The Smells of a Failing Furnace

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Chilly winter temperatures mean you’re probably running your furnace in the morning and evening. As a reminder, it’s important to pay close attention to unusual smells from your home’s furnace. A malfunctioning furnace can actually be dangerous and pose hazards to your house and family. When in doubt, turn off the furnace and immediately call your local HVAC professionals. Here are some faulty furnace smells to watch out for.

Burning Smell

An overpowering burnt smell from your furnace may mean a blower motor has overheated. An excessively clogged air filter can cause dust and dirt to rapidly collect on the furnace. A dusty, burning smell when the furnace is running, lasting over an hour, may swiftly turn into a fire danger.

Electrical Smell

A burning electrical smell from your home’s air vents requires immediate attention. Electrical components may be broken or the blower motor may be overheating. The risks for an electrical fire or blower motor fire rapidly increase and may put your family in danger.

Gunpowder Smell

Do you sense a gunpowder odor when your furnace is running? An overheated circuit board or an overheated fan motor can create a smell similar to gunpowder. It’s another sign that it’s time to call for service sooner than later.

Plastic Smell

Burning plastic smells are immediately noticeable. A myriad number of things can cause this smell. Some type of object may have fallen into the furnace or have been placed next to it. The causes may range from a plastic bottlecap, a children’s or pet’s toy in or near the furnace, rubber or plastic casing from electrical wiring, an overheated furnace motor or a cracked heat exchanger. The fumes created by burning plastic are not safe to breathe in.

Metallic Smell

Smelling or tasting an acrid, metallic-like smell from your home’s air vents? Some parts of the furnace made entirely of metal may overheat or furnace insulators may be burning. The metallic odor is unmistakable and requires immediate attention.

Rotten Egg Smell

If your furnace is running on natural gas and you’re getting a rotten egg smell from the air vents, there’s most likely a leak. Shut off the furnace, evacuate your home, call your gas company immediately, so they can inspect for a gas leak, and notify your HVAC company.

Call Cool Blew

Call your HVAC technicians for further investigation and repair with any unusual odor coming from your furnace. Until the professionals arrive at your home, turn off the furnace. Remember – you can call us anytime of the day or night at 623-872-2900 for all your heating and air conditioning issues. Call Cool Blew today to schedule an inspection appointment with one of our certified professionals.