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Furnace Smells to Watch Out For

Tips & Advice

It’s still peak heating season, which means that if you have a furnace, you are probably running it a lot right now. The good news is that your furnace is a tough piece of equipment, designed to withstand several months of repeated use. However, if you start to detect some funky odors coming from your system, you may have a problem on your hands. Keep reading for the top five furnace smells to watch out for, and remember that our skilled technicians at Roby Services are available 24/7 for your heating and cooling needs.

5 Furnace Smells That Mean It’s Time to Call a Technician

  1. Rotten Eggs: That sulfuric, rotten-egglike smell coming from your furnace likely means you have a gas leak. Natural gas makes an excellent combustible fuel source, but because it is highly flammable and can lead to dizziness, nausea, coughing, headaches, and fatigue, it is extremely important that you get your family out of the house and call a professional right away if you detect this odor in your home.
  2. Dirty Socks: We’ve all smelled that dirty sock smell before—think of the unpleasant scent that hits your nose when you step into a locker room. In your furnace, this is the smell of moisture. This odor is caused by condensation on the coils, which can build up when you turn your thermostat up and down. Call a technician for a cleaning if you pick up this odor in your house.
  3. Diesel: If you detect the smell of diesel fuel, like what you would put in a car, it may mean there’s an excess of oil in your system, which can lead to a fog that then burns when it interacts with the furnace flame. You may also notice this smell if you have just filled up your oil-based furnace. Regardless of where it’s coming from you should always call a technician if this smell lingers for more than a day or so, especially because in a worst-case scenario, your furnace may be causing something around it to burn. And speaking of burning…
  4. Electrical Burning: Electrical burning may occur in your system as the blower motor ages and has to use extra electricity. Increased electrical draw can lead to sparking, which can in turn melt your unit’s wires and insulation. Burning is not a good sign coming from any major appliances, and should always be dealt with ASAP.
  5. Must: When your furnace sits in disuse for months at a time, it will start to collect dust, dirt, and other debris. Then, when you go to turn your system on, these dusty particles will burn away, creating the musty stench you are smelling. This odor usually isn’t a big deal, though if you can’t get rid of it, you may need to replace your system’s filter. You may also be able to avoid this problem by hiring a technician for seasonal cleaning and maintenance.

Call (980) 308-0200 to schedule service now, or contact us here for more information about furnaces.

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