
If you have ever stood under the rain, you will notice a sharp smell of ozone, a scent reminiscent of chlorine. If your furnace is giving off the same odor, it might be possible that it is overheating. The reason is that a furnace is most likely to give off such odor when there is something wrong with its electric components. With time, as your furnace ages, the bearings might wear out causing the blower motor to seize.
As a result, the furnace will require additional electricity, which will eventually heat up the motor. The heat will then melt away any insulation or wires and could produce sparks and shorts that could smell like ozone. If that is the case, you should get the problem fixed as soon as possible as the sparks and melting wires can produce enough heat to start a fire. To prevent a mishap, cut the power off and call a professional for help.
If you have been away for a while, your furnace might collect debris and smell like a dusty, damp, or musty basement. The odor will be strong as you use your furnace for the first few months and will gradually fade. The damp, dusty, or musty basement smell is due to the dust and debris collected inside the unit as well as the air ducts. When you turn on the furnace, the dust along with the debris might burn away and smell faintly of smoke. Although it might be a usual smell, you should not panic. Just make sure that you get your furnace cleaned, especially the air filter and air ducts. If the smell persists, call a technician to inspect it.
Furnaces can give off different odors over time but that does not mean you should panic. Panicking only makes things worse. If you experience a smell of any kind like the above, turn off the furnace and get it inspected by a furnace repair service McLean. You will prevent any mishap from taking place and also have it up and running again after repair in the least amount of time.