Every home and building tends to have its own unique smell. Usually, it is a combination of the cleaning agents and air fresheners used indoors. These are pleasant to inhale and make the environment more welcoming. Nevertheless, some odors are not just unpleasant but also hard to ignore due to their persistent nature. Often, you may feel that your furnace is giving out a strange smell during the winter season. It is critical to remember that one should never ignore the smells emanating from the home’s heating and cooling system as they could be a precursor to some issue.
Five Strange Furnace Smells And What They Mean
Instead of beating around the bush, let us directly get down to the topic under discussion and learn about furnace smells and their meaning.
1. Smell Of Dust Burning – The furnace tends to accumulate dust during the period that it is not in use. When it is switched on for the first time during the season, this accumulated dust heats and burns off. The process emanates a very distinctive smell that can best be described as that of burning paper or dust. The significant thing to note here is that this smell will typically go away on its own within a couple of minutes and will not return again. If for some reason you feel that the smell is not dissipating, you should call the HVAC technician. Also, if the smell returns, again and again, there may be a leak somewhere within the unit that is attracting impurities. For this as well, only a technician can help you identify the source and take the necessary steps to close it.
2. Smell Of Burning Plastic – The work of the furnace is to produce heat, and its parts are made to withstand the same. But, as the unit ages, it undergoes a lot of wear and tear, due to which its heat withstanding ability declines. When you smell a strong metallic or plastic burning odor, it is a sign of overheating in the unit. At such a time, your first step should be to turn off the furnace and disconnect it from the power source. This will eliminate all chances of any untoward event and protect the furnace from further damage. The next step is to call your local HVAC technician for help.
3. Smell Of Dirty Socks – The smell of dirty socks is also very distinctive. It is strong, stinky, and extremely repulsive. Some people also describe this smell as that of gym socks. If your home, too, smells like gym socks and there are no piles of dirty clothes around waiting for a wash, the chances of finding its origin in the furnace are very high. This odor is a sign of bacteria growing on the coils of the furnace. Bacteria thrive in a hot and moist environment. The furnace coils fulfill both these conditions and hence lead to the growth of bacteria. When their concentrations increase, your house starts smelling like stinky and sweaty socks. At such a time, your furnace needs a thorough cleaning. To avoid its future occurrence, invest in the annual maintenance of the furnace.
4. Smell Of Rotten Eggs – When you get a whiff of sulfur-like or rotten eggs smell, it means that there is a gas leak. Natural gas has no odor. Nonetheless, inhaling it is a health hazard that can lead to dizziness, nausea, breathing issues, and fatigue. Typically, the gas companies add a chemical to natural gas that makes it smell like sulfur or rotten eggs. Adding this substance makes it easy to detect the gas leak. When you sense the presence of this strange smell, take no chances, and switch off the furnace immediately. Next, open the door and windows to reduce the concentration of gas indoors. Now call your HVAC technician, and as a precautionary measure, stay outdoors until they arrive and remedy the situation.
5. Smell Of Mold And Mildew – Mold and mildew have a musty smell associated with them. Though the smell is not very strong, it is still unpleasant and uninviting. Both mold and mildew are menaces that put your good health at risk. They cause breathing difficulties, skin ailments, and severe bronchitis, along with several other allergic reactions. If they are growing within the heating system or the air ducts, the circulating air will disperse its spores far and wide, putting the health of all residents or occupants in jeopardy. If the musty smell indoors is not going away despite proper cleaning and ventilation, you should call the HVAC experts to check the complete heating and cooling system.
Furnace Maintenance The Easy Answer To All Furnace Smells
The best and the surest way to get rid of all strange furnace smells is to see to its annual maintenance. Though it would be even better if you could get its tune-up done just before switching it on for the first time when the winter comes calling, and then again get it done after the last use of the season. This practice ensures that the furnace starts without any hiccups and also goes into hibernation without adding any new problems.
Furnace smells have a reason, and that too, a good one. All furnace smells are not a cause for concern, but some are, so it is always better to know what they are trying to indicate and handle them accordingly. Your local HVAC technician is the best person to call for help whenever you encounter these weird smells.
For all heating and cooling troubles in South Florida, look no further than Aztil Air Conditioning. Ours is a family-owned business running successfully since 1981. We are an elite team of 100+ strong HVAC technicians, all of whom are trained and certified. Installations, repairs, tune-ups, and replacements are all handled promptly and justly. Our services are affordable, and we guarantee complete customer satisfaction. If you have still not scheduled your furnace’s maintenance, you can do so now by calling +1-888-729-8452. Since we are always open, you can book an appointment at any time. Have your HVAC system inspected by Aztil Air Conditioning to get full value for money today.