Have you recently had a new furnace put in and are now having a strange smell? You’re not alone, because plenty of other homeowners also experience this at first. Let’s review what’s creating this smell, and when you can expect it to disappear, as well as three other furnace smells you shouldn’t neglect.

Why Your New Furnace Smells

There are two explanations why a new furnace might smell.

Protective Finish

Your furnace has a special coating on certain parts to keep them from rusting. This may include the heat exchanger, which safely removes gases such as carbon monoxide naturally made 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 disperse the more your furnace runs.

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

Dust

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

One way you can decrease or prevent this smell is by having furnace maintenance done each year. This is necessary to keep your valuable manufacturer’s warranty good, plus it keeps your furnace clean and ensures it will run properly during the upcoming heating period.

3 Other Furnace Smells You Shouldn’t Ignore

While it’s less common for a new system to require furnace repair, it can happen. 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 problem. Electrical wiring is covered in plastic to protect against shocks, and this smell is a signal that heat is melting this precautionary coating. To hinder a fire, turn off your furnace right away and have it inspected out by an HVAC technician.
  2. Gas or rotten eggs. Gas companies include sulfur in natural gas to alert you when there’s a leakage. If your furnace smells like gas or rotten eggs, shut it off as soon as possible, leave your home and call 911. Exposure to natural gas can make you ill, 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 know 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 Tri City Fuel & Heating HVAC technicians can assist you. Contact us at 803-265-4208 to schedule your appointment right now. We provide quality, affordable furnace repair in West Columbia and surrounding communities.