Furnace Repair: What is that smell?

Furnace Repair

Furnace Repair: Diagnosing Heater Odors

Well, that smell is new! Should your furnace give off smells? How serious can it be when there is a smell? Let’s look at some of the most common causes of HVAC smells during the heating season and the need to schedule a furnace repair appointment.

The blower motor for your furnace is a powerful force, circulating the entire volume of air in your home about every two minutes. Expect to pick up the scent of baking cookies or frying bacon throughout the home because the smell is in the air.

When the smell does not reflect everyday activities, it should grab your attention. Stay on the hunt for the cause until you uncover the source.

Rotten Egg Smells

This is the most dangerous smell coming from a gas furnace. Natural gas does not have an odor. An odor is added at the refinery to alert users of leaks—a disagreeable sulfur smell that we associate with the gas.

If this odor is present in your home, every family member must evacuate immediately, leave the door open, and call the gas company for help immediately. This gas is explosive, and prolonged inhalation is hazardous to everyone’s health.

Burning Smells

Furnaces can give off various odors that smell like something is hot or burning. What to do next depends on the intensity of the smell. If the smell is strong and overwhelming, be proactive and evacuate with the door open. If the smell is faint, try to associate the smell with something familiar to assist technicians in identifying the furnace repair problem.

  • Burning dust is a common smell during the first heating cycle of the season. The source is . . . burning dust. However, the first heating cycle should take care of the little bit of dust that fell on the heating element or burner.
  • Burning rubber or plastic smells happen when electrical parts are overheating. Wiring of every size and current is wrapped in insulation to prevent shock and fire hazards. The source for this smell might originate from the furnace, but it can come from household wiring or any appliance. Do not ignore this smell; get assistance from a technician quickly.
  • A hot metal or gunpowder smell might also happen when electrical connections experience a short circuit and create a spark. The heat generated by a spark is between 10,000 and 15,0000 C, hot enough to melt most metals used in wiring. This often breaks the circuit of electricity, and this could result in some components losing power. Call the team of furnace repair technicians at Doctor Cool for assistance.

Sewer Smells

There is plenty of opportunity for the drainpipes to reek of nasty wastewater. But when these smells are coming from the furnace vents, they indicate a different problem. This is often the result of water leaking into the ductwork, perhaps in a basement or crawlspace.

The heat promotes the growth of mold, mildew, or other fungi. The spores of these organisms become very hazardous, so seek assistance quickly.

You are very familiar with the “normal” smells of your home, but some odors subtly creep into the day-to-day, and we miss them. You will pick up on these smells immediately upon returning home after being away.

Do not expect these problems to go away on their own; they will generally get worse, not better. Seek professional furnace repair assistance from Doctor Cool and Professor Heat for all unusual odors.

If your heater smells, call to schedule a Furnace Repair appointment! 

Let Doctor Cool help with your Furnace Repair questions. Call Doctor Cool & Professor Heat today at 281-338-8751 or email Doctor Cool.

Furnace Repair: What is that smell?


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