Furnace Odors

Furnace Odors and What They Mean in Chesapeake, VA

November 9, 2022

If you turn your furnace on and smell something odd soon after, that’s a sign there may be something wrong with it. These are some of the odors you may smell your furnace producing in Chesapeake, VA, and what they mean:

Smell of Rotten Eggs

If you have a gas furnace, it uses natural gas as its fuel. Natural gas has no smell on its own, so utilities add mercaptan, which smells like rotten eggs, to let you know there’s a gas leak. Natural gas produces carbon monoxide, which in strong enough concentrations can be deadly.

If you ever smell rotten eggs in your home when your furnace is on, immediately turn it off, exit your home and call an HVAC company. You shouldn’t reenter your home until you know it’s safe.

Smell of Burning Plastic

If there’s an odor like burning plastic when your furnace is on, shut it off immediately. The cause of this odor is burning electrical components or wires. It could also mean the fan motor is failing.

Smell of Dust

It’s normal to smell burning dust when you first turn your furnace on for the heating season. The smell should gradually fade away. If the odor persists, you may have a clogged air filter you should replace.

Damp or Musty Smell

A damp or musty smell can mean that water has leaked into your furnace. High-efficiency furnaces have a pan that drains away condensation. If the pan fails or the condensate line becomes blocked, water will leak into your furnace.

Smell of a New Furnace

When you have a new furnace installed, there’s a protective oil coating on its inside. This coating will quickly burn off, but it may produce a strange odor until that happens.

Contact Fair Mechanical when you need fast and efficient furnace repairs. We also perform quality installations and maintenance.

Image provided by iStock

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