Using your senses is one of the best ways to check for problems with your furnace. You may be able to hear strange noises coming from your furnace, or you may be able to see a visible crack or broken belt on your furnace. One of the lesser-known senses that can help indicate furnace problems is your sense of smell. Your furnace may give off strange scents if something is wrong or if repairs are needed. Here are three difference scents you may smell coming from a furnace and what the scent may be indicative of.
A Sulfur or Rotten Egg Scent
If you have a gas furnace and you smell or sulfur or rotten egg scent when your furnace is operating, you may have a gas leak. You will want to exit your home immediately and contact your natural gas supplier. Many people dismiss the scent of sulfur or rotten eggs, as they think that natural gas is odorless. Technically, natural gas is odorless, but gas companies add a chemical called mercaptan to gas to give it a scent. This makes it more obvious to homeowners that a gas leak is present in their home. Gas leaks are nothing to play around with, so be sure to immediately exit your home and contact the professionals if you have any suspicions that you may have a gas leak in your home.
A Burning or Metallic Scent
Another scent that your furnace may be giving of is a burning or metallic scent. The most common reasons why you may smell this type of scent coming from a furnace are because the furnace is burning oil, a wire is burning in the unit, or because the motor or blower are damaged and need to be repaired. The problems will only worsen if you do not tend to the problem that is causing this scent, so having your unit inspected quickly is recommended.
A Dusty or Dirty Scent
The final scent that a furnace frequently gives off when something is wrong is a dusty or dirty scent. If you have not used your furnace in some time, this is a common scent you should not worry about. After running your unit for a bit of time, the scent should go away. However, if it does not, you may need to replace your furnace filter, clean your air ducts, or have your furnace professionally cleaned.
If you smell one of these scents, or your furnace is giving off another scent that is not quite normal, you may be in need of furnace repair. Contact your preferred furnace repair company and have them come out and inspect your furnace. They can help to determine why you are smelling what you are smelling from the furnace and what repair needs to be made so you smell nothing when your furnace is operational.